Remember Me Review
Being the hack and slash/beat 'em up lover that I am, Remember Me stood out with it's unique combo lab, cyberpunk setting, and frantic action. I must admit, at first I didn't really care for Capcom's new IP and was beginning to wonder if I made a mistake with my purchase. And BAM! That's when it hit me... I found my flow within the game. Suddenly, I understood how to properly build my combos to suit my needs and found rhythm as I controlled Nilin through her many flips and ability to put the hurt on her foes. Remember Me will probably be forgotten by many but definitely stands out to me and here's why.
Playing through Remember Me solidified my desire to play beat 'em up titles and at the same time offered me something different from the rest. I've never played a game with a combat system like this, even with the glaring issues. This is why I find Remember Me to be a hard game to recommend to anyone unless they are interested in what is offered. Set in Neo-Paris during the year 2084, we find ourselves in control of Nilin and it's not actually a great start. All of her memories have been erased and with help from the mysterious Edge, Nilin escapes captive and must fight in order to regain her memories and ,more importantly, save the world. I immediately noticed and fell in love with the futuristic cyberpunk theme infused within Neo-Paris. In a very strange (yet familiar) way, Remember Me has similarities to Minority Report. The way the ads popped out for vendors, hovercrafts flying, and advanced weaponry. However, what really stands out among the other points is remixing memories.
If you have indeed seen Minority Report , do you remember the scenes where Tom Cruise would scan a crime scene and rewind or fast-forward time? Well, that's what remixing memories feels like and it is a refreshing (not to mention unique) mechanic within a beat 'em up title. Remixing of the minds isn't something Nilin can do whenever but rather four separate situations call for this rare talent. Given a directive, players must watch the specific memory in order to alter the change of events. Doing so in the proper way results in successfully remixing a person's memory. Using the left analog stick to rewind and fast-forward, players are tasked with searching for anomalies to alter to recreate the memory. Once all the necessary changes have been made, the event plays out completely differently than it did when originally watched. There may only be four chances to remix memories but it is definitely the best idea Remember Me offers.
Besides the ability to alter memories, Remember Me introduces an interesting twist on combat by allowing players to create their own combos within the Combo Lab. Nilin makes use of these things called Pressens, which are the main buttons used in combat situations. These are what you use to build combos within the four combo brackets. Each bracket holds a set amount of button inputs and the job of the player is to fill these inputs with Pressens. There are four types of Pressens and their color coding:
- Power (Red)
- Regen (Yellow)
- Cooldown (Purple I'll explain this one)
- Chain (Blue This as well)
Power and regen are pretty self-explanatory though I will mention if you use the power pressens often, Nilin can perform Overloads. These act as finishing moves and can only be done when power pressens are used on the regular.
Now, with the last two, I must delve into what purpose they hold. Throughout the campaign Nilin, at some point, relearns her old memory hunter skills called S-Pressens. Five in all, S-Pressens are special moves that Nilin can use at anytime during combat. My personal favorite is the Logic Bomb; which has Nilin attach a digital bomb to a foe and upon explosion it sends a shockwave out damaging anyone near it ,including Nilin, so you must always move away from the explosion's range. Anyway... back to what I was saying. After each use, the S-Pressens go into a cooldown state and that's where the cooldown pressens are most useful. Instead of waiting for the lengthy cooldown to finish, by using the cooldown pressens, players can speed up the process exponentially; thus allowing the S-Pressens to be used more frequently.
The chain pressens are so useful and the correct placement in a combo can lead to amazing results. The job of a chain pressen is to take the previous effect of a pressen and amplify the effect. So if you happen to place one in front of a power pressen, you can bet double damage will be dealt. Pressens also have to be unlocked and this is done by racking up Procedural Mastering Points (PMP). Beating enemies and performing a 6 or more hit combo are just some of the ways to earn PMP. Players can actively check the progress of the combos via the Dynamic Combo Display, thanks to the real time feed. It definitely comes in handy when you are first learning a new combo tree. I personally like the combat system because it's different from the average beat 'em up method you would see in titles like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. In fact, I would say Remember Me has a lot more in common with Platinum Games' Metal Gear Rising. There's a sort of rhythm that must be obtained to fully appreciate Remember Me's combat and I fear many will and have overlooked this. Though I wish me and the camera actually got along; there were many moments during the game that I lost track of where I was heading or messed up a combo thanks to the loose camera. At the end of the day, I'm pleased with what Dontnod Entertainment went for; even if it has some quirks.
Fun Fact: Over 50,000 Pressen combinations can be created
Platforming sections help to break up the action and is welcome since the combat does tend to become repetitive. Remember Me doesn't feature the most memorable platforming and isn't really on par with games like Assassin's Creed and Uncharted but I wouldn't consider it weak. To aid the player during platform sections, Nilin eventually gains access to sub-weapon mods for her Hunt Glove (which you can see if looking at her right arm). Each modification comes with an ability unique to itself allowing the player to use each one at the correct time. One mod acts like a lock pick, used to transfer energy from one conduit to another, while a different mod can destroy structural weaknesses. All of the mods are used for the puzzles scattered throughout the game and only two can be used in combat. I found the puzzles to be child's play for a majority of the game (shoot this or move that) but once I reached the home stretch I was stumped by the logic puzzles thrown at me. These kinds of puzzles make you feel good about yourself if you can figure them out yourself.
Remember Me definitely has some high moments during platforming. Whether I was being chased by a gunship firing at me or climbing on buildings while overlooking the beautiful Neo-Paris; not once did I think this was weak platforming. Although, just like with combat, the camera can sometimes cause death or a player can get lost. If you ever do happen to get lost, the Aug Eye points out the direction you want to go towards. It's almost a shame Capcom didn't make this game open-world because Remember Me is very, very linear. Besides looking for collectables, players are forced to follow this narrow path until the game's finale. With a setting that looks this good and appealing, it left an odd feeling behind knowing I can't explore more of what the city could offer. Would it be strange if I said I enjoyed the story driving Remember Me? Normally, I don't care much for plots involving Capcom's name but Nilin's quest to recover her memories stood out to me in a big way.
Going into Remember Me and knowing I would dismiss the plot, I was genuinely shocked when I found myself invested in Nilin's story. Granted, besides Nilin and Edge, I didn't really care too much for the other supporting characters but the overall theme and morality of it all really sunk in. When I beat the game, I had one of those moments where I just sat back and thought about what I just listened too. Remember Me can in fact teach you something about life if you allow it too. I also really loved Nilin's inner monologues because it allows the player to know what is going on in her head. She expresses emotion when contemplating something troublesome or when she resolves to right a wrong. Of course, there are some quirky one-liners tossed in every now and then but what game doesn't do that? In the end, I was left satisfied with what I had experienced.
+ Gorgeous cyberpunk setting
+ Unique combat system
+ Remixing Memories is awesome
+ Surprisingly, Nilin is a great character
- Loose Camera
- Very linear
- Support characters are blah
I can't really recommend Remember Me to everyone because the game is not for everyone. Most won't care for the systematic method behind the combat and adding a loose camera to the equation will turn them away. The story won't capture some as it did for me. I believe if people aren't afraid to try new things and approach Remember Me with an open mind, they may just find themselves surprised as well. One thing's for certain though: I will remember Remember Me.
This game was reviewed using a copy of the PS3 version obtained by the reviewer.