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Remember Me? You’re unlikely to forget it

Wednesday, 6th February 2013 16:02 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Remember Me could mark the greatest commitment to solo gaming since Dishonored when it’s released in May. Patrick Garratt played the first two levels in Paris last week. New video and images included.

Remember Me is unashamedly single-player and level-based, and has a coherency I haven’t seen since Dishonored.

Remember Me is sodden with theme. It’s set in 2084, making a futuristic nod to 1984 and taking a shrewd guess at society’s general direction. The rich-poor divide is central, as is state control. We have neural implants, revolutionary idealism, wealthy conservatism, robotics, and, of course, memory management. Remember Me starts in Paris’s Bastille, highlighting the significance of developer Dontnod’s penchant for significance.

Actually, it’s Neo-Paris. You can tell because you’re taken on a set-piece tour of all the city’s major landmarks in their future state. I played the first full mission and part of the second stage, and I saw the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and Sacré Cœur, all battered and trivialized by human advancement, lit by dripping slums and soaring strings. The setting’s like some carless combination of C’était un Rendezvous and Brink.

The game introduces you to Nilin before you get to all that. She’s a beautiful young woman. A man named Edge busts her out of the Bastille and guides her as she emerges from a coffin in Paris’s catacombs and begins to reconstruct her stripped memory. Edge’s aim is to “punish” the city’s rich and start a revolution.

Aside from the narrative themes – which are lovingly incorporated – Remember Me stands out for Nilin’s fluidity of movement, its combat, and the concept of “memory remixing”. As you can see in the video below, the player is allowed to move through the environment with grace. Everyone in 2084 wears a Sensen implant, which, among other things, shows you where to go. Your path in Remember Me is lit by orange arrows, and progress never feels confusing as a result. Advancement is linear and instantly achievable. The camera drops out to a detached point when it needs to, but remains over Nilin’s shoulder during general movement on the ground. The first main goal is to reach a chap called Headache Tommy in his slum bar, the Leaking Brain.

Movement and exploration.

Combat is more obtuse, but ultimately rewarding. You create customizable combos by stringing together lines of “pressens,” button prompts you unlock as you level-up. By landing combos successfully you score extra damage, regenerate health or speed-up cool-downs. When it all comes together it works well. After struggling with the concept in the earlier sections, I was soon coping with waves of armoured men.

Enemies start as weak zombie-types in sewers before Nilin works her way up to security guards. Guns don’t exist in Neo-Paris. States don’t need firearms when they can control memory.

It’s the memory alteration concept which truly sets Remember Me apart. Memories are for sale. You can remember whatever you like, for a price. The cost isn’t just financial, unfortunately: excessive memory fiddling leads to addiction, a need to forget everything bad in life. Those with the power can alter memories as they see fit. Nilin is one of a select group capable of remixing the memories of others, leading to distinct sequences in which she alters personal pasts for profit.

Memory remixing and combat.

Bounty hunter Olga Sedova attacks Nilin early in the game. Seconds before death, Nilin accesses Olga’s Sensen implant and alters one of her memories. This takes the form of a sequence in a hospital room where you need to move backwards and forwards through time to shift the position of objects and force a doctor to kill Olga’s husband. You swap chemicals for injection, remove restraints, and so on. I was told there are several other such instances in the game, and they grow longer and more complex as the story unfolds. Eventually, Olga believes her husband was murdered and becomes an ally of the revolution.

The memory concept provides a sharp edge over other box-ticking third-person story games. When combined with the Orwellian themes, the combat, Nilin’s movement system and the general commitment to solidity and place, Remember Me is revealed as an unashamedly single-player, level-based game with a coherency I haven’t seen since Dishonored. The greatest problem is likely to be longevity. I asked how long it takes to play through, and the creative director said he wasn’t “allowed” to tell me. There’s no multiplayer. There are three levels of difficulty and endless variations to combat combinations, so it’s clear effort’s been made to ensure there’s a reason to return. That said, don’t be surprised when reviewers throw up play-time as an issue.

A bad thing? Maybe. But the same was said of Dishonored, and Arkane’s debut was one of the most talked-about releases of 2012. I have no idea if Remember Me will sell well. From a creative standpoint it’s largely irrelevant. What is important is the aptness of the title: you’re unlikely to forget this polished effort when it releases in May.

Remember Me releases for PC, 360 and PS3 in May.

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23 Comments

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  1. dex3108

    Why PC platform is not mentioned in videos? Good article btw :D

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Kabby

    Looks pretty decent given how it all came to fruition.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Edo

    Still can’t get pass that cheesy dialog…so how are the missions and the world structured,linear,semi-open world,hub based?

    #3 1 year ago
  4. manamana

    Looks amazing and so great to see a new IP at the end of this cycle. Only thing I dislike is the orange arrow. I hate it, when I get pointed out where I have to go next, so I hope one can disable that feature. And Pat, great video, we need more of them ;-)

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Showmeyomoves!

    This game looks solid in terms of gameplay – and amazing in terms of art direction – but all the dialogue I’ve heard so far makes me cringe.

    Not to mention the monologuing in life-threatening situations. “Don’t stop, Nilin. Don’t stop” while the floor is falling from underneath her feet at 2:10 in the first video… Who does that? It’s like a non-English speaker watched a lot of Hollywood action movies and wrote a script.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. PEYJ

    Hmm. I like the futuristic Paris but hate the dialogue and possible the story, at least from what I’ve gathered so far.

