After seeing the trailer for Remember Me at New York City Comic Con (NYCC) 2012, I was intrigued to say the least. At the expense of appearing biased, I couldn’t wait to experience a female protagonist of African ancestry kicking some ass. From the trailer, Nilin seemed like a awesome character that had a cool story, plus she did something totally different than simply shooting at random enemies. She had the ability to alter and manipulate human memories. However, after getting my hands on this title, I’ve realized that where this game succeeds in ambition, it counteracts with the many flaws found in the overall gameplay experience. Remember Me is a great game that has struggled to be set free. The following is my review of the game that had much potential that was not realized.
The story of Remember Me is what makes this game stand out amongst a host of other third person action adventure games we see today. Remember Me is staged in Neo-Paris in the year 2048. A corporation called Memorize has invented a new brain implant called Sensation Engine (Sensen), which basically allows almost 99 percent of the population of Neo-Paris to upload and share their memories onto the internet. They can also remove bad or unwanted memories which contributes to the corporation having a stronghold over the populace that implements these devices.
The conflict arrives when the Sensen back fires, resulting in an outbreak of mutated humans called Leapers. Leapers are people that have acquired memory overloads, memory addiction, and have been degraded into sub human terrors. This outbreak brings about a small group of rebels, Errorists, who’s mission is to bring down and destabilize Memorize. Now that the plot has been established, lets get to the meat and bones of the main character, Nilin. The game begins with Nilin, a former Erroist, imprisoned and having her own memories removed by Memorize. Before she undergoes the last step of having her memory swiped completely clean, a mysterious man’s voice, who is later identified as Edge, emerges and leads her out of the facility. After you learn that he is the Errorist leader, he informs Nilin that she was once apart of their organization and has a special ability. This is when you become engaged in the story. Nilin remembers nothing about her past other than what Edge tells her – which is that she can steal and remix memories. The plot drives the player to not only fight against Memorize, but also in finding out who Nilin really is. Nilin’s story, and a few gameplay gems, is what saves this game from being a complete waste of time and money. Let’s move into what I mean by this statement.
GAMEPLAY: The Good The Bad and The Outright Ugly.
Game Mechanics: The gameplay in Remember Me shines at points, but falls flat on its ass which came to me as much of a disappointment. First off, as much as I had fun killing people in game, Nilin’s skill set was much too limited. Her fighting combination skill set was not up to par with what I thought her move set should have been. You could literally hit the square-square-square combination and get through at least 80 percent of the fights in the game. The combat was fun, but the easy combinations made the experience feel a bit lack luster. You could mix up your attacks to regenerate health or to execute your special moves, but with most of the enemies, it was not needed. Another problem I found was how absolutely you were pushed along in the story. Remember Me was one of the most linear and path guided games that I had ever played.
Visually, the Neo-Paris setting was quite appealing, but the over world didn’t warrant exploration that didn’t involve running around watching robots sweep or using computers. The city didn’t feel alive and killed any sense of immersion that beautiful settings are supposed to provide. Thank God Nilin’s progression within the story keeps your attention long enough to keep you occupied!
Characterization: As the game progressed, I felt that Edge’s character was created solely to bark orders at Nilin. In a sense I believed Nilin leaned on Edge entirely too much; guiding her from one objective to the next with no true reason or motivation of why the mission was significant. Nilin, in some instances, would crack jokes about being a simple errand runner and that mainly being the role she played throughout the entire game, which I admit, was annoying as hell.
Boss Battles: Some of the boss battles where really fun, but not entirely impossible to beat on any level from normal to hard settings. The final boss fight was extremely easy and left me frustrated towards the end of the game wanting more.
Camera/Perspective: Finally, the worst and most annoying game changer, were the terrible camera angles. I often felt that I was fighting with the camera more than the Leapers. The angles seemed to change drastically and made fighting more of a chore than seamless fun in battle. In some areas, I literally screamed at the TV because the camera got in the way when enormous droves of enemies were on the screen at the same time.
Pros: Now the great thing about the gameplay, and in my opinion the highlight of the game, was manipulating memories. The few times you do this it’s very satisfying and helps string together many loose ends in the story. The way you could change things in the memory to get different outcomes was unprecedented and extremely enjoyable. However like I said before, and frustratingly enough, you could only do it a few times, which left me wanting more. Another great feature in the game was the fighting combinations skill tree. As you progressed in the game you could gain level up points. With these points you could level up your combinations within the tree. Finishing different button combos could help you regain health and other skills.
All in all, Remember Me is a mediocre game that has many great elements. The major missteps are that it struggles to get the plot’s point across with the lack of gameplay elements,the linear story progression, melee combat woes, light puzzle solving , and horrendous camera angles that add to the overall feeling of disgruntled feelings in this game. The Story of Nilin, manipulating memories, and her progression to find out who she is, is what makes this game worth playing. Capcom dropped the ball with this one on all levels, but the story itself saves this game from being just another third person action adventure game.