Remember Me Game Review
Remember Me is a game that flew in under the radar earlier this month. I only knew of it from ads on Facebook via friends over the past few months. It looked interesting with a futuristic setting and a kickass female lead character.
It was developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Capcom as a sci-fi beat’em up, platformer. Sadly, this game was berated by critics on upon its release saying that while it is a very pretty game, its combat system is it’s down fall. As usual, I wanted to have my own experience with it in hoping that I could disprove its critics and find that the short comings critics hammered on could be looked over by gamers. Sadly, this is not the case. Let’s take a closer to see if Remember Me is worth remembering.
Set in 2084 in Neo-Paris, the world is a very different place. An invention by the Memorize Corporation has swept through the world. The Sensation Engine or Sensen lets 99% of the population upload shared memories to a massive virtual space and remove bad memories. The world has become addicted to this amazing invention but has become a controlled one that is always being watched by Memorize. A rebellion has formed known as ‘Erroists’ who are looking to end the control of Memorize and the world’s dependence on Sensen.
You play as Nilian, a woman who was imprisoned in Neo-Paris’s feared Bastille prison. She has had most of her memory erased and his about to be executed when a mysterious man named ‘Edge’ contacts her and helps her escape the prison. She learns that she used to be a memory hunter and was the best at it. Edge reunites her with friends she has forgotten about and explains to her the importance of her role in taking down Memorize. However, as she heads out on this quest, she learns many things are not as they seem, the ugly truth behind Sensen, and she herself still can’t remember everything about her past.
Right off the bat, this game reminds me a lot of Ghost in the Shell, Total Recall, and a little bit of Mirror’s Edge. The story is one of the game’s strong points.
From a philosophical standpoint, it does have a deep story that asks questions such as if a society can’t remember the bad things from its past, can it ever truly progress as a society. And what memories truly define you?
It’s all there but this is where I feel Remember Me might have actually worked better as a movie rather than a video game. If you’re only interested in the story, you’re probably going to find that the gameplay gets in the way and that is not the mark of a good game. The game does have some very good plot twists. It’s not the twists themselves that are all that shocking but the way they are presented and followed through with that makes them really work. I also like that Nilian questions the things she’s done in the past, yet can’t remember, and why she follows Edge.
Nilian makes for a great character and a strong female character that need to be seen more in video games. I also like that she is not over sexualized like many female game characters often become.
The ending is pretty good and could lead to a sequel but is by no means sequel bait like many game endings are these days. The game is fairly average in length at a little over 8 hours with 8 episodes that last a little over an hour each. There is some replay value as there are things to collect in game but I honestly could care that much about them. The gameplay is where things go downhill.
First let’s start with the good. Platforming is something that was complained about a lot with this game. I won’t lie, there were a couple spots where I fell to my death and it felt unjustified but other times I could tell it was my fault. Only one part of the game presented me consistent trouble with the platforms and that was in the flooded upper class area of Paris which was a challenging place. The platforming itself was very similar to the newest Tomb Raider. There is a lot of climbing up sides of buildings and there are some creative puzzles in how to traverse obstacles thrown in there as well. Bottom line, I didn’t think the platforming was as bad as the critics made it out to be.
The levels don’t have much to explore and are pretty linier even though there are items to collect. In every level there are screens that appear that show the location of a health upgrade or a power gauge upgrade. You must remember the location in the picture and try and locate the item based on memory. I guess that works with the memory theme of this game. But most of the time I couldn’t really be bothered to find these upgrades. However, I did get better at it by the end of the game but by them I managed to only get one new chunk of health and power.
Nilian gets new equipment upgrades as the game progresses such as a cybernetic arm cannon type thing and a digital lock pick. While the cannon is self explanatory, I wish the lock pick was explained better as it took me about 10 minutes of being stuck before realizing just how it worked. The arm cannon is not as responsive as I’d like it to be, especially in combat where locking on to the target you want can be jerky if there is more than one enemy. The Memory Remix segments are some of the coolest parts of this game once you get the hang of them. When this happens you are trying to alter someone’s memory to remember something else in hopes of changing their mind about something. You watch the memory of someone and after viewing it, you rewind, fast forward, and pause looking for glitches in the memory to alter the memory. It’s a puzzle to figure out the right combination of glitches to get the memory to properly alter and complete the memory remix. It’s also fun to make different but incorrect out comes occur which you should try out anyway if you like unlocking achievements.
