Imagine a world where power is not represented by wealth or weapons of mass destruction, but instead by memories. This is the case within the society of Neo-Paris in Dontnod Entertainment’s first title Remember Me. The implementation of a brain implant called Sensation Engine by a corporation called Memorize has resulted in the ability for society to share, trade, and remove memories. Transference of memories can be momentary or permanent. This ability to remove unpleasant memories is an attractive feature among the citizen body, but it also sparks numerous ethical questions. In Neo-Paris, the value of a memory is so extraordinary that it dictates how society is run. A memory is currency, medicine, knowledge, and a personal identifier. Memories being taken from an individual can result in the loss of identity and fear of everything that now seems unknown.
Remember Me takes place in a futuristic Paris called Neo-Paris. The year is 2084 and memories area hot commodity. You play as Nilin, an elite memory hunter who has fallen victim to her own profession and must piece together fragmented memories in order to uncover the truth behind what lead her to her current predicament: public enemy number one. However, your struggle is not to be fought alone. You are aided by the Errorist's whose chief objective is to thwart Memorize’s management of human memory, and it is the Errorist leader Edge who guides you through the districts of Neo-Paris. Nilin’s journey will help her to reestablish her prior self, resulting in an understanding of her actions and what it means to have an identity as she strives to return society to an independent entity.
There is much to take in visually within Remember Me and it leaves a lasting impression. Dontnod’s cinematic presentation utilizes all aspects to create an impressive futuristic world that desires to be explored. However, the linear paths only allow so much of Neo-Paris to be examined before continuing on with your objective. A more open world would have greatly benefited the overall gameplay experience, but seldom do you find yourself disappointed during gameplay. This is due to its linear approach as the boundaries are concealed by NPCs, shops, and numerous other placements that make you turn the other way to continue on your path to uncover the next fragmented memory. The amount of detail used throughout all of Neo-Paris is exquisite. Numerous shops and items populate the streets of Neo-Paris, giving you an insight into their daily lives. The lighting is also stunning as you venture through upper-society and the slums of Neo-Paris. It contrasts society perfectly, showcasing the struggle that citizens have endured in order to survive. It also excels at consistently reinforcing the immersive atmosphere as your progress through each episode.
Alongside the spectacular visual presentation is a musical masterpiece that encompasses orchestral elegance with a science fiction overtone. The soundtrack, composed by Olivier Deriviere, compliments the memory-driven world of Neo-Paristhrough the seamless implementation of distortions within each track, adding a new level of intrigue as you progress into new environments. The audio also aids in strengthening the transformation that Nilin undergoes, from questioning her every action and her initial unwillingness to comprehend what has happened to her, to the accumulation of memories and understandingof the task that lies before her.
Remember Me features gameplay mechanics that have a sense of familiarity as you navigate corridors, hang from ledges, and traverse all types of environments through platforming. Despite this, its attempt at offering an entirely new unique experience is made apparent through the combat system. Nilin’s emergence from an unknown world is carefully encompassed within the combat system while she acquires the knowledge of additional attacks as memories are regained. Each newly acquired skill deepens her arsenal of attacks to make her a greater threat to those who oppose her. These attacks, or Pressens, are broken into four categories: power, regen, chain, and cool down. Power simply inflicts more damage, regen allows Nilin to regenerate health with each successful hit, chain increases the effectiveness of landing continual hits, and cool down Pressens reduce the wait time for your special abilities called S-Pressens. Your S-Pressens are automatically unlocked throughout the story and will grant you unique and powerful attacks once you accumulate enough Focus, which is slowly gained by completing combos. This unique implementation to combat gives the player total control on how they wish to approach each confrontation. Mixing and matching different Pressens rewards the player with various bonuses. However, the inclusion of the Pressen combat system is overshadowed by the repetitive nature of each encounter to amass enough Focus to utilize S-Pressens against more formidable enemies.
Enemy combatants are separated into two groups: S.A.B.R.E. Force and Leapers. The former is a private police force that is employed by Memorize to maintain control over the population, while the latter are memory junkies and have been mutated after acquiring a large number of memories. The lack of enemy diversity is remedied with the variety of gameplay mechanics featured in Remember Me. Nilin battles against soldiers, leapers, mechanized infantry, gunships, and maneuvers through minefields using stolen memories. She also enters individual’s memories and alters them to her benefit.
Alongside the spectacular visual presentation is a musical masterpiece that encompasses orchestral elegance with a science fiction overtone.
These memory remixes are the majority of puzzles that you encounter and they feature a unique game mechanic to manipulate memories to a fixed outcome. You cycle back and forth, changing minuscule details until the correct combination is achieved. It succeeds in offering a unique memorable experience to players as it showcases the creativity of the developers, but also adds an emotional attachment to Nilin due to the choices she makes and the experiences she has from the memories. An understanding of how powerful memories are is also made abundantly clear during these sequences, and it demonstrates how any alterations could drastically change an individual’s outlook on life.
There is always a risk with creating a new IP, but Remember Me showcases that there is still much to be experienced within the industry. Continual regurgitation can only go on for so long, and so this departure from the norm to a wholly unique experience can only result in recognition and the craving for additional content of the same caliber. Dontnod’s first release is a successful attempt at telling a creative and memorable story using visuals, sound, and enjoyable gameplay. The ability to create an immersive and rewarding gameplay experience and spark an emotional attachment to the characters is a priority among all developers. Remember Me isn’t without its flaws, but it’s definitely a title that won’t be forgotten.
+ Stunning visuals
+ Memory remixing offers something new and enjoyable
+ Sensational soundtrack
+ Rewarding single-player experience
- Unable to fully explore the beauty of Neo-Paris due to linear level design
- Camera angles can be troublesome in enclosed areas
- Repetitive combat
The Oscars are almost here but where are the video games based on these films that have made the cut to be part of the 86th Academy Awards? I decided that if the Hollywood brain trust can't develop appropriate video game tie-ins with their biggest and best films then I'd have to do their work for them.
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Release date : 2013-06-04
Publisher : Capcom
Developer : Dontnod Entertainment
Gameplay : Action-Adventure
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