I had been waiting in excited anticipation for this game since it was announced at Gamescom 2012. Remember Me takes place in the year 2084 in the city of Neo-Paris, where the Memorize corporation has invented a new brain implant called the Sensation Engine (Sensen), which enables the population to upload and share their memories on the net, as well as remove unhappy or unpleasant memories.
Players follow the story of a female hero named Nilin, a memory-hunter whose own memory has been erased.
The ability to infiltrate someone’s memories, their most intimate moments, and twist them beyond the bounds of sanity all for your own gain is unbelievably decadent.
For this reason alone I would recommend this game to anyone; however, I’d wait for Remember Me to be placed in the great big bargain bin or wait for a Steam/PSN/Xbox Live sale.
Why Remember Me is fantastic
Production values, visuals, and setting
The opening sequence alone just shows you what a big boy budget and the backing of CAPCOM can do to a game. An emotion-filled advert for Memorize has some of the prettiest Unreal Engine 3 renderings that I have ever seen; it immerses you into the world of Memorize, the evil corporation that has monetised memories. Taking away painful experiences, storing your greatest moments, allowing you to relive them at will. The dark side of this is that Memorize can completely strip away who you are as a person.
Neo-Paris is beautifully rendered, from the slums and the sewers through to the upper echelons of the uber-rich who find themselves segregated from the hell that reigns outside their protective walls. You can really see the effort that was put into creating Neo-Paris; the grungy tones scream at you from every sullen corner, yet when in a happy place the warm glow of the sunlight caresses the player and you can feel the warmth that Dontnod Entertainment were trying to convey.
Emotion and personal feelings are also presented to the player really well – in the introduction your character can barely stand and you really feel the panic, confusion, fear and overall emptiness of the situation.
Gameplay, level design and game mechanics
Whilst manipulating memories has never been experienced like this in gaming, at its core Remember Me is a platformer. Borrowing key elements from Uncharted, God of War and Enslaved, it still manages to be its own game.
Parkour is your main form of moving around; leaping onto buildings, clinging to scaffolding, and edging over moving billboards. The entire process is easy and well highlighted, making the navigation of Neo-Paris rather easy.
Timing is core to the combat system, through which you can create your own combos to either boost health, special attacks, or damage. These combos have to be linked together with perfect timing.
Certain areas and doors can only be reached by following a specific path or entering a key; this is where you use Remembranes to see the memories of someone who has done this in the past. The memories are projected in front of you in a ghost form allowing you to mimic their movements gaining access to these areas.
Finally there are the Remixes which allow you to access someone’s memories and alter key events to achieve a goal. For example, instead of a loved one being saved by a doctor, they are killed. The detail is amazing, its highly entertaining and extremely rewarding when it all comes together.
Unfortunately this is where Remember Me starts to fall apart.
Why Remember Me fails
You have to play for an hour or two depending on your skill level to experience your first remix. The entire process takes only 3 to 8 minutes, and then you have to slog through another 2 to 4 hours to experience it again. There are only four – count it “4” – remixes in the entire game. I only wanted to play Remember Me for the remixes, and to be honest it’s the only reason why you should bother with it at all.
Yes it is fun to run and jump from building to building, but its just over done; there are way too many areas where you think to yourself “Why am I still climbing and jumping?”
Mindless drone syndrome
There are far too many random battles in which hordes and hordes of enemies attack for absolutely no reason; they don’t add to the entertainment value, they don’t advance the plot, and you just get the feeling that they were added as fillers to try and make the game seem longer. Really not conducive to generation A.D.D.
You have to experience the remixes at least once; they are truly unique and ground-breaking. However, I would recommend that you either rent or borrow the game, or wait for it to pop up for free on PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live – you will only be missing out on a game that had so much promise but failed to deliver enough punch to live up to its title.