Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Reviewed by William Mabin
As concerns mount about what privacy means in a society dominated by social networks that record our every step, Capcom dreams up this fantastic, Sci-Fi, Thriller-Action, 3rd Person video game that comments on our current situation. With an exciting take on throwing down combinations in combat, acrobatic maneuvering and manipulating other people’s memories, Remember Me is surely one for the good (2 goods) books. However, can it give you all of the good memories you’ve dreamed about or will it remix them into a catastrophic nightmare?
You are Nilin, an elite Memory Hunting mercenary who has had her memory erased and must fight her way to recovering the truth about her identity. The setting is Neo-Paris, a dystopian, futuristic version of the French capital that is largely ravaged by poverty, save for a privileged few. The time is the year 2084 and one of any conspiracy theorist’s worst hypotheses have come to pass. Social networks and the internet exist within each individual person. Memories are digitised and can be bought, traded and uploaded into your friends, rendering privacy non-existent. Nilin is the one person who has the power not only to steal memories, but also manipulate them and therefore re-create people’s identities because as the game puts it ‘You are what you remember.’
It is exciting to learn with Nilin who she really is and about the strange world that she exists in, populated with a high rise metropolis and android servants. Remember Me features a unique Capcom feel. Cutscenes and the film paraphernalia are constant rendering a beautiful, if linear narrative. Yet there is something strangely captivating about the futuristic game packaged into an old-school arcade Beat-Em’-Up framework.
The dynamics of the game far exceed the button bashing fodder of the traditional, aforementioned genre. The player earns ‘Pressens’ that are either an X (punch) or Y (kick) move with certain attributes, such as regaining health or charging for more powerful moves. With these Pressens the player can custom create his own combos that complement his style of fighting. Super moves can also be unlocked, that allow Nilin to beat the nefarious Sabre Force into submission.
The highlight of the gameplay, setting it apart from other contenders in the field, is Nilin’s ability to rearrange people’s memories. To do this the player must literally rewind or fast-forward through an enemy’s memory and activate certain glitches in order to get the desired result. There are different variations that make for welcome mistakes.
You will also be able to scale walls in an acrobatic fashion, while avoiding various obstacles. This was probably the only moment that caused me distress. I felt haunted by the recurrence of not quite making that jump, just like in the old days of Capcom side-scrollers. However, overall the acrobatics handled nicely and you get some great views of the city too.
The graphics of Remember Me are impressive right from the start. However, you get the impression that they progressively get better, rather than blow your mind right from the get go. There is some well thought out character design especially in the case of the robots that inhabit its scenes. Sometimes the sets feel like you’re walking the yellow brick road, but this is complemented by the intelligent film-like forging of the overall experience. In general, Neo-Paris looks breathtaking and the games artists have taken a lot of care in weaving together a convincing and interesting vision of the future.
Although none of the voice-actors seem French, the cast does a good job of portraying the various characters that Nilin meets along her journey to overcome artificially induced amnesia. The music tends to be a bit reminiscent of the Star Wars films, while it suddenly jumps into Dub Step mode for battle scenes, which seems a bit confused but manages to evoke the desired effects of curiosity and adrenaline pumping action respectively. There is a contrast somewhere between the serious tone of the story that reminds me of a Phillip K Dick novel and the cheesy nature of some of the bad guys. At the end of the day these characters blend into the world which seems to be constantly transforming.
Remember Me is not an experience that I will forget anytime soon. It brings with it a soothing combination of arcade action and thrilling, contemporary Sci-Fi adventure. It is both intellectually stimulating and fun to beat the garbage out of the baddies. The graphics are attention-grabbing and unlocking the concept work of its artists, shows you how much work went into creating the game’s highly detailed settings, characters and scenarios. It definitely is neither MMO or sandbox and is straight up story driven. The narrative definitely delivers and clever elements like memory editing keep you entertained if fighting mutants and bad cops doesn’t do that already.
Lasting appeal: 8/10
Reviewed on the Xbox 360.