    The memory thing seems intriguing but also confusing.

    I really like traversing but this seems remarkably old school.

    Finally, my god, combat-combos – how I hate thee.

    I’m divided on this one but I’m leaning to the negative side.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. manamana

    @Patrick is there is a demo planned?

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Neuromancer

    @7 Yes.

    Check the official Facebook page -> Recent Posts by Others on Remember Me Game.

    “Two questions?? Will there be a demo released soon and will this game be on disc or downloadable on like PSN??”

    Remember Me Game response: “Yes there will be a demo.”

    http://www.facebook.com/Remembermegame

    #8 1 year ago
  9. manamana

    ^ great, thanks!

    #9 1 year ago
  10. TheBlackHole

    I actually think it looks a bit boring.

    I’m not sure why, but it just doesn’t appeal to me at all.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Clupula

    The gameplay footage I’ve seen didn’t impress me. Just not very interested in this title.

    I’ll definitely give the demo a shot, though. Maybe that’ll change my mind.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Patrick Garratt

    I’d wait until the reviews tell you how long it is, personally. What I saw of it was great, but it’s unusual for a company to actually refuse to say how big a game is.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. YoungZer0

    Nah, i don’t think i’m going to like it.

    The environment is breathtakingly amazing, but everything else doesn’t seem to be. The character-design, especially the female main character looks horrendous, very outlandish compared to the world.

    The gameplay doesn’t impress me and doesn’t seem to bring anything new to the table. :/

    #13 1 year ago
  14. ps4some

    Which platform did you see it on Pat?

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Patrick Garratt

    @14 – I played the 360 version, but Keza from IGN was playing the PS3 version next to me. Looked the same, as far as I could tell. They didn’t have a PC version there.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. ps4some

    Ta

    #16 1 year ago
  17. nhowell14

    Looks like Mirror’s edge and Uncharted had a love child…

    Yes that is How i associate game influences on new games, as terming them as prodigy.

    In other words, this should be quite awesome.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. loki

    another mediocre from Capcom with PC port already forgotten

    #18 1 year ago
  19. tatsujin

    would look better on PC.

    Also, gives me vibes for Uncharted feeling … not so original people … NOT so original.

    Camera was terrible in action scenes or at least where it needed most. It was good for everything else.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. akhaddd

    backwards and forwards through time to shift the position of objects and force a doctor to kill Olga’s husband. You swap chemicals for injection, remove restraints, and so on. I was told there are several other such instances in the game, and they grow longer and more complex as the story unfolds. Eventually, Olga believes her husband was murdered and becomes an ally of the revolu

    #20 1 year ago
  21. SameeR_Fisher

    @Patrick Garratt: one important question to me, how was the dialogue ?!

    The game looks amazing, Neo-Paris is breath taking, The Combat looks fun, the plot seems interesting, but the dialogues they seem so cliche and really bad, Did they fix that ?!, or is the dialogues still as bad as the first demo ?!, this is a huge issue to me, cause Heavenly Swords gave me a headache due to the boring and bad dialogues.

    Also I am quite sure Dishonored is a long game, not a 6hrs or 8hrs game by any chance unless you are flying through the level, not exploring, not taking any side quests, not listening to any conversation, and not stealthing, and by doing that you are missing around half or more of the game, Personally Dishonored was lengthy to me.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. CPC_RedDawn

    I think its funny how its took til what looks to be the last years in these consoles life cycles to get new IP’s out!

    I mean what have what had that’s new?

    Gears Of War was new at the start of the cycle (which was originally a tech demo for showing Microsoft what Unreal 3 could do)

    The only console to really bring new IP has been Sony. They brought us the Uncharted franchise, Resistance franchise, Little Big Planet franchise, Killzone franchise (which was still pretty new as 1 was released during the end of PS2).

    But its taken until now to give us games like Dishonored, Remember Me, The Last Of Us, and to some degree Bioshock Infinite (which looks completely different to me).

    So far this year looks to be the best year so far,

    with:
    The Last Of Us, Remember Me, BioShock Infinite, GTAV (finally), Tomb Raider reboot, and I am really looking forward to Warface on PC. I know its an fps game but its free of charge and looks fantastic.

    I bet this years E3 will BLOW EVERYONE AWAY. PS4, 720 shown in detail. Tons of first party games and apps shown for the new consoles. Killzone 4 will be shown, Uncharted 4 will be announced, GT6 announced, Gears 4 announced if not shown, New Zelda, Mario, and Metroid shown, Metal Gear 5 shown in detail, maybe even Fallout 4 shown or at least teased.

    And, I know I have gone completely off topic here, but the grand daddy of the them ALL!!!!!

    HALF LIFE 3 WILL BE SHOWN!!!!!!!!!! (and hell might freeze over I know).

    But will it be PC only? or will Gabe give into his current hatred for everything Microsoft has done to the PC market and go with PC and PS4 exclusive? Think about it, the PS4 is rumored to be using X86/X64 based CPU from AMD so porting would be easy…

    #22 1 year ago
  23. Telepathic.Geometry

    Really looking forward to this one! ^-^

    #23 1 year ago