Remember Me: PS3 Game Review
Released by Capcom
I'd had some time on a preview of Remember Me and had been struck by how visually cool it was, mixing in the aesthetics of futuristic fare such as Blade Runner and the Fifth Element with some funky fights during playing.
But before I get ahead of myself, here's a recap of what the game's about.
You take the role of Nilin, a memory hunter who's now living in a dystopian, Blade Runneresque world in 2084. When we first meet Nilin, it's after an infomercial for Sensen, where a series of talking heads discuss the benefits of having their memories stored in one place and shared.
But Nilin's not in a happy place - this streak haired heroine is getting her memory wiped at a medical facility and is screaming out in pain. That's because she's clearly formerly part of a freedom fighter unit, whose job is out to take out the company running Sensen and essentially enslaving the lives of all humanity. Staggering around corridors in a space warehouse type place, with its sleek white corridors and all manners of technology, Nilin's guided by a probe to an area where the wipe can successfully be completed. As she waits in line, a voice in her ear tells her to get ready to run, when a distraction is caused.
It's here that the game starts to get really interesting. While the initial scenes are well put together and the cut scenes demonstrate the cinematic edge of the game while espousing the credits, it's only when Nilin tries to break out from the centre on the word of the voice in her ear, that the game begins to reveal its central storyline.
The voice belongs to Edge, one of the city's resistance leaders, and he exhorts Nilin to escape the medical facility - despite the massive robot chasing after her. Diving through a chute (in something akin to a sequence from Star Wars) Nilin finds her chance to escape and ends up in Neo-Paris in 2084, where she begins the job of chasing down her memories and setting about bringing down the Sensen world.
Once you get to Neo-Paris, Nilin's job is to get to the Leaking Brain bar and meet up with Tommy - and it's here that the game play style starts to become more evident. Leaping around buildings, ledges and hanging off surfaces, it's akin to Uncharted in many ways - and it's certainly a hell of a lot of fun as it mixes combat with platforming. You get to jump around cityscapes, explore worlds and steal memories as you try to get your own powers back and your memories as time goes on and you delve deeper into the game.
It actually takes a while to fully embrace some of the nuances of the game though, which will require a fair degree of patience as it's playing out. Combat itself took a little time - but not in terms of button mashing, more than there's a sequence of putting things called Pressens in order. It takes a little time to get to grips with these so called Pressens, which can be slotted around in your combat meter, depending on what you want to do with the bash you're unleashing. Build your own health, attack harder - they're all possible in the combo lab and it's a great way to mix things up and get to your goals quicker. Chained combos and the ability to glide from one baddie to the next without losing the combo means you're not constantly on the back foot.
Memory remixing also takes time to play out and get the hang of too. Basically, at some key moments you can influence the story by changing a turn of events and using the remixer to twist how the memory plays out - it can be a simple thing such as a doctor curing or killing a patient but it has a bearing on what the narrative takes and needs to be twisted for Nilin to propel the story onwards.
I'm kind of disappointed that given the world that's been created in Neo-Paris and its surroundings, you can't veer off the beaten track and explore more. It's a real shame as a visually enticing world has been made, created and applied and for the chance not to be enjoying it seems a real mistake from the developers. There's also a little too much of simply fighting in the game. While the mechanics of doing so are great and the ideas contained within with the presens being a clever one, there's too much of a reliance of this to help move the game along and I felt a little cheated that that was all there is with Remember Me.
All in all, Remember Me is an enticing product, a game which is visually stunning, but ever so slightly flawed. I wanted a little more from the experience and while Nilin's a greatly realised character, some of the foibles make the experience of the game play slighter than it should be. A great storyline plays out and the game offers up a visual point of difference but I kind of left feeling a little flat and deflated from my time with Nilin - a strong heroine with so much story telling potential untapped into.