Remember Me

When concluding Remember Me, it’s easy to think of a “missed opportunity” term, seeing its underdevelopment.

By Daavpuke, Posted 07 Nov 2013

There’s no shortage of new ideas in the Capcom stable. Each year, the publisher has a few surprises up its sleeve and Remember Me is one of those in 2013. This futuristic action adventure mixes rhythmic combat with seamless platform elements and clever puzzles in a dystopian future where nothing is as it seems. It tries many things in just 8 hours’ time, which may have it fall short in several of its well-intended categories. It’s a noble effort, if anything.

Remember Me, Game Review, Nillin, Capcom, PC, Xbox 360, Neo Paris

On the subject of nobility, “la douce France” is in need of some in the futuristic universe of Neo Paris, after its technologic advances that synthesize human memory creates a rift in society. Main character Nilin will rise up from these ashes to spark the revolution of French intensities once more. However, it’s never certain what her stance exactly is. Throughout the entire story, the amnesiac heroin blindly follows a mysterious voice in a set of events, whether or not she agrees on what they say or the actions she does. This is offset by other times where morality is a mere suggestion and she succumbs to human atrocity herself. It makes it hard to enjoy otherwise caring circumstances.

Through brilliant cutscenes, Remember Me attempts to pull at heart strings. Adept edits obscure where rendered imagery stops and in-game models begin. Naturally, this is helped by smooth textures and the immersion of light over scenery that centers the game’s presentation. In this sea of luminescence, Nilin is further made small through camera angles that solidify this game’s cinematic appeal. A heavy emphasis is made on set pieces, where players oversee a giant horizon with both technologic marvel as well as sordid slums. In the corridors of this Neo Parisian wonderland, cyborgs, holograms and a myriad of active interfaces bring the modern atmosphere to life.

Remember Me, Game Review, Nillin, Capcom, PC, Xbox 360, Neo Paris

Sadly, it isn’t just possible to sit back and enjoy the novelty of this universe, as many brain zombies plague the land. It’s not like Nilin is well liked with authorities either, as a device she owns allows her to mess with many interfaces or even makes her trigger cataclysmic events in people’s heads. Therefore, she’ll need to put that athletic booty of hers into some acrobatic fights. Combat is strung together by timed combos, which are lengthened by striking at the exact time another hit lands. This creates a resonance of blows, which can also be interrupted to dodge over foes and then continued once more.

Building on this quick-fire setup, combos can be customized with different attack types, which ranges from simple damage to healing attacks and those that lower the timer on specials. Connecting with enemies fills a Focus gauge that triggers these powerful instances, which allow Nilin to stun foes, set bombs or even become invulnerable for a short while. Additionally, it’s periodically possible to overload a person’s memory and shoot their thinking goo through their face. Performing well in combat unlocks new button prompts, which can also be granted through finding periodic secrets in the game.

Remember Me, Game Review, Nillin, Capcom, PC, Xbox 360, Neo Paris

Most of the fighting is enough to keep a certain trance going, even if ample dodging is required. A heavy reliance on specific specials, however, creates frustrating gaps of empty combat, where the only thing needed is to run out the clock. Missing this one-off opportunity resets the cycle, which can create endless loops, certainly during the already elongated boss fights. It’s not so much a challenge as it is a gamble. For all the potential in the custom combat system, making specials the cornerstone of advancement obsoletes a great deal of other elements.

Platform sections follow this same process. On one hand, fluid transitions make Nilin climb effortlessly, even in her restrictive outfit. A clean overview is kept through most camera angles and hints everywhere ensure a clear path is always present, even if it’s a bit much at times. Then again, Remember Me is linear to such an extent that there is just one path and nothing else. There are secrets stashed inside this trajectory, but that’s it. How odd to make platform elements such a sizable part of the game, create giant set pieces just waiting for some footsteps, but then wall up the entirety of the story. Both in the literal and figurative sense, enjoyable platform mechanisms lack exploration.

Remember Me, Game Review, Nillin, Capcom, PC, Xbox 360, Neo Paris

To truly distance itself from its peers, Remember Me also offers periodic puzzles inside a person’s mind. Here, the goal is to remix that character’s memory of a crucial event, which changes their complete outlook on life, with immediate and serious consequence. To perform a successful remix, players must look at details in the scenery that can be altered to create a set of new variables that would turn out completely differently. As amazing as this concept is to watch unfold, it is used a measly four times. Perhaps the complexity of these many different scenarios proved to be a ton of work to implement, but they are the one part, above aforementioned, which could’ve truly let Remember Me have a face of its own. They still succeed in that effort, but only in minor terms.

After some filler padding here and there, the game ticks off with a steadily growing and emotive ending that also includes some dark tones not many other games dare to use. It holds the same lack of overall logic that previous story arcs began, but at the least it manages to wrap up with some touching moments.

When concluding Remember Me, it’s easy to think of a “missed opportunity” term, seeing its underdevelopment. However, Nilin’s quest deserves to be seen more as an ambitious effort. There’s a critical nuance in both. Its tropes may feel light, but only because they leave a yearning for much more.

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed (@Daavpuke)

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General Information

Remember Me


Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Publisher(s): Capcom
Developer(s): Dontnod Entertainment
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2013-06-03

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