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Remember Me Review


The amnesiac plot device has been done to death in computer games; it is a tried and tested and easy way to put the player in the protagonists boots, viewing the word through their eyes for the first time, plus it gives you the chance to slowly build your powers as you "remember" what happened prior, usually after a boss fight. Remember Me is no different, but from this overused tale you quickly realise that you are indeed playing something quite special.

For starters, the realisation of this futuristic world is one of the best I have seen in a long time, feeling like the premise of a Charlie Brooker Black Mirror episode, showing that even with superior technology humanity still will have its many faults, this time being the over addictive nature of Sensen, a memory sharing device. Set in Neo-Paris 2084, the population of the city is hooked, a city built from the ravages of the European Civil War, from the lowly slums of the underworld to the upper echelons of society, Sensen is in everyday use, augmenting reality with heads up displays and also granting the users the ability to share and trade in memories. Whilst the rich use it for mundane tasks like shopping the lower class slowly lose their humanity, sharing far too many memories, fragmenting their minds and turning into Leapers.

Though the advertisements at the start show Memorize to be a wholesome and wonderful company, something is not quite right behind the scenes, with the fantastically laid out intro really putting you in Nilin's shoes, having no idea what occurred before other than her name; the whole world seeming alien, every person walking around with these strange "holographic"devices at the base of their neck, some looking more healthy than others. Lead by guards to have her final memories wiped by one of the doctors, an unknown saviour, Edge assists with her escape, with a promise of rebuilding her fractured memories, though as it turns out, some memories are best left forgotten.

This extremely exciting story is backed up by some fantastic visuals, offering oppressive and shadowy lighting effects during the scarier Leaper inhabited areas, water effects in the recently flooded Parisian streets, an industrial feel to the automated offices and corridors and crisp whites that burn though the screen when in a more clinical, digital world. The blend of real and digital runs throughout the whole game, with it feeling like you are viewing Nilin’s actions like another memory, when close to death the screen will start to have glitches, bits of code missing, clearing up when you regain health and the same goes for the music, a superb electronic and classical mash-up, skipping, glitching and racing along at all the right moments, giving the game a real heartbeat.



It soon becomes very clear that Nilin is in fact quite unique, whilst the harvesting and joining of memories is nothing special with the Sensen, with every user able to revisit and share their memories, be they happy or sad; Nilin can also can manipulate and steal memories, a trait that appears to have gotten her in trouble in the past, if only she can remember what happened. The Memory Remix trick appears at set points of the game, with Nilin using her powers to sift through memories of her target and then alter them, thus in the real world altering their perception and getting them to work for her rather than against. Presented in the way of an interactive cut scene, you first view events that originally occurred, then, by way of manipulation you are able to rewind the scene frame by frame, looking for glitches on the memory and with these then alter the events in the person’s memory. The first instance is probably the best example, with a bounty hunter searching for Nilin, using the cash to pay for her partner’s treatment. Within the memory, surgeons are trying to save him from reverting to a Leaper, but are charging ridiculous costs, leaving the bounty hunter with no choice but to use her skills and hunt Nilin. With the Memory Remix left alone nothing will change, but by altering the memory, be they turning off heart monitors or loosening wrist bindings, each will have their own repercussions, some alter the memory only slightly, others will grant you what is required whilst others may actually feedback and kill your target, requiring more lateral thinking to get the desired result. 

Along with manipulation Nilin is also able to steal memories, allowing her to use certain parts of the mind as markers, or Remembranes. These will appear on the floor and once activated will relive parts of that stolen memory, handy for negotiating mine fields or searching or hidden doorways.

Though the Sensen aspect is spread through the game, the majority of the game's action is a blend of platforming and fighting, with the platform action being very similar to titles like Tomb Raider and Uncharted, jumping gaps, shimmying across ledges and climbing pipes, trying to get to the next checkpoint. The fighting is more akin to the Batman Arkham games (though not as fluid), allowing you to string together blows over a succession of enemies whilst dodging attacks by jumping or rolling when a red exclamation appears over an enemy. Though initially a little light on offensive moves, as you progress Nilin will earn plenty of new combos and even special powers called S.Pressens that act like bombs or stun attacks. To add a little variety to the action there are also a few puzzle elements, solved by using Nilin’s Spammer, a glove that can shoot specific enemies and also control locks and moveable objects.

The combo element to the fighting is totally customizable, starting with Nilin able to create combo moves via the Combo Lab. This is an easy to follow tool that grants the ability to string together a series of Pressens (face buttons) and create a flow that you are comfortable with. With each defeated baddie, Nilin will earn PMP (Procedural Mastering Points) that gradually unlock more Pressens, which in turn allows even more moves to be included in the combos. The clever thing about these combos is that it is not just about dishing out the damage but also keeping Nilin topped up with health regeneration and also reducing the cooldown time of the S.Pressen powers, so if you are in the middle of a boss fight that requires a lot of Focus, you can add more cooldown moves to a combo or if you are struggling against too many enemies, use Regen Pressens to keep your health topped up; it is a great system that is very satisfying to customise to your own uses.

