Remember Me is a story-driven third person action game from Capcom, blending a strong sci-fi narrative with a thoughtful combat system, set in a beautiful realisation of a futuristic Paris.
Remember Me revolves around a future where memories have become tradeable objects. Painful memories can be removed, valuable memories can be stolen, and favourable memories can be bought. Our protagonist also has the ability to rewrite memories, changing important details about how a past scene played out. There’s no time travel in this game, it’s all just about the memories. The narrative successfully explores the importance of our recollections and the power they can have over us.
Set in Neo-Paris, a Paris that has been built over but still retains much of its charm. Neo-Paris is beautiful and interesting, from sunsets over rooftops with sleek white skyscrapers contrasting against the dark iron of the Eiffel Tower, and a scrabble through mutant-infested sewers ending with a majestic view of Sacre Coeur. Holographic adverts pop out at you from every angle, but the quaint green Metro signs still remain, classy as ever above flooded tunnels and ruins. This is a Paris that feels real and alive, staying true to today but with an intelligent imaginative look to what’s to come. There aren’t hordes of flying cars or people-tubes, but there are drones and robots carrying out menial work, while memory junkies prop themselves up in alleyways and gutters. It’s a world you’d love to spend time exploring, but sadly you never really allowed.
Remember Me features platforming, exploration and melee combat. The game introduces the mechanic of ‘memory remixing’: entering and rearranging a target’s memories to manipulate them. Players 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 the player. When the player is low on health, the screen will glitch until a sufficient amount of health is regained. In terms of combat, the game allows players to create and customize their own move combos in the Combo Lab, which uses four families of fighting moves called Pressens that players can reorganize by creating chains, earned through gaining PMP (Procedural Mastering Power), with a limit of four combos being active at any one time.
While initial impressions of Remember Me might have suggested some kind of open-world game, it is instead strictly linear, with only minor opportunities to explore. The world feels very real, but every alleyway is blocked off in some way and the player character’s incredible acrobatic abilities are severely limited when it comes to trying to hop over waist-high barriers. It’s like being taken to a cake shop but being told you can’t eat anything, it’s almost cruel and definitely takes you out of the immersion on numerous occasions. That being said, I can understand it from a design point of view. This is a game about a story and the pacing is great.
I personally wasn’t too much of a fan of the combat style, I found the Pressens to be complicated and the camera often changed to an angle to make it hard to see what you were doing. I understand others found the unique combat system to be elegant and easy but I did not, and it frustrated me.
The highlight of the game, and the most original feature, is when you get to rewrite somebody’s memory. This plays out as a short cut scene, that you can then rewind and change certain aspects of and then see what happens, with an overall objective that you’re aiming towards. For example,was one where you need to convince a man he killed his ex-wife, in the original scene he had a gun, but when she walked out he threw a wine glass at her. What if you moved the wine glass and took the safety off the gun, maybe he’d reach for that instead? These moments are brilliant and engrossing, but sadly there was a very limited amount.
The ending is interesting and isn’t what you’d anticipate but still… I think the whole game had so much potential that was just wasted, while playing I just couldn’t help but itch to explore and see more but felt horribly confined to a small space. The story I found fascinating and I really loved Nilin’s character, especially seeing her as a child and the adorable Jax 🙂
For a beautiful environment and world, that I would have loved to explore, and a unique experience. But, to take it for what it is, it’s a pretty good game. And, for someone who personally plays games mainly for their storylines I’d say this one was really fascinating.