Review by horror_spooky
Forget me not
Thanks to the incredible critical successes of The Last of Us and releasing just one week before the biggest E3 in years, Remember Me has released incredibly under the radar. There was quite a bit of hype for it when it was first unveiled by Capcom, but at release, no one cares. There's no one exactly lining up to get their copy of the game. However, I think that Remember Me definitely has the potential to develop a cult following.
Using a cyberpunk backdrop, Remember Me is set far in the future in Neo-Paris. Neo-Paris itself is breathtaking, with everything seemingly covered in a shade of chrome and electronics all over the place. Exploring the streets and buildings of Neo-Paris is a pleasure, but Remember Me foolishly chokes the city into a narrow, extremely linear path, which sort of ruins one of its greatest strengths, which is the setting.
The plot sort of jumps around and is hard to follow, but the characters within the plot are all great and I found myself wanting to learn more about them. Nilin is the main character, a "memory hunter" that has had her memories stolen herself. She is guided by the mysterious Edge, the leader of a resistance against the Memorize organization, a company that deals in the business of removing, altering, and selling memories for profit. This business has led to many societal issues, including people becoming addicted to memories and others turning into terrifying mutants.
Nilin's goal is to take down this company by "remixing" the memories of the leaders that are in charge there. On paper, this idea is very interesting. Basically, the concept is that players play around with memories by manipulating objects within the memories to then influence the person. The ultimate problem with this is that there is only a single clear-cut way to succeed at them. They are far too much of a trial and error affair, rarely relying on critical thinking, falling into that old adventure game trope where objects do unexpected things just to trick the player. Good concept, pretty sub-par execution, though there was one memory remix that was actually really fun and intriguing, but I won't spoil it here.
Beyond remixing memories, players spend most of their time in Remember Me climbing around like in Uncharted. The platforming isn't as tight as it needs to be, but the rest of the game is stunningly polished. Graphically, the game doesn't skip a beat, and it makes the best use of Unreal Engine 3 better than games that the makers of Unreal Engine 3 make. Sure, there are a couple of textures that don't load properly here and there, but their occurrence is so rare that you'll never notice. I never encountered a single glitch or other technical issue either.
Animation and character models are expertly crafted. Say what you want about Remember Me, but there's one thing that can't be denied, and that's that the game definitely has style. Animation shines through best during the combat, which is very unique and actually very satisfying to master and put into practice.
Combat revolves around players customizing combos to do various things. Some moves will do more damage, while other moves will heal Nilin. Other moves will Cooldown the pretty cool special moves, and then finally, another one links the moves together to boost their effectiveness. Discovering good combos and then practicing them in combat is fun. Dodging enemy attacks is not unlike the Arkham games, and the game provides a fairly consistent amount of new and interesting enemies to keep combat interesting.
There are mutants to fight as well as soldiers that are more strategically sound. Robots can only be destroyed using Nilin's Spammer, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, coming with their own attacks and defenses as well. Where the enemy design really excels is with the bosses, however, as Remember Me manages to introduce plenty of exciting bosses with battles that play out epically and require a lot of thinking besides just hitting the combos or button mashing.
An interesting musical score accompanies these battles. When in battle, a funky J-Pop tune plays out, invoking memories of The World Ends With You on DS. While exploring the environment and solving puzzles, the music is an orchestral score more in line with Uncharted. This is a nice mix of musical genre that provides plenty of variety.
Unfortunately, the stealth segments simply aren't very fun. The reason for that is the stealth segments are more in line with older stealth missions in games, relying on cheap deaths and trial and error instead of ingenuity and creativity. Another source of disdain in the gameplay comes from the puzzles. They are rarely interesting and are poorly designed, once again relying too much on guess work that providing actual clues that can be figured out in order to better solve the puzzle.
The camera is also wonky, and jumps around just about as much as the plot. I said I enjoyed the characters, and I did, but the dialogue in the game wasn't he greatest. In fact, it's pretty bad, especially with the character Edge. Since there's no way to skip cut-scenes, having to sit through this dialogue again and again when replaying the game for collectibles and achievements can be a painful experience. And when a game tries to add replayability in that way, it really doesn't make sense to not allow players to skip cut-scenes.
Remember Me is fairly short, but the world and characters are very interesting, and the cyberpunk setting always provides something to see. I enjoyed my time with the game, but I'm not sure if it is worth the $60 price tag. Honestly, it should've released as a budget title, despite its impressive amount of polish.
Remember Me will probably be forgotten. Releasing at such a hectic time for the gaming industry was a foolish decision. People are going to be playing The Last of Us, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and the surprising hit State of Decay instead, plus catching up on all the latest info at E3 and preparing their plans for next-gen. Remember Me is aptly name, because I'm sure it wants to be remembered, and if the right group of people get a hold of the game, then maybe we'll start seeing "Remember Me 2" on the wishlists of gamers along with Beyond Good & Evil, Psychonauts, and the many others that didn't get a fair shake.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Remember Me (US, 06/04/13)
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