On the field the combos are quite easy to use, with the face button pushes logging on the bottom of the screen, indicating what benefits you are using. You can also mix these attacks with S.Pressens and Spammer attacks depending on the type of enemy you come across. Most of the time you get a good feeling of the fight, the screen shaking and baddies reacting to the flurry of punches and kicks but there are a few times when it feels like you are just punching air, making it difficult to keep a solid run of combos going, made harder by the fact you cannot mix the combos around a group of enemies, often resorting to the more basic efforts just to get by. This leads to the only other real issue with the game, the camera. With no character lock other than when using the Spammer, the camera can become a real challenge to control at the same time as hitting those combos, it’s not a massive issue but it occurred enough times to be worthy of a mention.

A few extremely minor niggles aside, Remember Me is a refreshing and complete game that continues to impress with every episode; the approach of not using each gimmick (Memory Remix, Spammer puzzles, Remembranes etc) all of the time is quite nice, making those moments ever the more exciting when they turn up and even with a story constantly pushing you forward there are a plenty of reasons to slow down and search your surroundings, collecting Mnesist Memories to fill in the gaps of Neo-Paris past, SAT Patches to increase health, Focus Boosts that add more Focus segments and Scaramechs, insect-like glitches that when destroyed will award bonus PMP. Gamers often shout for fresh ideas and DONTNOD Entertainment and Capcom offer it here in bundles, with an interesting blend of action and adventure within a thrilling story.

Words by Ash Buchanan.
(Version Tested: PS3)

Pros

+ Interesting blend of action/adventure and puzzle solving.
+ A perfectly realised future.
+ The production on sound and visuals are to a very high standard.
+ Original gameplay ideas.

Cons

+ Sadly no RPatz

Edited On 03 Jun, 2013

Comments
( 19 )
troublemaker's avatar
troublemaker 4 years ago
Cheers for the review Ash. Thinking this is a rental for me. Reviews seem to be all over the place. Not sure that I can spend money on it, especially with TLOU next week. How long did it take to get through it?
0000000000's avatar
0000000000 4 years ago
l have been completely put off this after the reviews ive read! So ill rent it but im now in no rush for it!
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 4 years ago
After adding this to the reviews i have seen/read, i'm interested in this now. Seems like a game along the lines of Alpha Protocol (Enjoyable game with problems) How long was it?
DynamiteWhyte's avatar
DynamiteWhyte 4 years ago
I think I may get it when it's cheap. It does look like an interesting premise overall. But from watching the video reviews, it looks like you just press x/square/x/square/x to fight really, everyfight without much of a challenge.
Bindiana's avatar
Bindiana 4 years ago
Interesting read a lot more positive then I have read and heard elsewhere. But think this will be £20 in a month or so.
 TruDarkAssassin's avatar
TruDarkAssassin 4 years ago
already ordered friday been watching this a while like the ideas and it will tide me over till last of us is out
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 4 years ago
Dragon's Dogma would tide you over as well
yoda soldier's avatar
yoda soldier 4 years ago
Review makes it sound good but all the videos i have have not interested me, but i will more than likely pick it up when it is cheaper.
Dead's avatar
Dead 4 years ago
Just a rental for me too, doesn't really look to be anything special, and as TM has said the reviews have been very mixed.
 TruDarkAssassin's avatar
TruDarkAssassin 4 years ago
think i will save D Dogma Nox until the summer when i can give it my full time instead of bits of it
Ash Buchanan's avatar
Ash Buchanan 4 years ago
suprised at the wide range of scores this is getting, I loved it. Took around 8-10 hours in total to play through and find most of the hidden bits.
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 4 years ago
£20 range for me then
troublemaker's avatar
troublemaker 4 years ago
Cool. Cheers Ash. Might aim for the platinum while I'm off next week then.
Joe2120's avatar
Joe2120 4 years ago
I have a conflicting opinion from Ash as I didn't really get on with the game at all. Maybe I'll go back to it and give it another chance at some point.
0000000000's avatar
0000000000 4 years ago
Be a rental at that length but I wont be rushing for it lovefilm still haven't sent me last light annoyed!
 TruDarkAssassin's avatar
TruDarkAssassin 4 years ago
sounds like average length which is ok with me , play it till TLOU is out
MCD650's avatar
MCD650 4 years ago
By 'No RPatz' do you mean this doesn't have Robert Patterson in it? If this is the case, i really don't see how that is a con haha
Robichoico's avatar
Robichoico 4 years ago
Reminds me of P.N.0.3 for the Cube. Which is why I'm interested. To be honest I thought this was the Heavy Rain game lol. Shows how much I'm focusing on Sony's stuff
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 4 years ago
Oh I loved that game

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