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The year is 2084. After the end of the European Civil War, a company called Memorize created Sensen, an implant that allows people to share and store their memories and sensations. Civilians immediately flocked towards the new technology, unaware that Memorize had a hidden agenda; to utilize this dangerous technology in order to silently manipulate and control the users. Those who stand up and fight against this evil corporation are known as “errorists.”
Developed by Dontnod / Published by Capcom
Available on the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Reviewed on the Xbox 360.
In Capcom and Dontnod’s Remember Me, players take on the role of Nilin, a former memory hunter and errorist whose memory has been wiped. After narrowly avoiding her death with the help of a mysterious individual named Edge, Nilin must use her innate skills and memories to get to the bottom of things and find out the truth behind Memorize and the errorists.
The story in Remember Me is one of the strong points of the game, expertly weaving a tale full of high-tech mystery and sabotage. While Nilin starts out the game as a blank slate, she soon develops into an attractive, strong, female character that oozes personality and substance. Other characters in the game are well rounded too, lending a cinematic quality to the title.
The setting in Remember Me is just as important as the large cast of characters. Neo-Paris is a beautiful cyberpunk world teeming with life, both organic and artificial. From the desolate and filthy slums filled with debris, broken steel and mutated humanoids called leapers, to the elaborate architecture of the cities full of servant robots and rich folk, the world presented in the game is full of gorgeous detail and personality. Walking through a futuristic Paris and observing it with an augmented heads-up display that feeds information about your surroundings is also fantastic.
Remember Me is a third-person action adventure game that plays similarly to other titles in the genre. It is composed of sections where Nilin must traverse the environment by jumping and climbing across buildings and streets, while combat takes place in open sections against multiple enemies. Both elements are very similar to games like the Assassin’s Creed franchise and Rocksteady’s Batman series, but while these gameplay features worked flawlessly in those games, in Remember Me they are poorly executed. Climbing and traversing the environment in Remember Me is well-done, but it ends up feeling too linear and forced. Most of the time there’s only one ledge to grab onto, so the path to your next destination is always straightforward. Movement on the ground also feels stiff, causing Nilin to jerk around more often than running smoothly, which is a minor annoyance.
Combat is another place where Remember Me is flawed. Clearly inspired by the Batman series, the game has Nilin leaping from one foe to the next, attempting to maintain a combo while backflipping and cartwheeling away from enemy attacks. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work as well as it should. Inputting commands feels slow and laggy, and leaping away from danger is somewhat difficult, especially if you are getting attacked by enemies that are frequently offscreen. Nilin’s attack options are also limited by the number of Pressens (or attacks) she has, so you’ll have to get used to repeating the same combo strings over and over again just to win long and often dragged-on battles. Later on in the game, Nilin will gain access to new combos, weapon add-ons, and pressens that grant her bonuses, like healing lost health or recharging special abilities known as S-Pressens, but these don’t really help improve the uninspiring combat system.
Thankfully, Remember Me excels in other areas, mainly in the memory stealing and remixing. Using a tool called the hunt glove, Nilin can either extract memories from certain individuals or remix them to transform a target’s memory. The former is fairly straightforward, as it usually involves Nilin closely following a spectral version of the target to make her way across heavily protected locations and learning passwords to unlock paths. The latter however, is where this game really shines.
When remixing a target’s memory, an in-game cutscene plays out showing how a particular event occurred in the targets mind. Once it is completed, players must then rewind the memory and alter the outcome by taking advantage of memory glitches, small errors in the memory that distort and flicker when passed over. By selecting and manipulating these glitches, players can change the outcome in a number of ways, some positive and some negative. The key to success lies in using the correct glitches in sequence, and finding this sequence is a very entertaining experience that will have you raving for days.
Poor combat and platforming aside, Dontnod’s Remember Me is a fine action/adventure experience full of great moments, a complex and rich setting and story, and some truly unique gameplay that’ll make you want to experience it again and again. While it’s not a perfect experience, for first-time developers Dontnod it’s a step in the right direction.