Title: Remember Me
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Pros/Cons: Innovative to a fault
Available On: PC/PS3/360
I can admit it, I am a sucker for something new when it comes to video games. New ideas, seemingly, are few and far between in the gaming industry today, especially when games like Call Of Duty and Battlefield 3 sell as they do. So, when I first saw a trailer for Remember Me, I was hooked. In fact, Remember Me sort of became the official game of our Podcast with as much as we discussed it! So, how does it fare in the practical world?
The game starts with Nilin, the title character, waking up after, seemingly, a torturous beating. Dazed, confused, and almost completely without any memory, Nilin is contacted, through her communication device, by a man named Edge, who helps her escape imprisonment. As she makes her way through the slums of Neo-Paris, she is attacked by a woman named Olga, who has been tasked with assassinating Nilin. Through a technique called Memory Remixing, Nilin enters Olga’s memory, and changes them to convert Olga into an ally. From there, Edge convinces Nilin to destroy the company Memorize, and return all the generally population’s memories back to the people, as Memorize has taken all the painful memories from everyone. Obviously, the story is quite complex, and utilizes social and political ideals, that shape the world and the characters there within the game.
Remember Me is a 3rd person action, platforming, puzzle game, that uses a couple of innovative mechanics to interact with the world. The first, and most notable, is the memory remix mechanic. A cutscene will play, of the original memory about to be remixed, and when it is finished, you rewind the memory with the left control stick, and while rewinding visual cues will show you what you can interact with. Each remix has an ultimate target to achieve, from killing a person in the memory, to changing the belief of who was at fault of an accident. Each item you interact with changes the action in a memory, and not all of the items will help you achieve the target.
The other mechanic that Remember Me utilizes is a combo system. The combat is similar to Rocksteady’s Arkham games, albeit not as smooth and effective, but similar none the less. Where Remember Me differs, is that the combo’s are set by the player. During the game, each person you kill will give you XP, which unlocks different combo powers. There are high powered attacks, health, increased cooldown, and lastly there are a couple that chain attacks together. The downfall to this is that Remember Me only uses two buttons for attacks, and the combos are rather dull. I ended up grouping the combos together, so XXX was health, XYXY was cooldown, and YXXYX was power attacks. This caused combat to become repetitive, but the overall idea behind user set combos is a good one. On the upside of the gameplay, the platforming was concise and fun, and as you progress further into the game, you unlock high powered combat moves that does add some choice beyond the combo system.
Bits and Pieces
Remember Me is, visually, stunning. The story, while it can be odd at times, is pretty well thought out as you progress through the game. My only issue is the ending. Without spoilers, it was almost as if the writers got to the initial resolution with a good amount of planning, then slapped the final boss and ending sequence without much thought. I felt like this, without a doubt, almost ruined my experience with the game. Also, the voice acting can be over the top, with a couple of characters, but the sound and soundtrack are both solid.
My last issue is with the level design. Midway through the game, you enter a prison, and using a stolen memory, you follow a doctor and a NPC character as the character gets his memory stolen. During this sequence, there is no direction given from the game, and due to design, the game has odd requirements to unlock and open doors. Some doors require you to close the previously entered door behind you, others require you to interact with an object, while others require you to enter a fight with enemies. After these events, you can then interact with the original door you were attempting to enter. I know, pretty standard stuff, but, at times, you have to backtrack, sometimes back up stairs, or into areas you’ve previously cleared, but the game offers you no hints. A few times I was stuck, once for up to 2o minutes, because I had to interact with an object in another room, through a window. The odd part is, I only had this problem in one level, all of the other levels seemed to be pretty intuitive.
I went into Remember Me with high hopes, which were delivered upon immediately. But, as I progressed further into the game, the game became less fun, and started becoming a bit repetitive. I was, though, impressed by the innovation, and the visuals remained a highlight throughout. Overall, I would give Remember Me a 81/100, giving credit for trying something new, but falling short at times. I wouldn’t spend $60 on Remember Me, but when the price drops to $24-$26, I’d definitely give it a shot.