Remember Me review
Memories define who we are, and we are used they are something that we can keep for ourselves, impossible to be stolen with todays technology. In 2084 it will be different, according to Dontnod and their ideas behind Remember Me set in Neo-Paris. Memories is being used as bargain, currency, and also safety measure to keep inmates weak.
Is women better in games than men? From a quick look: Faith in Mirror’s Edge, Bayonetta in the game going by the same name, Jill from Resident Evil, Lara Croft and also sergeant Calhoun from Wreck-it-Ralph albeit it’s a little bit of reaching out as this is a movie, not a game. Many of these characters have more depth than their male counterparts, and I also have the impression that there’s more variation between the characters – take the hard-ass Calhoun who is hardened because she lost the love of her life, to Jill from Resident Evil, hardened by a job on the edge and a world to save, and then we have Lara Croft which we learned a lot more about with the latest game. She’s hardened by sheer survival, a lot of killed friends, and an unquenchable thirst for digging into the darkness of the past, spiked by her fathers interest in history. Now, we meet Nilin, a memory hunter from the future Paris.
So where and when are we again?
The year is 2084. As Nilin you wake up in a white room with a voice in your head and no recollection of where you are or how you got there, and barely who you are. A voice blares over the intercom, demanding you to follow the orange strip on the floor, and a door opens. After a moment, you are waiting in line, and you see a person screaming in agony in a chair, and the next person in line is sitting down in the chair. As he screams, the voice in your head tells you that you need to get out and that he will make a diversion.
Suddenly the power goes out, guards are yelling and the drones leaves their working spots – it’s your chance to get away and keep yourself alive. You run. On your way out, you meet a rather big robot who don’t hesitate to take up the chase. You keep running, and just as you reach a dead end, the voice in your head tells you to lay down in the plastic casket. After being briefed on what’s going on, and getting a little claustrophobic, Nilin feels that she’s no longer on open water. After a while, someone outside opens the casket, and you see the horrific truth. You meet leapers.
The voice has now told Nilin that his name is Edge, and who Nilin is: a former Memory Hunter working for the a rebel group going by the name the Errorists, and she was saved from La Bastille in order to get back into her job and save the world. Edge tells Nilin that she has to head for The Leaking Brain, a bar whose bartender is also a part of The Errorists Group. The friendly bartender has your outfit, as Nilin by luck was not working the day she was caught by the S.A.B.R.E. force. Now go save the world!
I forgot how to play!
Fighting and Pressens: The fights is quite obvious in the beat’em’up genre, and the combo system is quite simple. Until you are swirled into the Combo Lab by the tutorial that is, then it gets quite confusing – at least it was for me. It didn’t really tell me what these combos was all about – could I use all four buttons, make my own combos? No. But I could add specific addons for a button pressing in the combo line. I was more than halfway through the game, and had been into the Combo Lab numerous times before I really catched the idea behind. While fighting without S-pressens is repetitive, annoying and just time consuming, when getting the S-pressens and really take advantage of the normal pressens to activate the S-pressens quickly, the fights get a little more fun.
Fury will make you feel like being back into Rocksteadys Batman games, jumping from one enemy to another in a fast pace with a good flow. Next time, Dontnod, if you’re making a sequel, make this be standard and give me more enemies for more challenge. Fury is fun.
Other S-pressens can make you invisible, show invisible enemies, and even place a bomb on an enemy or make a machine attack their allies followed by a self-destroying sequence.
Climbing: Taking in the popular puzzle climbing from Uncharted, Tomb Raider and Assassins Creed games, this game does nothing different. While it is interesting to climb about, you don’t have to find the way yourself – your Sensen technology (basically AR technology who shows you information on your surroundings) will show which way to go. This makes the climbing sequences a little too easy, but I guess Dontnod focused on the fights rather than climbing.
Memory Mixing: A few times you’ll encounter memory mixing sequences, which are truly unique to this game. You watch a cutscene, then you are told you have to fiddle with the scene, pushing buttons, make bottles fall of the table, move objects, in order change the outcome. While these scenes might be a little frustrating to figure out as you go by trial and error, more of them would have been nice. A couple times you are stealing memories from someone, and minigames to do this would have been welcoming as well, but it just triggers a cutscene.
Details and disgruntlement spiced with afterthoughts
I met a few details I could have been without. For example in the middle of a fight it looked like I could run behind some knee-high boxes in order to get away from some S.A.B.R.E. soldiers – but I couldn’t even get close, as about 30 centimeters out, ingame measurement, was an invisible wall. Disgruntled I had to run through my enemies to take them from another angle. In general, the graphics and idea of the environment is perfectly well executed but there are details that make you think of the early X360 games. I love how the ingame AR works with signs, warnings and help to avoid possible health decreases – and a few fun lines on signs is worth picking up on to grant a smile.
While the Sensen technology is a far fetched idea, we do know more about the human brain every day. This game shows us the worst case scenario (one company with a lot of power, monopoly and whatnot), I like the thought of being able to share memories with whom I chose, it’s a neat idea. Nilin is worth to remember, I like her personality and the story we are being told about her, from her early childhood to a young woman on a quest to save the world from forgetting itself.
The story really got to me. Some of the details and facts was quite obvious even before Nilin or Edge told the player directly what was going on, there were a few surprises along the way which you really can not expect coming. The backstory of the leapers for instance, is something I was aware of from the very start of the game. The camera handling was the most annoying thing about an otherwise great game where I had a lot of fun – not to mention a story that I really wanted to know the outcome of, so I had a hard time stop playing in order to catch up on my sleep. If you want a good story in a not so far future, with a cool premise, a strong female lead, fun fist fights and some new puzzle elements, you’re really in for a treat with this game.
Miss; The camera is horrendous at times and fights takes too long to get through – slapping the same enemy 10+ times does not make for a good fight, only extension of the game, and not the good kind.
Need; More memory mixing sequences as this was the real unique take in this game – the rest is great, but have been shown in other popular games.