Remember Me, Capcom’s new action title with a twist, has divided critics. We weigh in with our verdict – style over substance? Find out…
Remember Me opens with an ad for ‘Sensen’ – a neurological implant that allows the host to retain their memories and share them with their loved ones. It sounds wonderful and harmless. You can keep those memories safe, ensure they can be passed like a legacy, and in the case of our protagonist Nilin, they can also be erased. Not so great. So it begins with us being wiped of all of our memories except one thing; our name. Our adventure begins screaming and crying on the floor as our past speeds away from our ‘Sensen’ in the back of our neck. Stumbling to our feet, questions swirling in our skull, we follow a robot to destroy the final remaining memories in our head. Our only savior, a voice that breaks into our mind, helps us to escape to freedom, raising even more questions. We break away from this facility and then, welcome –to Neo-Paris.
Beyond this new Paris, memories can be transferred and traded with others. Naturally, the second someone figured out that memories had become a commodity that could be traded, they found ways to endorse it and began selling people their own memories. People began to live in the past, becoming addicted to reliving their own experiences. Those without pleasant memories began to beg for “just a hit” from others. Memories are the new drug, and everyone is addicted.
Random Access Memories
Remember Me revolves around Nilin, an “Errorist” who has the unique talent to be able to remix peoples’ memories. With the power to alter an experience, sample it, or even remove it. Nilin is a very, very wanted individual. With the help of her friends she intends to take down the powerful Memorize corporation, restoring some sanity and reason to the world before everyone becomes like the twisted memory-addicted freaks that inhabit Slum 404, the place which you spend most of your time towards the beginning.
3rd person adventure titles typically have fairly shallow combat mechanics, and Remember Me is one of them; you press X (360) for kick and Y (360) for punch, and maybe you can string together a basic combo, there is little substance other than that. However, as Nilin has lost her memory, she has also lost all of her combat abilities. As her memory returns she slowly unlocks those powers, but Remember Me takes it in a completely different direction that the norm. In your Sensen you have a Combo Lab. In this lab are “Pressens” – fighting moves you can unlock by earning experience (PMP, or Procedural Master Points in this game) unlocks an attack in one of four categories – Power, Regen, Cooldown, and Chains. However, as shallow as this may sound – You have your own combat list to make yourself – which can prove to be interesting and suit to your own taste or ability. One of the coolest things about the combat in this game, and one of our favourite features is when fighting, if you chain combos consistently without being hit, it begins to activate musical notes as you strike your foe – This makes for a great feature as it makes your battles enigmatic and exuberant; golden for music and beat lovers. If you pardon the pun.
The Master Of Cheese
Remember Me is a very cinematic game, and nowhere is this more true than the boss battles that often punctuate the end of a chapter. These battles are usually fairly tough, and always culminate with quicktime events leading to an often-spectacular finish. Thankfully, the quicktime events are confined to these battles, relying on the strength of the combat engine for everything else. However, characters aren’t the most well-developed. The dialogue is poor too, filled with absolute cheese – you’ve just been nearly assassinated in front of your helpless friend; You remix the assassins mind to change the assassins memory so she becomes your friend, leading to the qiup “Well I am sure glad you’re now on our side!” coupled with a massive cheesy bloody grin; occasionally you’ll get the “Go get ‘em Nilin!” at the top of their voice from someone, but hey – It’s bearable. Nilin herself is a fairly generic, weak character but her voice acting is fine and towards the end you begin to get over it.
While the game has the illusion of innovation (it’s actually quite a generic, linear action title you’ve seen countless time before), special mention must go to the memory remixes. Playing a little bit like a Walking Dead type of game, you view a characters memory while having the ability to fast-forward and rewind through it. Key points of the memory are highlighted, allowing you to subtly alter them to lead to a different chain of events. It’s a fun system to play with and even slight changes can lead to wildly different outcomes.
To conclude, Remember Me is a game filled with ambition and beautiful design aspects, rich pallets of colour and is overall, a great sci-fi game. Although it lacks in some parts with fairly shallow and generic combat engineering – that is overcompensated by great ideas (such as the music/beat system), which really make the game what it is. Ignore the fairly generic story and treat this game as a piece of art. This is Dontnod Entertainment’s first game and will hopefully not be there last, as this game, was a joy to play… there is a lot to improve, but with the excellent remix mechanic, solid combat and amazing looks, the games faults are easy to forgive.
– Cameron Harris. Try to remix is memory on Twitter @c4meronh4rris
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