Remember Me Review
8.5our score

“Whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it’s very important that you do it. Because nobody else wi-…” Say what? Oh, this isn’t the movie? The game? Oh, so be it.

Remember Me (not the movie) is a game developed by DONTNOD Entertainment, an indie developer group who sided with Capcom to bring us this breath of fresh air in these times of mindless shooting games with no storyline other than “Go here, kill stuff.” Remember Me differs because it managed to turn the objectives into “Go here, fiddle with memories.” And I’ll get to that in a moment. For now, let us enjoy the highs and lows of the city you play in. DONTNOD are also now working alongside Square Enix to grant us another narrative-driven game, whose title is yet unknown, as this was revealed in this year’s E3.

Neo-Paris, 2084. The city, and quite possibly the world, has been taken over by the Sensation Engine (Sensen), an implant created by Memorize which allows you to modify your memories at will, including having them altered, introduced, and even removed. For a price, you can fiddle with your brain as much as you desire.

Ever wanted those high-pay vacations with some Adonis and/or Venus? You can have them. Ever wanted to get rid of that nasty memory that’s been haunting your life? Do it. Ever wanted to change the outcome of an event in your life that didn’t turn out like you thought it would? You can do that too; in your head, of course.

However, not all is golden toilets; this is a dystopian future, after all. Those who mess with their own brains for too long or too much end up like empty shells and are tucked away in the sewer lines, where no one can see nor hear your mindless drivel.

And as much as there are those that advocate the use of Sensens, there are those that, obviously, loathe it. And these are called the Errorists, mind hackers, stealing and altering your memories for their own gain.

Characters

And this is where you come in. You play the role of Nilin, an Errorist who was recently captured and hauled away into the top security prison La Bastille where your memories are slowly and very painfully being removed from your brain. And speaking any further of Nilin or any character would be considered a spoiler, mostly because her memory is a blank slate for you to fill as you play, as you slowly recover your memories and answer important questions about your past, so I’ll refrain myself from speaking further.

Sad & Confused. Well… mostly confused.

Gameplay

Of course it wouldn’t be a game without fighting and puzzles, so here we go. The fighting scenes are fairly simple, focusing on combo stacking. Here’s the twist: you MAKE your own combos. This is done by picking whichever Pressens you have available for these combos. You decide which moves to do and to what effect. There are twenty-four available, scattered through four types:

  • Power: As the name implies, these add damage to your attacks. The more of them you have on the combo line, the more damage you do.
  • Regen: Again, simplicity, these heal you when you eventually get beaten to a pulp.
  • Cooldown: Here’s where the game gets interesting. Cooldown Pressens basically reduce the cooldown from your S-Pressen skills (we’ll be discussing these later on) whenever used.
  • Chain: Chain Pressens are another speciality in this game. These Pressens don’t do anything by themselves. However, should you put them immediately after one of the previous 3 types, interesting things happen. After a Power Pressen, you deal extra damage. After a Regen Pressen, same thing, you heal yourself far more. And if you place these after a Cooldown Pressen, you essentially cut your cooldown timers in half.

S-Pressens are special moves that don’t fit in the combo lines but have very effective and devastating effects when used and timed correctly and, in order to use them, you need to attack with regular combos to charge up a Focus bar. I won’t dwell too deeply into these because I feel it’d spoil some nice game mechanics, including friendly fire. Oh yes, there’s friendly fire. And if you don’t believe me, play until your own Logic Bomb kills you.

Not all obstacles in the game are coloured red and punch you back. There are high and low walls you need to traverse in order to progress, as well as pipes, scaffoldings and cutscenes you need to overcome in order to get to the finale. Expect a lot of pipe climbing and no cutscene skipping. That’s right, you cannot skip any cutscenes, so enjoy that. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, as the story itself just reels you in and puts you at the edge of your seat.

C-C-C-Combo Breaker!

You heard the good bits, now for the bad gameplay bits. What? You thought this was all pretty rainbows and unicorns? This is a dystopia, my friend.

Let’s start with the combat. I mentioned using Pressens and S-Pressens to kill your opponents… well, those combos are all that you have. Combat is reduced to punch, kick, dodge and the occasional shot. Nothing more, nothing less. Though, in all honesty, if it were any less, there wouldn’t be any combat. It felt like the game was focused entirely on the story, rather than gameplay itself.

The memory re-write scenes are time-consuming. Very. They are roughly 5 minute long scenes which you have to alter in order to change that person’s memory. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can spend up to half an hour with each one of them.

And, lastly, boss fights. Yes, not even bosses escape the negligibility of the combo mechanics, making those fights incredibly monotonous as they’re reduced to almost nothing. To make matters worse, boss fights come included with your friendly caterer Quick-time events. Yes… The good ol’ “We can’t think of anything better, so we’ll throw these in” excuse. And, considering the effort they put into the rest of the game, I’m not surprised they chose the easy way out on combat.

Yes, it’s THAT repetitive…

Lastly on the bad frontline, the hand-holding. It’s that bad. It gets to the point where, if you haven’t traversed an area within a minute, there will be a pointer showing you the direction you need to go. Haven’t defeated a specific enemy? “Use X to do Y in order to defeat Z npc.” It’s a bit too much. I only hope DONTNOD doesn’t repeat this feature on their next title.

Lightworks/Audio

Graphically, considering the game is running on an Unreal engine (we all know how extreme anything running on this engine can get), it’s impressive. Factor in that it’s made by an indie team, even more so. You see NPCs reacting to the rain, wind and sun, as well as your own character. You see them shrugging and shaking in the cold and covering their eyes when they step out into the sun.

More importantly, you see hair motion. That’s not something you see in an indie title on a daily basis. The lighting effects are also very well made but, again, it’s the Unreal engine, so that was expected. The sounds emanating from the environment make you feel right at home, toilet flushes and culinary disasters included. Try not to sprint too much or you’ll hear your character start running out of breath, a sound that is accompanied by the right animations, as well.

That’s an untreated screencap, gents.

Remember? Dystopia? That follows in the graphics and sound, as well. As far as textures go, it’s not AAA content, but they did alright. Another thing is lip sync on languages other than English. Since we were in Neo-Paris, France, I decided to play the game in French audio – biggest mistake I’ve made. I felt like facepalming every time I saw anyone speak. 90% of the time, their lips were out of sync. In fact, only the first word of every sentence was in-sync. I enjoyed those awkward moments of silence where the voice acting was done, but the lips weren’t done yapping…

Conclusion

Remember Me is a breath of fresh air. To just be able to HEAR the story, rather than murder-kill everything in your path as many modern day games force you to, is simply outstanding. Sure the game mechanics are a bit limited, but if you’re looking for a story-driven experience, this is the game for you.

Ups/Downs

Pros:

  • Excellent story
  • Lush futuristic environment
  • Story-driven game
Cons:

  • Quick-time events!
  • Repetitive combat
  • Memory remixes are very lengthy

System Requirements

Minimum:
OS:Windows Vista®/XP, Windows 7, Windows 8
Processor:Intel® CoreTM2 Duo 2.4 Ghz or better, AMD Athlon™ X2 2.8 Ghz or better
Memory:2 GB RAM
Graphics:NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800GTS or better, ATI Radeon™ HD 3850 or better
Hard Drive:9 GB HD space
Sound:Standard audio device
Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection

Recommended:
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
Sound:Standard audio device
Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection

the author

Three years ago, a good friend of mine asked me "Why Oryngton? Why not your real name?", to which I answered him: "I'd love to see you try to say my name properly: Diogo. Have fun chewing your tongue out." To this day, he's yet to accomplish this feat.