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 one.


In the 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 wiped.


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 jump.


The 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.


Tampering 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.


Remember 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.