Capcom’s brand new third-person single-player cyberpunk adventure “Remember Me” as developed by DONTNOD Entertainment, values memory as something more than just user-based mind reminiscence, it is a valuable tangible asset with one organisation by the name of Memorize who enforces control over almost all of the world’s memory data. Memories can be digitalised, traded and even bought at futuristic memory bank ATM machines on the roadside, but with such a great deal of control – Memorize is able to establish a surveillance operation by monitoring these memories and completely taking privacy out of society in exchange for smart Sensen technology. There are no such things as secrets anymore in the year 2084!
Within Remember Me, you take on the role of the main protagonist Nilin, an elite Memory Hunter who has a rare ability to steal and alter the memories of others. Your sole journey is based on trying to recover your own memories after having your mind wiped by Memorize and sent to the scrap heap for being feared by your own employer. Having been rescued by the Errorists (no I didn’t forget the T) from imprisonment – this small activist group is intent on bringing the Memorize organisation down and you join forces with them to not only find yourself and discover who you really are, but to rid Memorize of their control operations in the effort to hand power back to society. Starting the game with an induced memory loss opens up the questioning as to who you really are, why are you doing what you’re doing, and how can you move forward within the story. DONTNOD has for the advantage in making a great adventure kicked the player immediately into a world of intrigue and danger as soon after the opening chapter, Nilin becomes the most wanted Memory Hunter in the futuristic city of Neo Paris. With continued guidance from the Errorists, life for Nilin is about to dramatically change as she recollects her memories on a trail around Neo Paris.
The story is an unforgettable quest that has you on a mission to recover your life back and regain your own control of your own memories. Nilin on her journey of discovery will slowly start to re-learn all her combat moves that made her one of the world’s leading Memory Hunters in the first place. By learning the art of martial art combo attacks, a few wise words of remembrance and inspiration from your in-ear Errorist partner Edge, you can take out the many enemies and Boss forms you encounter through each of the games episodes. However, if you’re the type of gamer who encounters an enemy and tries to button-mash it to death then unfortunately you’re screwed in Remember Me, as your combat moves are dependent upon combo’s and their perfect timing sequences. I’m not talking about following on-screen prompts during slow-mo action shots (these do appear occasionally), but you will need to master the in-game Combo Lab to be able to fight your way through the action events for your survival techniques coupled with learning how to use your Spammer tool. Early on in the game, your Spammer is equipped to your hand and its technology can aid survival techniques by firing an electrical field to manipulate objects, fight mechanical robot enemies and with some upgrades take out some larger environmental walls or equipment for a faster means of escape in some tricky enemy riddled areas.
The Comb Lab is the core heart of the games fighting mechanics where you can assign powers known as Pressen’s to combo button presses, and as a combination they can have deadly results. Pressen’s consist of Power, Regen, Cooldown and Chain abilities which is a form of attack and defence powers that deal in both damage and regeneration to aid your survival in close combat situations. You unlock X and Y customisable combo’s through progression and assign your unlocked Pressen’s to give you a cocktail of fighting powers with Nilins arms and legs. The Pressen’s strength is determined by how far down the combo chain it is placed, although it’s not as complicated to master as it sounds because the game slowly builds you into the process of familiarity on how to use your combo’s wisely before letting you loose on your own comb creations. There are also highly powerful S-Pressen’s (I like to think of as Super Pressen’s) which are additional special moves with limited time that allows you to stun groups of enemies, identify hidden enemies and perform extra powerful manoeuvres in combat alongside regular Pressen’s. There are no guns to be had, no futuristic weaponry or deadly gizmos to kill your foes with – just powerful martial arts attack and defence moves that become more powerful, the more button presses are required in a combo attack.
Although Remember Me is a balanced game of both combat and exploration, it is very linear with strong comparison’s to Bethesda’s third-person action title “WET” from 2009 and some of the older “Tomb Raider” games prior to its epic reboot this year. This is mainly because the linear path consists of following a set route that involves swinging off ledges, climbing up pipes, interaction with environmental objects, jumping from edge to edge with cut-scene after cut-scene intertwined to lead you into the next part of the episode and make the story play more as a cinematic tale where you mostly take control of the combat scenes. Not to mention that you play as a slim female with figure hugging outfits, but your first impression would be that it’s more of a sci-fi Tomb Raider. There is not much scope for exploration even though there is collectibles hidden through-out which can improve your health and enhance your memories, but the new gameplay mechanic where you can remix and alter memories of others is mind blowing. The Memory Remix system in place at intervals will see you view the memories of others and using a fast forward and rewind system like a movie player you can try to find glitches. Glitches in memories will allow you to alter a characters perspective on events and other people in the game, by changing one or more glitches you completely rewrite that persons history which alters the consequences in your favour should you choose and the whole memory is replayed with different outcomes. There are also other parts in-game called Remembranes where you can take a characters memory and re-enact it to find clues and complete other mission parts following the same routes and steps as per that characters memory with both stealth and action sequences to complete.
Graphically Remember Me has all the visual elements of a AAA title with a stunning new world set in a breath-taking vision of Paris in the year 2084. The whole world is glorious and vibrantly detailed complete with its own red-light districts, slums, metro station, envisioned cityscapes and embedded technology culture. The moment your character steps outside into the external environments you can’t help but feel your eyes wonder everywhere as the game draws you into its eye-catching surroundings. There was just a wish that I could explore more of it rather than see everything from the distance. If the same world was used as an RPG instead of a third-person action/adventure title I am positive that too would be remarkable! It is artistically a grand design and there are not enough words to say how much I liked what I could see; to clarify I just wished the game was less linear so I could enjoy more exploration in its architectural wonderland that could easily rival Bioshock Infinite. My only minor disappointment was on the camera angles and how during some combat situations its view of the action was shaky or too up-close at times. Additionally on the subject of annoyances, despite installing the game to HDD its loading times after a death took quite a long time to place you back into action. Only small annoyances, but enough to make to me ‘think’ about them rather than dismiss it.
Remember Me, is overall a fantastic game featuring Nilin who is a strong female protagonist that hopefully has a bright future ahead with a full next-gen sequel. As a new IP released in the same year as next-generation consoles on current-gen doesn’t make sense when this could have been an Xbox One launch success for Capcom, but despite a few minor flaws here and there and linear paths it’s a worthwhile purchase that does not really disappoint. Presented as a title that thinks-outside-the-box, it’s eccentric, dramatic, enjoyable and story driven. The combo lab combat system is easy to manage and mixes the gameplay to fight with your own preferred strengths and weaknesses, it’s a great start to a new IP and my mind is already wondering how a sequel could be improved with better character interaction, more exploration with side quests, and possibly even add some weapons! Remember Me deserves success, although it is not by any means perfect – but it’s action packed lengthy campaign is an entertaining journey where remixing memories can change the world. As a brand new IP it may have a familiarity to its gameplay as per some other titles on the market, but its futuristic cyberpunk settings and stunning vision of 2084 allows the game to be something original in its own right complimented by its unique take on memory control, theft and combo combat action.
Definitely one to own!