Remember Me Brings Demographic Diversity To The Action Genre
Remember Me is the first big release from Dontnod Entertainment and is an Action Adventure title with elements of stealth and platforming. The game boasts a unique fighting and combat system, on top of which exists the unique ability of the main character, Nilin, to manipulate and “remix” peoples’ memories. Remember Me looks like a game from the mind of Ridley Scott influenced by the Cyberpunk underpinnings of a William Gibson world, and has a style all too reminiscent of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. There is great potential here. The game itself has garnered untoward attention for its choice of a female lead, but is this all that defines the game?
Name: Remember Me
Genre: Action Adventure
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Developers: Dontnod Entertainment
Release Date: 7 June 2013
Price: R559 (PS3, Xbox 360), R379 (PC)
In the year 2084, a person’s memories can be digitised, bought and sold like any form of currency. The word “privacy” is no longer commonplace and society has become entrenched in high-tech surveillance and extreme social networking integration. The very economy of society is run on the power and trade of memories. In Remember Me, you play as Nilin, a former elite memory hunter, whose mind has been wiped clean of all traces of her past life. The consequences of which means she is left with no recollection of who she is, and so Nilin sets out to reclaim her lost identity. During her journey, she will face the grim reality of a dystopian society, that of Neo-Paris, and will come face-to-face with the very authority that runs Neo-Paris.
General gameplay in Remember Me features exploration and action adventure elements in the tradition of the Uncharted series. This is enhanced by added stealth elements which are useful in the acquisition of memories from enemies. These are needed in order to progress in missions. Everything in Remember Me is influenced by memories and are needed to obtain Nilin’s former memories, and identity. In the game, you will have to combat a number of threatening enemies and this will require you to be alert at all times. You will have to run away from vehicles pursuing Nilin through the streets and Cyberpunk sprawl that is Neo-Paris, and when required you’ll have to be as stealthy as Agent 47 to download memories from unsuspecting enemy soldiers when necessary. The game will have a varied pace with both platforming and combat sequences interweaving, but this fluidity may work in Remember Me’s favour. However, the central mechanic of ‘memory remixing’ is where the game seems to have the greatest potential for doing something unique.
Memory remixing allows Nilin to manipulate the memory of the prime target of a mission. She can replay a target’s memory and change the outcome of an event, as represented in the target’s memory. Nilin can rearrange the target’s memories to suit her own agenda and clear mission objectives. However, there are parameters to memory remixing and you’ll need to experiment to find solutions to problems you may encounter when actively remixing a target’s memory. This comes down to trial and error, and you may have to replay a memory numerous times depending on the difficulty of the mission objective. Yet the combat and combo system in Remember Me is quite interesting too.
Dontnod Entertainment refers to the combo system in Remember Me as the Combo Lab. In order to initiate combos, you’ll need to open up the Combo Lab menu. The Combo Lab represents Nilin’s fighting memory. As you make your way through the game, Nilin will remember and unlock her forgotten fighting moves, and more combos will become accessible. These forgotten fighting moves are called Pressens. You can have up to four Active Combos and can use them to adapt your tactics to any combat situation. To do this, you’re going to use four types of Pressens which are: Regeneration, Power, Cooldown and Chain. The development team says that there are around 50 000 possible combos available. To create combos, you pick out different Pressens and slot them into one of the Active Combo slots, which is made up of a number of nodes, where you can place your Pressens of choice.
For instance, if you insert Regeneration Pressens into one of your Active Combo slots then your combo will regenerate your health, but this will be at the cost of inflicting low damage and enemies will be more difficult to deal with. In comparison, if you insert Power Pressens into one of the Active Combo slots Nilin will deal greater amounts of damage and have a chance of killing off enemies by triggering one of her finishing moves, where Nilin will overload the memory of her enemies. In some situations, combos are ineffective as enemies can have excessive shielding. This is where the S-Pressens, unique Pressens that are super-powered moves, are useful.
Using S-Pressens consumes a chunk of your Focus gauge, which is the power gauge for S-Pressens. You gain Focus, your power source, by successfully hitting enemies with combos and from taking damage. S-Pressens include unique moves such as the Logic Bomb that can shatter enemies’ shielding and Rust in Pieces which turns mechanised enemies into allies. Eventually your S-Pressens need to cooldown and using the Cooldown Pressens can remedy the situation. Putting Cooldown Pressens into one of your Active Combo slots means you can reduce the cooldown period of the S-Pressens. You can combine Pressens together in an Active Combo slot with Chain Pressens, which double and duplicate the effect of the Pressens connected. You can link a number of Chain Pressens to your Pressens of choice and create devastating combo attacks. During combat, when Nilin’s health is dangerously low actual glitches will flare up across the screen indicating her low health status. Carefully choosing the right Pressens and S-Pressens in battle will be vital to making it out alive and unscathed, because Nilin will have to combat many different enemy types.
The art direction and audio design are distinctive and fluid in Remember Me. The score for Remember is particularly noteworthy with a strong orchestral sound tinged with an electronic vibe. The setting of Neo-Paris feels alive and bustling within the dystopian reality of a society under constant surveillance and a memory trade, where peoples’ memories are currency. Nilin has to traverse this complex landscape in search of her memories, and ultimately her identity. She is a unique female lead and provides a very different dynamic to the constant domination of the Sci-Fi genre by male leads. It is refreshing to see this type of choice. Where the game will be heading story-wise can either go swimmingly well, or horribly wrong. This all depends on the execution of story and character elements in Remember Me, and we will only know if the game has been successful once it is released and up for review. Remember Me has loads of potential and the game will need to execute all of it elements well enough to prove successful.
Suspected Selling Points
- An engaging female lead and inescapably beautiful world that draws you in.
- Hits all the right notes for Sci-Fi and Cyberpunk fans.
- The game has a strong Action Adventure pull.
- Remember Me offers unique mechanics with its combo and memory “remix” systems.
- The game may be taking on too many gameplay and genre specifics for its own good.
- Remember Me seems to be rehashing overused Sci-Fi tropes.
- This is being published by Capcom, enough said.
Remember Me is a promising game. However, it looks like it will need to balance all of its parts equally to make a success of it all. That is not to say that the game doesn’t have the right ingredients. It certainly does and from what we can see in the gameplay videos Remember Me has all the right stuff to sell well, and make a good impression with gamers. The Sci-Fi genre is overflowing with possibilities, and if Remember Me can hit all the right notes; it could be something special. The game has a unique combo system and a unique gameplay mechanic in memory remixing, which are attractive prospects for many gamers. Remember Me is a game we should keep an eye out for closer to its release.