When I first heard about Remember Me, I was intrigued, because it was set in a cyber-punk-esque city and focused on rearranging memories and escaping from an evil corporation that controlled everything–your standard sci-fi fare, but something that’s rarely (if ever really) done in a video game. It should be a fun time, and a memorable experience.
Ironically, everything about Remember Me is as forgettable as can be.
Name: Remember Me
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Platform: PC (reviewed), Xbox 360, PS3
When I first started up Remember Me, I was greeted by an awesome opening cutscene,that advertised a brain implant called the Sensen that allows the population to share their memories or remove unpleasant ones. Awesome, I was ready to rock’n’roll. I was honestly excited to get started. Evil corporation having access to everyone’s memories, I have to stop them by using their memories against them. Suh-weet!
And then the game actually started, and the rest of the story and everything else didn’t live up to the high standards set by the opening cutscene.
The first level of the game was an introduction sequence where I took control of the main character, Nilin (who is a Mary-Sue if I’ve every seen one, down the the exotic highlights in her hair), who had to escape from a prison type place before she had all of her memories wiped for good.
The pacing was supposed to be tense, but it wasn’t, at all. This started what was going to be a ten-hour slog through a game that did everything competently, but that was all.
There really isn’t too much to say about the game, to be honest, because it was all so run of the mill. The combat was very similar to the Arkham series, but it lacked the tightness and flow, and it was unique enough to stand alone (like Sleeping Dogs’ combat system, which had environmental influences and a brutality that hasn’t been matched in any recent games). You did get to customize your combos using fighting moves called Pressens, which was an interesting idea, but I found myself not caring, at all. Every time enemies popped up I groaned and button mashed the X and Y buttons, occasionally pressing the A button to dodge (I was using an Xbox 360 controller on the PC). Now don’t get me wrong, the combat didn’t suck, but it was so generic that it was actually worse than bad, because at least when something is so atrocious it can be humorous.
So yeah, the combat is pretty meh, but there’s platforming as well! And the platforming is very meh as well. While Neo-Paris looks cool, it’s only cool to look at, not to explore. There’s no real direction in Neo-Paris as to where you’re supposed to go, but luckily there’s always a little navigation pointer telling you where to climb (it’s built into the Sensen), because otherwise I would have no clue where to go, ever. That’s a bad thing, though, because in most platformers I like figuring out where to go based on the environment rather than the game telling me where to go. Other than that, the platforming itself is serviceable, though it lacks the responsiveness of other platformers such as the new Tomb Raider and Uncharted, and although it tries to have the environment add to the platforming by having things get destroyed and the slums crumbling beneath you, it lacks urgency much like the first level did.
One cool thing though was the rearranging of memories. While the mechanics of it are kind of wonky, it is awesome messing with the different choices until you figure out which one works. While you could resort to guess and check if you wanted to, it adds a puzzle-like element to the game that works surprisingly well. It’s the one thing that makes Remember Me unique, and luckily it does so fairly well.
Lastly, I’ll touch on the story. It’s not awful, but the twists in the game are never that important (except for one)–at the very least none of them are groundbreaking or new, and the storyline itself is fairly predictable. The characters aren’t awful (I found myself liking Bad Request)–though like I said, Nilin is a Mary-Sue and I hated that, and the game does actually conclude with a satisfactory resolution.
Everything about Remember Me is serviceable, which is the worst thing about it. The game isn’t awful, but it definitely isn’t good either. It’s a game that I played, though it was decent, and a month from now, will never remember. It’s good for a play-through once it goes down in price, because parts of the game are quite cool, but in this day and age, when you spend $59.99 on a game, you want it to be something lasting and memorable, and Remember Me definitely isn’t.