Review: Remember Me (PC)

Review: Remember Me (PC)

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I wish my power had more use in this game.
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That floating group of blocks is the visual representation of the Sensen.

The world of Remember Me is set in a dystopian cyberpunk society in the not-so-distant future where a specific corporation (Memorize) developed the Sensen (Sensation Engine) which is technology that allowed people to choose what memories will remain in their heads. It was introduced as the solution to create a utopia but all of that came crashing down when you jump to the introduction of the main character, Nilin. Our protagonist is introduced in a scene where her memory is in the process of being wiped and altered but is saved by a mysterious man who will later be known as Edge. He claims that Nilin is one of the best memory hunters and an “Errorist” who fights with his cause to expose the pain and suffering the Memorize corporation has inflicted on the world with the introduction of the Sensen. Edge assists Nilin’s escape from prison and quickly finds herself in the slum areas of Neo Paris where she encounters abominations known as “Leapers”. They were once human but succumbed to “memory addiction” and mutated into sub-humans. Leapers are one of the few enemy types you encounter, although they are treated as sub-humans they actually mutate further and become more threatening towards the end of the game. Nilin is then pushed forward into Edge’s revolution once again as the centerpiece of his grand plan to take down Memorize and “liberate” mankind once more.

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Leapers. Yes, ewww, disgusting! Get away!

I’m pretty sure this game went under the radar for most people given the fact that the only reason I read about this game was its developer being featured on pieces about how publishers tend to shun or give little marketing budget for games with female lead characters. Simply put, there is a bias towards games with female leads because the publisher’s target demographics are young males who they have some sort of empirical data to justify why they won’t work unless the lead is a dude. Then one could also place in an argument on how such empirical data would have made female characters depicted the way they are in a slew of games that feminists have scrutinized from their outfits and roles played in games. We can argue about this issue all day but I personally do not care what gender the protagonist of a game I play is. It’s the writer’s job to make it work and ultimately, an action brawler like Remember Me, is tasked to differentiate itself from established games like the Arkham series of Batman games. While the game has its entertaining moments, there is too much left to be desired from a game design, plot and game play stand point. Quite frankly, I’m disappointed with the finished product. Remember Me is not a bad game, it just doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

Good Points:

The game is visually appealing. There really isn’t much to say when I talk graphics. Remember Me has very detailed character faces, clothing, and even scenery. You can really tell they put a lot of work into the game’s design and artwork.

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Precise and solid controls. The combat in this game is very fluid and enjoyable. I didn’t experience any issues with targeting or avoiding enemy attacks due to bad programming or glitches. The auto camera rotation can become annoying at times but it wasn’t that big of a deal when I started adjusting it manually. This isn’t a mindless masher, you need to master timing and will find yourself customizing your combos during combat a lot.

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Great musical score and voice acting. True to its apparent high production value, the music and voice acting of this game is superb.

I know that the review on the good points are really short but come on, what else is there to say? Should I name drop on the musical score’s composer or some big wig lead graphic designer or game designer even? Remember Me is worth the amount I paid for the game with the good points alone but overall, the game could have done better which we will get into next.

Bad Points:

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All roads lead here, regardless of what you do. HAHA! Semi-spoiler!

Extremely linear progression is a problem because I felt the game could have benefited from a relatively free-roaming quest based design instead of episodic chapters which only took you from point A to point B. One underlying reason is really the fact that Nilin is a fugitive. She should have had to blend in to get around and if worse comes to worst, use her “memory mixing” abilities to avoid detection. There can also be consequences resulting from using the “memory mixing” ability be it a superficial as a combat penalty or something more ingrained in the development of the story which can force players to take a different and more difficult routes for choosing the “easy way out”. I really believe the direction Dontnod Entertainment took with the game’s progression really lowered the game’s value.

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To have a soul, you need to have some character first.

Inadequate character development on Nilin was an increasingly frustrating chain of events I had to endure. The more she discovered about her past, the more helpless and subservient she became in spite of talking down to her anonymous supporter, Edge. Although she doubted his intentions, she went all the way and followed his instructions to the tee in the end. I guess its perfectly normal for a person not to freak out or act out in the slightest possible way when you rediscover your identity and the weight that was put behind it. The only real conflicts Nilin encountered through-out the game were all the physical obstacles put in front of her which she could beat down but when it came to moral decisions and choices:

Edge: “Do it, there is no other way.”