Now to the combat… This is where I suspect many controllers will be thrown in anger and frustration. The combat uses the Pressen system where you unlock and program button combinations for combos similar to fighting games.
Some of the combos grant you health, cool down time, and heavier damage if you perform them right. But pulling off these combos became the biggest challenge if you’re up against many enemies and especially late in the game when you’ll find that some enemies can only be taken down in certain ways. This might just be me, but part of my problem was that this combat is TOO similar to the fighting system in the Batman Arkham games but in Batman it is much easier to master and much less restricted. I’ve played Arkham City so many damn times my brain just keeps thinking that is how to fight in this game but free flow combat doesn’t work in Remember Me. A huge problem is that fights feel like that last way too long despite how bad you are beating up the enemies. If you’re not able to pull off full combos, you’re doing hardly any damage and it makes you feel weak.
You do have some ultimate moves that you can use and the game expects you to use them often but there is the penalty of a cool down time. This can last from 40 seconds to 190 seconds before you can use the move again. There are some enemies that can only be defeated with these moves and require you to use that move more than once leaving you mostly defenseless during the cool down time. There were quite a few times I had to just run around avoiding attacks while waiting for the clock to run down. Also certain super moves only work against certain enemies so in some fights and it’s a complete waste to try and use other moves against them. These super moves are also limited by a gauge so you have to make sure it is filled before using. Another problem is that the combat system lacks a counter or block move.The only thing you can do when you’re about to get hit is dodge out of the way. While it’s usually effective, it can disrupt the combo you had going and might not protect you if there was another enemy trying to hit you at the same time. This all leads to some extremely frustrating and long fights later on in the game.
I did not enjoy many of the fights I encountered and did not look forward to having to using this combat system but maybe you can get a better grasp of the combat system than I did and enjoy it more. But for me, the combat system gives Remember Me a big black eye.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND:
This is what I feel attracted most people to this game in the first place. The scenery and visuals in the game are just flat out beautiful. You can tell a lot of work went into the artwork and setting of this game. The futuristic Paris has so much to look at that it’s a shame this game isn’t open world. I really like the digital text that appears around businesses or working drones that also acts as the game’s interphase system. You know how you’re playing a game and you come up to a door and the button you need to push appears but it feels out of place being appearing there? Remember Me does a great job of making that typical convention of gaming blend in perfectly to the world this game takes place in. Nilian looks awesome in her character design and the same with many other characters found in this game.
Right from the title screen, you can tell this game is going to have an amazing soundtrack.
Beautifully orchestral music mixed with electronic music makes for the perfect tone for this futuristic world. The voice acting is generally well done though Kezia Burrows (the voice of Nilian) definitely stands over all the others in this game for her performance. One thing that bugged me was the lip sync. In game, it’s really off with most characters and even a little off in the cut scenes. Also why is almost everyone speaking English with American accents in Paris? Nilian is the only character who sounds remotely French. Speaking of which, there is no French to be seen in Neo-Paris either. Did the United States invade France at some point before this? It is implied that there was third world war. Maybe that’s why…
Overall, Remember Me is a game filled with interesting ideas, beautiful scenery, and a great female lead that sadly is nearly ruined by a frustrating and unforgiving combat system. Some might be able to get the hang of the fighting beter than others but I’m going to have to go with the critics on this one. When it came to the fighting, I was just not having fun. I got this game full price online and I’m rather regretting that now. If you see it at a much lower price, it’s worth checking out. If you’re only interested in the story and do not want to mess with the gameplay, then I would suggest watching a let’s play on youtube or something as the combat will only dampen your spirits for this game’s story. Thank you for reading and look out for my new game review of the highly acclaimed The Last of Us coming soon.
- Beautiful graphics and scenery
- Interesting story and ideas
- Excellent soundtrack
- Frustrating combat system
- Linear levels
- Some game mechanics could be explained better