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Forget Remember Me

Jul 5, 2013

By Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada

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Remember MeIn today’s sea of sequels, prequels and far too familiar scenarios, it’s easy to be left feeling like you’ve seen it all. Some gamers eagerly wait for the next studio to come along and break the mold. Something that doesn’t tie into an existing IP or that has a shiny 2 at the end of the title. Something like, Remember Me.

Remember Me looked like a breath of fresh air with plenty to offer. Unfortunately, it isn’t in the running for 2013’s best new IP.
The game takes place in Neo-Paris, a future dystopian version of the famous city. A large company - Remember Corp - has control of everyone’s memories.

You control Nilin, a bewildered saboteur who has had her memory erased. After a harrowing escape from a prison, Nilin meets with her old crew and gets caught up to speed on her current predicament. Our newly acquainted protagonist then embarks upon a dangerous journey to unearth her lost memories and liberate Neo-Paris from the sinister clutches of Remember Corp.

Remember Me On paper, the premise holds a lot of potential. I have always liked the idea of how one day even something as sacred as our own memories will no longer be personal. While having a good pitch is one thing, execution is another and developer Dontnod Entertainment fails to deliver. The story is simply forgettable. It’s by no means dreadful; just don’t expect to be emotionally invested in the plot. It has its fare share of predictable moments but it at least moves at steady pace.

Stale narrative aside, the games real problems arise with Nilins team of cleverly named “Errorists” With the exception of one key character, the rest of the crew is jarringly underdeveloped. I found myself forgetting the names and motivations of my fellow freedom fighters often. Nillin, on the other hand is a surprisingly well-rounded protagonist. She is not your archetypal hero and her morally ambiguous personality makes for a more memorable and relatable role.

A lot of the appeal coming into Remember Me was the games setting: Neo-Paris. If you thought you would be spending the majority of your time running around the futuristic capital, think again. The distinctive world is highly underutilized to the point where you begin to wonder why the developers even bothered making it. I wanted to explore and soak in all the city had to offer. Speaking to the privileged elite and the distraught vagrants of the metropolis would have really made it stand out. Instead, the game shuffles you along on a linear path and only lets you see brief glimpses of its corrupt utopia. At least the visuals are appealing and the look of the environments neat and clean, if not a bit too sterile at points.

Remember Me When it comes to controlling Nilin, the game is essentially a beat ‘em up with a surprisingly exorbitant amount of platforming. While leaping from ledge to ledge breaks up the tedium of combat, it isn’t done well and results in irritating, undeserved deaths.

When you’re not scurrying around rooftops or punching future cops in the face, you have the ability to alter Nillins attacks via the “Combo Lab”. It was a little disappointing to find out you are tweaking rather than creating but it’s a nice addition nonetheless. Unfortunately, this unique feature doesn’t get a chance to flourish due to the disappointingly low amount of combos the game offers. Once all four attack patterns are unlocked, there is really no point to return to it. To make matters worse, it felt as if I was playing entire the game in quicksand. My actions felt sluggish and imprecise, like each button press was followed by a one second delay before Nillin would carry out an attack. Having poor combat in a combat centric game leaves very little room for anything redeemable but thankfully not all is bad.

Remember Me The game’s puzzles come in the form of “Memory Remixes”. During certain points in the story, the player must alter specific things in an interactive cut scene to tailor the outcome. You might have to cause a cup of coffee to spill over to distract an individual or you might have to devilishly tilt an object off a shelf so it falls over hitting a person walking under it; thus causing further change to the scenario and affecting its outcome. These instances were easily the best part of Remember Me and were truly enjoyable. If only they were not so few and far between.

The biggest shame isn’t the disappointing combat or uninteresting story; it’s what it could have been. Neo-Paris could have rivaled Bioshock’s Rapture in terms of my absolute favorite game worlds. It had the distinctiveness and originality but lacked the most important thing of all: letting a player experience it. If only this action adventure wasn’t so restrictive it could have been something unique. If the hypothetical Remember Me 2 rolls along and corrects the faults of its predecessor, we could be looking at something special but until then, Remember Me is best forgotten.

 

 

Remember Me Remember Me
Format: Xbox 360
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Official Site: http://www.remembermegame.com/?lang=ca

Rating: 5.5 / 10


 
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