Nilin: “But!… Fine, okay…”

These are not direct quotes but that’s the gist of it.

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You’re literally using your powers to do nothing but bad things.

Overproduced and overcompensated problem solving scenes with simple mechanics following trial and error logic is how I describe Nilin’s “memory mixing” ability. This may be a harsh assessment to what was obviously planned as a storytelling tool but since they gave it some mechanics, I’m going to rip on it hard. True to the game’s linearity, remixing their memories only have one outcome and it’s always to inflict harm to your target. The process of remixing memories is basically looping around (rewind and then fast forward) a specific scene of their past and finding object to interact with to change how they remembered the event. This might be a spoiler but its a recurring theme in the game: All the objectives for remixing memories is to make sure someone dies in  the memory or shift the blame away from somebody. You’re treated to a lot of eye candy on how they interpret the process of remixing (think of the movie “Hackers” with waaay better graphics) but that’s all there is to it: eye candy. This ability could have played a more significant role in the game.

Things That Can Swing Either Way:

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You might be sold on Nilin’s spinning bird kick. How is it there? Because CAPCOM.

The combat system is repetitive but not without merit. Remember Me employs a basic combo system where there are four (4) chain pre-sets as follows: 3-hit, 5-hit, 6-hit, to 8-hit combos. What makes this combo system different are the “Pressens” which give each hit a certain property: Power Pressens are basically for dealing damage, Regen Pressens recover health when you land a hit, Coold Down Pressens which are used to lower S-Pressen (super moves) cool down time, and finally Chain Pressens amplify the power of any of the three (3) basic Pressens. While this all sounds neat, you’ll be doing the same old thing in every encounter: Get in a few blows, dodge, go right back in, dodge, use a specific S-Pressen or ranged attack (the Spammer) to make specific mobs vulnerable, rinse and repeat. All Nilin does is display a fantastic and acrobatic show of brute force where her power actually lies in manipulating memories. They could have added a layer of depth in combat where your skills aren’t all about beating everything down. The game’s premise already gave the developers a good foundation to run wild with what they could do to add a different dimensions to the game’s combat system. It’s a pity they went the easy route here but it’s still a pretty fun combat system which still requires a certain degree of twitch skills to master.

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It’s also worth pointing out that the game is suited to game pad controls more than keyboard and mouse interface. I played Remember Me with an Xbox 360 controller.

This game could have benefited from multiple endings. I strongly believe that if the developer allowed you to make choices and take different routes to progressing in the game AND most importantly allow your choices to affect the outcome of the game significantly, you would find the yourself more invested in the game world and its characters. I found myself not caring about anybody half-way through the game because you cannot act on Nilin’s conflicting feelings. Granted that there are loads of games without multiple endings, I feel that the plot of the game (technology which allows you to manipulate memories) should give players the ability to influence the game’s story.

Remember Me is a solid game which left me wanting so much more that I couldn’t help but feel disappointed with the game. The short play-through time of eight (8) hours is pretty much standard these days but I wish the game was designed for a 30-40 hour play through which would have opened up a lot of content and stories to give the game more depth and ultimately be more enjoyable.

Remeber Me was developed by DONTNOD Entertainment and published by Capcom.

Remember Me is now available for the PC in Datablitz for P1,290 (roughly $30) and is pretty bang for buck compared to the retail price on Steam which is $49.99. You can also get the game for the Xbox 360 and PS3 for P1,790 less a hundred bucks if you pay in cash. But there are so many other games in the similar price point that can entertain you for countless more hours. The PC version from Datablitz will be installed on Steam so you will need a Steam account and a broadband internet connection because after the full install, you will unfortunately have to download additional patches.

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Recommended System Requirements:

    • OS:Windows Vista®, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor:Intel® Core™ Quad 2.7 Ghz or better, AMD Phenom™ II X4 3 Ghz or better
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 560 or better
    • Hard Drive:9 GB HD space
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection