The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
New franchises are hard to find near the end of a console generation, but Capcom is delivering some fresh ideas with Remember Me. The game takes place in the future, where power-hungry corporations have refined the technology to influence politicians by tapping into their thoughts. My hands-on time begins several stages in, assuming control of a woman who once possessed the power to reshuffle people’s minds.
My extensive demo begins with Nilin, the main protagonist, being dragged out of a casket-like pod in the dredges of Neo-Paris. Gangly memory-wiped abominations haunt the seedy underbelly of this 2084 version of Paris, hunting for anything that can give some sort of memory. Nilin can’t remember who she is either, but a voice in her head tells her that she was once a trained memory hunter. Memory hunters are like mental assassins, rewiring or erasing the minds of political enemies. The voice in her head is Edge, a mysterious man who wants to help her rebuild her former memories. She recalls enough to defeat the pack of freakish enemies, then Edge tells her to travel toward a bar run by Headache Tommy.
Capcom previously showed off Remember Me’s unique combo-creation system, but this the first time I try it out myself. Nilin recalls her former fighting prowess by leveling up, and players unlock attacks as she does so. These attacks are slotted into custom combos, which can be optimized to deal damage, restore health, or reduce the cooldowns of special abilities. Button mashing is unacceptable here. Players must time their strikes carefully in order to deliver dramatic, slow-motion takedowns. Enemies will move in to attack Nilin, and exclamation marks above their heads cue players to dodge them. The rhythm of combat feels similar to Rocksteady’s Batman titles, but with a more technical edge.
When players aren’t knocking out groups of brainwashed mutants or private police squads, they traverse the busy architecture of the futuristic, Orwellian city. Nilin’s path to Tommy’s bar is treacherous, filled with perilous jumps and electrified hazards in addition to all the goons. Shimmying across ledges and jumping between high-rise balconies feels similar to the Uncharted games. One sequence involves sidling across a huge vertical support for a gigantic, dynamic billboard. Slats rotate sequentially to reveal a new ad, which players must speed past or to avoid being knocked down.
Eventually Nilin arrives at Tommy’s Bar by following Edge’s advice. Tommy seems familiar with Nilin, but his face isn’t ringing any bells in her addled mind. After a warm yet awkward welcome, Tommy directs Nilin towards a room where she changes into her old memory hunter clothes. Her old get-up comes complete with a stylish black arm sleeve. This combat glove bestows Nilin with the unique power to tap into people’s memories and alter their past. Tommy just begins to warn Nilin that a bounty hunter may be after her when someone suddenly nabs her from behind and presses a blade to her neck. It’s Olga Sedova, a deadly hired gun made even more dangerous due to her desperate need to acquire funds for her husband’s medical needs at Memorize (Nilin’s former employer and the party responsible for wiping her brain).
Nilin takes advantage of Olga’s proximity by tapping into her recent memories with the combat glove. In the flashback, Olga is strapped and hooked up to one bed in a hospital room, while a gray doctor hovers over her sedated husband on the other side of a transparent partition. The doctor is apparently giving Olga’s sick husband a memory transfusion, syphoning past experiences from her mind into his. The game prompts me to fix Nilin’s predicament in the present by manipulating Olga’s recollection of past events, which will make Olga remember a sequence of events more suited to Nilin’s goals: the doctor killing her husband instead. Rotating the left analog stick rewinds time, allowing Nilin to interact with the technology present in the procedure room. I begin by reversing the memory transfusion machine. Upon playback, Olga screams and convulses as the emptiness of her husband’s brain spreads into her own. I corrupted her mind to the point of death. Mission failure. For my next attempt I disable her husband’s anesthesia, tinker with his IV fluids, disengage a wrist restraint, and scoot a robotic instrument tray behind the doctor. When I play things forward, Olga’s husband reacts violently to the faulty IV fluid, jolts awake without the sleeping gas, and reaches out to grab the doctor’s throat with his free hand. The doctor stumbles backwards, crashes over the tray, and calls an emergency order to kill the rampaging patient. Mission success.
Warping back to the present, Olga suddenly releases Nilin. A switch has flipped inside her. Seconds ago she wanted to exchange Nilin’s life for money to fund her husband’s care at Memorize. Now, following the horribly botched procedure, she wants to make Memorize pay. It’s a win-win for Nilin. She’s freed from the clutches of the bounty hunter and gains an ally in the hunt for her own memory.
All of Remember Me’s individual components make it an intriguing new IP, from the unique premise to the custom combat system. But the memory remixing session inside Olga’s mind stands out as a fascinating new gameplay experience. I’m excited to see how Capcom’s ambitious new title shapes up as a whole, but I hope to rewire many more character’s pasts by tinkering with their fragile minds.
This preview is as it will appear in issue #240 of Game Informer
Email the author Tim Turi, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
Hmm there can definitely be some unique gameplay mechanics and experiences with this game. Though I just hope they destroy my fears. As with Watch Dogs, I feel they cannot come up with a bunch of different situations to warrant an entire game. Or maybe it can be like assassins creed 1, where the first game kinda just tested out new waters and they can always go in new directions. anyway, props to anyone who tries to make something as unique as this
It definitely sounds fresh. Like a Final Cut feel to it, with the altering of memories and all... And Big Brother watching you. Wait, 2084? 1984? Eh? Eh? I am very intrigued. Win or lose, at least they are seemingly thinking outside of the box.
Nicely written! I'm really looking forward to this. Some sort of Assassin's Creed Mirror's Edge Batman futuremorph. Can't wait.
Sounds really interesting & has me real excited at the same time.
Looking pretty good so far. Love fresh ideas and new ips.
The graphics certainly have improved in those screens.
I'm excited for this game. It looks like the Batman Arkham games, Mirror's Edge, and Mass Effect all fused into one awesome experience.
My greatest fear with this game revolves around the possibility that the combat system becomes muddled as the length of combo chains increases. There's nothing to say it does, I've just had less than positive experiences with games in the past, whose designers touted claims of, "revolutionary combat systems," as well. Guess I'll wait and see.
New IPs are always interesting to keep an eye on. I'm loving the look of this game so far. It sounds unique and the combat appears challenging and fun. I'm still going to wait to see reviews, but if the reception is positive, I may just have to pick this game up.
Combat in the style of the Arkham series, and more technical? Ok, I was already intrigued by this game to say the least, but I'm all but completely sold after this article. I'll skip the reviews for this one and just take the plunge, I could use an original IP in my life.
This game looks awesome! I can't wait to see the final product! Definitely a game I will get!!
I'm looking forward to this one, always a fan of well thought out worlds.
I hope this one does well. It looks very intriguing.
I'm hoping this game turns out good. Cyberpunk is a great genre.
This may be the most under-hyped game of the year. Everything about it ignites my sci-fi fandom and appreciated for both Uncharted and Arkham's fun gameplay. Can't wait to see how stacks up. . .
I'm Bed, Bath, and Beyond excited for this game.