The lights are on
Somewhere deep in Remember Me is
a brilliant game that wants nothing more than to show itself to the world, but
can never quite break free from the shackles of its own faults. Ambitious
concepts and an engrossing world are chained by boring gameplay and lackluster
characters, and the promise of a great game will only be remembered as a good
Neo-Paris of 2084, memories have become a commodity. A company called Memorize
created the Sensation Engine (sensen) that allows the population to upload and
share memories or discard painful ones. Vending machines house popular
memories, couples trade their most cherished moments, and some even overdose on
the memories of others. The ones who overdose devolve into a shell of their
former selves and live in the sewers, tucked away from society.
Obviously, this kind of power
screams to be abused, because people are incapable of having nice things. Memorize
gains an immense degree of control over the population and the power of
memories is abused. Hunters known as Errorists take up the cause of fighting
Memorize and trying to release the population from their control. You play as
one of them called Nilin, and as the game begins, you just had your memories
What follows is a story that
unabashedly borrows from A Tale of Two Cities. The first half you find
yourself blindly following an enigmatic voice’s orders to ignite a revolution,
and the second half tries to hit a more touching note, but fails. The
characters aren’t developed enough for anyone to actually care what happens, so
the game’s big twist disappoints.
The gameplay features three main
parts: combat, platforming, and memory remix.
The combat is as repetitive as hammering a nail. Through the entirety of
the game you are given a grand total of four combos varying between X and Y.
Each of these can be programmed with various perks. Say you want to start off
dealing the pain and end gaining some life; you can assign each part of the
combo one of these qualities. This adds a layer of strategy to the button
mashing, but doesn’t change the lack of variation in the combat. Five special
moves are also at your disposal like an invisible instant kill and group stun.
What offers more monotony to the
combat is the lack of enemy variation. You will fight about four types of
enemies with slight alterations for the whole 8-hour campaign. With the
exception of robots, you will kill all of them by dodging and mashing away at
those same four combos. Boss battles are no different, because apparently each boss
houses an endless supply of nails for me to hammer. The combat is all about
crowd control, but when the crowd is always the same, the excitement ends fast.
Platforming segments are peppered
throughout the game to free up your X and Y buttons here and there, but they
offer little in the way of entertainment. The controls can be clunky and
unresponsive resulting in numerous Nilin street pancakes. Don’t be surprised
when you plummet to the streets below during what you thought would be an easy
game’s few shining moments arise when you actually get to manipulate memories
during a memory remix. Throughout the story, Nilin must enter a person’s mind
to manipulate a defining moment in their life. You watch a sequence and find an
object to tamper with that will drastically change the outcome. These segments
are thrilling trial and error puzzles that show the frailty of memory.
with one minute object can have massive effects. For example, one sequence
requires you to make a man believe he killed his wife. A tiny detail like
flipping the safety off on a gun can change everything for that man. It is a
huge shame that the game only features four memory remixes when they are the
best part of the game.
Me is a game with high concepts that misses its mark. It preaches about the
disconnect and frailty of memories, yet allows only one gameplay mechanism to
embrace the idea. My memories of this game will be bogged down with boring
combat and platforming in a world that I wish I could remember fondly, but
instead find forgettable.