Currently I’m still playing Remember Me, but I wanted to start a Remember Me Review while its still fresh in my mind, in case I get distracted by another game, which doesn’t say much for Remember Me. Currently I’ve logged about 3 hours of gameplay across 2 sessions.
The story behind Remember Me is that you are a freedom fighter of sorts, named Nilin, in “Neo” Paris in the year 2084. Everyone has implants that allow them to perform higher end technical functions directly from their own thoughts. You can even buy memories from someone else’s life, making them yours. Never loved? Buy the memories of love. That plays out the kind of advertising you see around the game, which has a dystopian futuristic feel to it. Currently I’m still in the slums though, only seeing the nice stuff in the distance.
One problem I have with the story is that in an early mission you are part of blowing up a dam, that floods the “rich” district and clears out the slums, that were kind of like Venice before that. And in the game they just sum it up to the fact that the “rich” district made their choice to ignore the rest of humanity and live off the technology. Okay, but did they all deserve to die in a flood because of that? Then you go back to playing the game and your character has moral issues with the fact that families used to live in the slums that were underwater up until recently. It comes across as a bit hypocritical and as a result I don’t associate with the characters too much. But that’s a personal choice of mine, but if you’re way into storyline you might find yourself scratching your head for the same reason.
Remember Me is like a mix of Batman (Arkham series), Tomb Raider (any of them) with the atmosphere of Deus Ex. So that sounds awesome, right? Well… eh. So far I find the aspects of Deus Ex that it has are not the good ones. You’ve got this beautiful scenery but there’s almost zero interaction with the people around you. You walk through a market with people, and robots, trying to sell stuff, but you can’t interact with them, at all, and there’s invisible walls around them so you can’t even get close to them. One memory of my own has me trying to walk around an unexplored area to find that I can’t advance past a chair. A chair! I mean, come on, just let me knock it over, or walk around it. But no, invisible wall it is! I hate that in video games. It immediately sucks me out of whatever world I’m supposed to be in. The game could use some polish in this department.
Okay, so you’ve probably (maybe?) heard that Remember Me has an amazing fighting system. Well, its OK. This is where it draws some parallels to the Arkham series of Batman games. Sort of. You get to make your own combos, sort of. You will have a set of X’s and Y’s that you have to fill in a specific order, however you can choose different types of moves to put in there. Want to hit harder, use the power section. Want to restore your own health during combat, there’s a section for that too. You mix and match them as you go, unlocking more and more combos. Okay, so what’s the same as Batman then? Well if you ever played the Batman challenge maps, and took a character that wasn’t Batman, then you’re treated to fighting ultra fast, compared to slow old Batman. Especially with the likes of Nightwing. But the problem in Remember Me is that its too fast. But how can fighting be too fast? You want to hit people as fast as you can, right? Wrong. Because in Remember Me you have to watch a bar appear below yourself and time the hits for your “custom” combos to what they tell you. And its slower than you want to fight. So you’re surrounded by 3 enemies and want to just dispatch them as soon as possible to return to the fun, Tomb Raider like, exploring in the game. But if you want to do it right, you have to slow yourself down, get hit a pile of times and clunk your way through the battle. I might get the hang of this more as I play, but for now I don’t like the fighting system too much. At least not just yet.
There are a lot of Tomb Raider parallels in this game as well. For example, you’re going along fine, can see the end of a current trek in site, just to jump on a wobbly piece of tin roof and fall 5 stories and then have to go an extra 10 minutes to get back to the same spot. That’s Tomb Raider gaming 101 right there. The game is very linear, but with the odd alternate route, that’s more like an extra room along the way to find an extra piece of collectable item. The hints for finding hidden stash is interesting in concept. An image will appear before you and show you where some hidden stash is, from an odd angle. You use the clues in the picture to piece together where this item is. Sometimes its bang on, and you’d never have found that item without the clue. Other times its so stupid that they showed you anything because the “hidden” stash is in your direct route anyway. But those must be just to remind you that there is loot to even collect in the first place. I guess?
Like Tomb Raider there’s lots of climbing and jumping and all that aerobatic fun stuff. As you move through an area the camera angle will change, and for the most part, the controls adjust accordingly. But sometimes, they don’t adjust. To leap across a jump section, you have to hold the analog stick in that direction, then press “A” to jump. But sometimes the direction you have to point didn’t update when you rounded a corner and the camera angle changed. So you find yourself pressing left, when you should be holding up to make a jump. Its an annoyance that shouldn’t exist. It hasn’t happened a whole lot, really not much at all. But when it does you’ll know it, because you end up scaling in the wrong direction, or jumping to your death by accident.
“But what about all this memory remixing stuff I saw in the previews?” Yeah, that’s interesting, because after playing the game for 3 hours I’ve had 1 of those sessions, and it wasn’t exactly exciting. You just mess with variables in the memory that can alter its outcome. This 1st memory remix has you change a woman’s memory from the fact that her partner is dying in a hospital, to the fact that he died there. What I don’t get about that is how long does that memory stick before the hospital calls with an update for her to say her partner is doing well? Especially when she becomes what seems like a pivotal character in the remainder of the game. Its sort of like the issues you get with time travel in movies. I guess its a mess to try to write around that stuff anyway, as a game/story developer.
Currently, as unfinished as my game play is, I’m giving this game a mediocre score. The atmosphere is fun and I’m hoping it picks up for its flaws by giving some new experiences that make me want to keep playing, both in gamen play and storyline. I will update again after playing some more. It is a beautiful looking game, and that alone has my potential peaked. Hopefully its not another “drop the ball” on cool futuristic stuff, like Deus Ex was.
Update: Its been months since I even thought about playing this game. I could blame the formatting of my gaming machine, or just that it never really caught my attention as a game I wanted to finish. Someday, when that day comes, maybe I’ll have to re-write this review. Or, maybe not.
Remember Me has the bad karma of being a game you won’t remember. Because its not bringing a whole lot to the game, the story is clunky and the gameplay isn’t exactly addictive, but it looks great!