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DownPlay Reviews #12 - Remember Me

You would think that a game with the title “Remember Me” seems to be begging for your attention just a little bit. Perhaps it seems pretentious, wrapped up in its own little world where it reigns as a supreme hallmark of video game achievement. Then, perhaps you, the reader, are no better than this game may seem by judging it simply the title. Fortunately, Remember Me is in no way representative of the false description is provided two sentences ago. And hopefully you, the reader are not the kind of person I described in the sentence following. :Story + Characters: Remember Me takes place in the year 2074 in a futuristic dystopian version of Paris where the poor are sectioned off underneath the main city and everyone speaks in British accents for some reason. A corporation called Memoreyes has found a way to commercialize people’s memories and have monopolized the industry. It strikes me as odd that the poorer citizens of Neo-Paris are quick to blame the corporations for everything because it appears to me that, outside of the horde of mutants living underneath their slums, they seem to be in a rather generic state of poverty. Nothing Memoreyes does seems to affect the underclass in any way. In fact, the most we ever receive for motivation is the statement: “Memoreyes is the enemy.” That’s literally all the story this game has to offer, at least during the first few chapters. The game actually opens with Nilin, our leading lady, having her memory wiped by Memoreyes. As it turns out, Nilin was also the greatest Memory Hunter of all, having the ability to not only extract peoples’ memories but also to remix them so that they remember things differently. It’s pleasing to see such an original concept turned into a game mechanic, but as many people fail to understand, the originality of a game is conversely related to its quality. Being original does not entitle a game to be good. Anyways, after having her memory wiped, Nilin manages to escape the facility thanks to a friendly disembodied voice named Edge. She emerges into the slums to find under the oppressive [citation needed] foot of Memoreyes and the upper-class citizens of Neo-Paris. She has to infiltrate Memoreyes headquarters and remix or eliminate its highest ranking staff in order to bring an end to their evil [citation needed] practices. The largest problem with the story in this game is that it seems to end about four times before it actually does, each ending corresponding with the overthrow of a different Memoreyes employee. Game-changing story details are pulled out of thin air between chapters with little to no continuity to the previous one. It may sound like an escalation into something negative, but I am highly impressed by Remember Me’s story. It’s one off very few games where a twist has been implemented to the actual benefit of the story rather than a way to provide a few more hours of what was the same story but in slightly different context. Well, I’m being a bit generous when I say “twist.” What I should have said was FOUR twists. Yep, this game is twist central, and that is where the story quality really takes off. Without wishing to spoil anything, it truly shows off how to use a twist to continue a story, the specific details of which I may cover in a different editorial. Like the story, the characters in it gradually improve starting about 60% of the way into the game. The majority of the supporting characters stay about as flat as can be if they even have enough screen time to have any form of character development. Other than that, the people that Nilin actually interacts with for more than five seconds actually have very developed characters. Most of it shows up in the twists near the end, but it’s a great motivation to keep you playing all the way to the end. Nilin herself is not so simple. During gameplay, she’s outwardly cocky and independent, while also cautiously self-preserving, which in itself is fine, but during the between-level monologues, she’s pathetic, confused, and self-doubting. These two different personalities clash and it makes it extremely hard to follow Nilin’s development when she breaks character every half hour only to basically repeat what we just figured out in the previous chapter :Gameplay: Unlike the story, the gameplay of Remember Me doesn’t evolve at all from start to finish. Its standard hand-to-hand beat ‘em up combat, similar to the Batman: Arkham series of games. The unique thing about this combat system is your ability to “create” your own combos. Sounds good on paper, until you realize the game has but 4. In reality, the combos themselves do not change, but you can swap around Pressens to make each combo have different effects, such as extra damage, health regeneration, or building Focus which allows you to use the latent abilities present in your Sensen. You know, if “technobabble” was a legitimate concept for extended use in game reviewing rather than a selfish excuse to justify the fact that the player doesn’t have the mental capacity to understand what’s going on in the game they are playing, then this game has that technique nailed down. I’m not going to complain though, because I paid attention to the game and I understood it perfectly. My main problem is the fact that most of the game is spent simply “progressing”. This doesn’t necessarily seem like a negative thing, but it seemed that more than half of the actual level was just running down hallways occasionally stopping to open a door or solve a brief puzzle. These paths serve to simply connect on horde of enemies to another, but many of them drag on for quite a while. Overall, the combat is functional, but not anything spectacular or unique. :Audio/Visual: For a first game from an unknown studio, Remember Me has some pretty dang good graphics. The character models are realistic and the environments are very pretty and detailed and all that silliness. The levels that take place inside other people’s memories are presented with bright oranges and yellows atop stark white backgrounds, which can either be very aesthetically pleasing or migraine-inducing. Results may vary. The soundtrack is a huge effort as well, being all epic and fully orchestrated, and while it’s really nothing special, it fits when it needs too. The voice acting is more hit and miss, with many lines being very awkwardly delivered and some just being plain awkward. I mean, “This Little Red Riding Hood’s got a basket full of kick-ass?” Really? :Final Verdict: For a debut effort from a brand-new studio, Remember Me is a great game. The gameplay is rather unimpressive and the story is far and away the highlight of the game. I praise the game for its spectacular character development and being one of the few games to have truly mastered the art of the twist. It may not be a contender for DownPlay’s Top 10 Games of 2013, but is it worth your time? Personally, I think so.
Comments
  • I really enjoyed this game. I was shocked because though the game was simple, the achievments that went with it were fun and entertaining. The game had a simplistic nature to it but that doesnt change the fact that I found it really fulfulling.