Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Review Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: June 4, 2013
The most recent Sci-Fi title that inspired me and filled me with awe was Square Enix’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Its daunting Blade Runner-esque atmosphere and addictive gameplay kept me coming back for more. Remember Me grabbed me by the horns when Capcom showed it off at Gamescom 2012. Sadly, when it comes to being a video game, Remember Me falls short in almost every category possible.
Remember Me takes place in the year 2084 in a futuristic Paris called Neo Paris. The protagonist Nihilin, Neo Paris’ most wanted fugitive, is lifelessly lying in a porcelain white jail cell. Her memories have been stripped from her, and she is mere minutes away from being lobotomized as she uncontrollably walks down a winding path to a machine. When a stranger named Edge saves her, Nihilin decides to become an Errorist Agent, and side herself with Edge in order to take down Memorize: the corporation that put her behind bars and save the people of Neo Paris.
Remember Me’s story has a strong opening; Nihilin comes off as a strong female protagonist, and the plot is jam-packed with mystery and gravitas. Nihilin questions her actions, which makes her come off as a smart character at first. When the game hits the three-hour mark, the story starts falling apart. The plot begins to show its true colors as it begins to revolve around a mother and father’s selfish stupidity, and a child’s lonely upbringing rather than Nihilin’s interesting character development and her epic quest to save Neo Paris.
All of the characters are shallow and none of them are likeable or memorable. Many of the characters come and go in the blink of an eye. The only two characters that have any value are Nihilin and Edge. By the end of the game, those two characters become as useless as the wretched plot.
The saddest part about Remember Me is that Neo Paris acts more as a broken ideal to drive Nihilin’s quest rather than a real, breathing city for the player to experience first hand. The majority of the levels are so empty that the player never gets to experience what it is like to live in the city of Neo Paris. As Nihilin parkours around the city, voices can be heard from inside the buildings, but that is not enough.
Remember Me is a very strange looking title. The game includes gorgeous level designs, which ooze with atmosphere. The color palate is all over the place with snow-white interiors, colorful neon signs and dirty brown streets. The only problem is that the game looks as if it were made to be a downloadable title. My favorite designs were the apartment rooms, which look very similar to the ones in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and the dirty streets of Neo Paris’ slums.
The gameplay falls apart at the same rate as the story. It seems fresh at first, but becomes dull and repetitive a few hours in. For the combat portions of the game, the player is provided with button combinations called pressens. There are four different types of pressens: regen, power, cooldown and chain. The player can mess around and create multiple combinations with the pressens in the combo lab. It sounds like an incredible idea, but is horrible in execution. In the end, the player will end up spamming the same button combinations into a repetitive oblivion in order to gain health or knock cooldown time off his or her previously used S-pressens.
The S-pressens are Nihilin’s super attacks. She has six of them and they must be used in order to defeat certain enemies and bosses. Because the S-pressens can’t be upgraded, they lose their charm after a few uses. In fact, nothing in the game can be upgraded, because there is no upgrade system. The only weapon that Nihilin has, which is the spammer, is naturally upgraded throughout the game due to certain boss battles. Not having upgradable combos or weapons holds Remember Me back from being a fun and replayable title.
There is a ton of enemy variety in the first half of Remember Me. In the first couple levels, different enemy types are thrown at Nihilin. The problem with the enemy A.I. is that no matter the situation, they act the same every time. They utter the same lines and are as brain-dead as the thugs Nihilin took out two minutes before them. In fact, Nihilin does not have one smart adversary throughout the course of the entire game, and that includes the horrid, repetitive bosses. To be honest, blowing the enemy A.I.’s brains out is fun for an hour, but it begins to feel monotonous over time.
The dullest sections in Remember Me happen to be the parkour levels. The linear sections include Nihilin moving from one area to the next without any challenge. All of the jumping spots are pointed out to the player, so he or she will not jump in the wrong direction. The only purpose of the parquor sections is to move the story forward.
Remember Me includes interesting gameplay sections called remixes. In these sections, Nihilin must remix her victim’s memory in order to change its subconscious thought process. The remixing sections have the player taint certain objects within the target’s memory in order to achieve a desired outcome. For example, in one part of the game, Nihilin makes a perfectly sane man commit suicide, by making him accidentally kill his girlfriend in his head. The sections were good, but there weren’t enough of them.
The soundtrack, which was conducted by Oliver Deriviere, is the best part about Remember Me. It has a very futuristic sound, with techno and orchestral music playing simultaneously. It’s so good that it sets the tone for the entire game.
Capcom’s Remember Me is a mess. The game had a lot of potential but was ruined by its useless combat system, tedious gameplay and childish story. Capcom has a lot of work to do if it wants to create one of the greatest sci-fi titles of all time.