Remember Me, will it be remembered?
Neo Paris, 2084, badass female main character, mess with the memories, cool combat mechanic...what could go wrong, right? Everything looks perfect, but will it be remembered? Well if I take in consideration the answer according to the vast majority of video gamers that I’ve spoken to about this game then the answer is a resounding no. However the reason for this isn’t that the game is bad or anything, but because they have not played it... In fact some of them have never even heard of it! And this is not a surprise cause this game released a week before the modern day classic The Last of Us (review here!) and somehow the hype for TLoU eclipsed the interest for Remember Me.
From the players that had played the game, I got very mixed opinions and came to the conclusion that this is essentially a marmite game (to use an analogy) in the sense that you either love it or hate it! So I decided to take a crack at it and throw my personal opinion into the boiling pot as it were!
In the game you play as Nilin, an elite memory hunter with the ability to access and alter people’s memories to her will. At the start of the game you have your memory almost completely wiped (no spoilers!). But somehow you are able to escape the compound with the help of an anonymous man who later turns out to be Edge, the leader of the movement to take down Sensen (that’s as far as I will go to avoid spoilers!). The setting Neo Paris 2084, a vibrant and alive world that can stand toe to toe with almost any video game universe there is and ever has been. The goal for Nilin is to get her memory back at any means necessary, take down the corporation that wiped her memory clean therefore rescuing the under privileged citizens of Neo Paris and unraveling this conspiracy that was running in the background of all. The storyline is very interesting and has some meat to bite on it and a few twists and turns along the way keep things fresh and interesting.
The second point I should make about the game is the presentation. The visuals are amazing and the game world that the developers have created sucks you in like a strong gravitational force, making you care not only for Nilin, but also for the inhabitants of Neo Paris. Only great character design and a well-crafted and believable storyline could do this. Neo Paris looks fantastic and it's full of small details that truly bring it to life. Lighting and weather effects only increase its beauty and you can easily understand that the devs really took their time to craft this universe. Many people or other reviewers have said that the game should have been an open world one, but I think it worked better this way.
Now about the gameplay, the game combines platforming and beat em up genres very nicely. The combat or the fighting style in Remember Me is, how to put it, seen and experienced before but also new and fresh. So think the fighting style from games like Batman Arkham City and Sleeping Dogs, but where you can make your own combos. As you progress through the game, you unlock Pressens that you can reorganize by creating chains, earned through gaining PMP (Procedural Mastering Power), with a limit of four combos being active at any one time. The four Pressen families are "Regen" (healing), "Power" (damage), "Chain" (duplication and doubling of previous moves) and "Cooldown" (regeneration of S-Pressen energy). Nilin also gets special powers, like finishers, that have different effects and when used in a clever way have devastating effects. I personally think that this system or mechanic is like nothing I have played before as it requires not only button mashing, but also tactics to succeed in the game.
Platforming around Neo Paris is a blast! And I already explained the fighting style of the game, and although that sets a new precedence, the platforming does not. If you play the game you (as I did) will have a niggling feeling that you have played something like this before I think the best way I can describe it is a combination of Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands and some Enslaved thrown in there. So the platforming sequences are cool, but the game holds your hand tight and like Enslaved it shows what you can climb and what you cannot. It's not left to the imagination or to the trial an error and it feels very scripted. However this doesn't mean that it's very bad or anything cause the major selling point of Remember Me are its story, setting and the mechanic of 'memory remixing', then come the near perfect marriage of combat and platforming.
Remember Me also has boss battles and I have mixed opinions about them. There are 8 in total, one at the end of every memory block. Now some are well done and fun to play, some other like the Madam boss battle are just annoying and lack any creativity. Don’t get me wrong, the game sets a new precedence for many things and doesn’t have to be revolutionary on everything, but those boss battles could have been way better.
Now another aspect of the game that I think was clearly the best part of the game is the mechanic of, how the devs like to call it, "memory remixing". Nilin using her abilities as a memory hunter can enter and rearrange a target's memories to manipulate them. You accomplish this by replaying a memory and modifying details to change the target's recollection of the outcome. Another key mechanic of gameplay is stealing memories from certain targets and using points called Remembranes to replay the memory in real-time: this is often needed to proceed through the game or avoid hazards otherwise hidden from you. But you use these mechanics only a few times during the game and I have only on thing to say to the devs, "Why the f*ck didn't you make more amazing sequences like these?!". As I said, it is very cool to move things around in a memory and watch it play differently each time.
Now about the lasting appeal, it is super short. I didn't bought the game, I rented it and finished it in 6 hours. Are you kidding me? 60$ for a game that is only 6 hours long and doesn't offer any replay value whatsoever, what were they thinking? There is no point in replaying the game since there is nothing to explore or there is no challenge in playing the game in higher difficulty settings since it's not that difficult to beat the game even at this supposedly high difficulty.
Also since there isn't any thing that resembles a multiplayer or co-op thing, Remember Me is not worth to pay full retail price. Maybe when it's on sale for like 10$ or 15$ then it might be acceptable, but no way for full price. Or you can go and rent it just like I did.
Bottom line: To conclude I believe that the game had so much potential to be one of the greatest game ever that the devs somehow didn't even realized. The premise and the setting of the game are very interesting, but in the end I wish there was more. The combat and platforming are fun and well executed, the same for the remixing memory mechanic, but again I wish there was more. So, I have to say that at its core Remember Me is a entertaining game and offer things like nothing you’ve played before, but I wish there was more to it. And to answer the question at the start, yes Remember Me will be remembered!
Remember Me was reviewed on a Xbox 360 using a rented copy of the game. Remember Me is now available for PS3, Xbox 360 and on Steam.