Looking back at the reveal of ‘Remember Me’ from Capcom, all I could remember was how excited I was to play the game. The title has a terrific premise, the augmentation, theft and control of a population’s memory and experiences. If that’s all you know about the game, then that’s all that you’ll probably enjoy from the game as well.
‘Remember Me’ suffers from the same fate as so many Sci-Fi stories, a simple and intriguing plot-point that in the end becomes so overcomplicated and overworked that almost nothing is relatable. In the game players will assume the role of Nilin, a once successful Memory Hunter, that is arrested and ultimately hunted by the very company that she herself had worked for. The story is filled with twists and surprising story-line moments, though the direction of the game and the poor voice-acting and animation hardly do these moments justice. Memory management has many uses in the game and not all of thema are gameplay mechanics, some are just well-thought out and controlled plot-points. Prisons use memory management to control inmates, causing amnesia, forcing prisoners to believe they are guilty, or controlling them in other ways is the perfect example of how great the original story-line must have seemed when the project was picked up.
There just wasn’t depth to the game, which is unfortunate because so much of the title lures the player into becoming fascinated with its exterior. Let’s use the setting for example. The Neo-Paris that you find yourself in is a wonderfully designed, highly detailed and remarkably stylized city, but the more you try and explore it, the more one-dimensional it becomes. There is so little of the city that’s actually part of the of the gameplay, most of it is just a decorative set. The memory manipulation mechanic is another perfect example. You can ‘hack’ into people’s memories, this becomes like a video you watch, wherein you can control, playback and finally change what the memory is. This means you can trick, lie, and force others to believe what ever you want in order to get more information of them, or to get out of situations. This was really the centerpiece of the game, but although it’s interesting, it wasn’t as well built as I had hoped. The limitations on what you can actually do with a person’s memory left me wanting more, and I think that it could be a stepping stone for another company to utilize the mechanic more efficiently later on.
Combat is significantly worse in the game than almost any other point I could make about the title. The camera angles that are used in combat are just as disconnected from the action as the player probably is. The group-fighting is second-rate when compared to other titles, and none of it flows together like I had hoped. The game is built around an already preachy subject, when the poor writing and mediocre attempt of translating the story to an interactive game fails, the real impact of the story is lost forever.
What Remember Me succeeded in was capturing my attention long-enough to allow me to become disappointed in what I found. While reviewing the game I kept thinking of ways to highlight the game’s ambition because so much of the game is truly original. The memory pieces and characters were well conceived, but the just like the game they were poorly executed. It’s a shame that this was the title that moved ahead with a female lead, the poor choices that were made with the game will surely diminish an already judgmental publishing base from the idea of using another female lead in the future. Though disappointment means expectations and desire, hopefully publishers will see that the players do want female protagonist options in their titles, just good ones.
If Remember Me launched as a $9.99 to $19.99 digital title, it would have earned some pretty amazing scores I would imagine, but the bloated $59 for a retail console game that doesn’t outshine its peers in any tangible way only makes it pale in comparison. In the end ‘Remember Me’ reads more like an epitaph than a reasonable request.