Capcom and Dontnod’s Remember Me looks to be a fascinating new IP at the tail end of this console generation and here is why you should be excited for it.
5. Exploring 2084
There is a reason so many people still love the first Mass Effect. Exploration of a foreign space is exciting. Even though Remember Me takes place on Earth, the streets of Neo-Paris, while steeped in classic structure, feel like a different world. You can see the progression from where we are, to where this world says we go. This isn’t a wonderful place, even though there are the sections of the city that you picture when you think of the future, the police state MEMORIZE has built has left parts of the city in shambles.
While exploring slums may not be the highlight of most games, if there is a strong narrative presence associated with it, it can be incredibly rewarding. Half the fun of most video games are exploring their fantastical worlds. Even games based in reality are exciting because of exotic or unfamiliar spaces. Not only do you get to see the futuristic setting of Remember Me, but you get to explore inside people’s memories, which is fascinating and terrifying at the same time.
4. Smooth Traversal Gameplay
For lack of a better term, what I am talking about is the exploration style made famous by the Uncharted games. While some might say that this almost paint by numbers climbing and traversal method simplifies the platforming from the previous generation, I think it works to great effect. Simplifying traversal lends to a wider audience and the ability to craft traversal scenarios. Sure, you may not be able to explore every square inch of the world, but I’ll take that trade-off for the more story event based pacing.
This isn’t the case of your favorite franchise being changed to this format, Remember Me is a brand new IP that can format itself how it pleases. This isn’t a game trying to be Uncharted, it’s a game taking systems that are proven and using them to its advantage. Exploring the city as Nilin will be packed with plenty of intense moments that only this style of gameplay can provide.
3. Combo Lab
Remember Me’s Combo Lab lets players customize their combos and test their various combinations. While other games allow you to try and learn new combos, not many let you create your own and have specialized classes for combos. These classes, called Pressens, can result in combos that give you back some health, do more damage, recharge your special abilities or double the Pressen before it.
The special moves, called S-Pressens, have even more varied results. It’s a way to spice up the style of combat Batman: Arkham Asylum and Assassin’s Creed did such a good job introducing. As well as that systems works on its own, it’s good to see other games trying to put their own spin on it. It’s what elevates mechanics and prevents them from stagnating. For games like this where combat is a pretty big focus, good mechanics are key.
Nilin is different in the world of Remember Me. While other people can view other’s memories, Nilin has the ability to ‘Remix’ them, which changes them and the minds of the people as well. In the demo from E3 2012 we saw Nilin change the memories of someone so a fight with their girlfriend resulted in that person murdering her and while she wasn’t actually dead, the man was so distraught with grief that he killed himself because of this false memory.
While that specific example is pretty dark, it is a fascinating concept that should be incredibly interesting to play. As they were presented, these remixing moments should be a fascinating puzzle break from combat and exploration. The concept of rewriting memories could create some interesting scenarios and if what we’ve seen is any indication, the team at Dontnod is crafting a very interesting game.
While another amnesia plot seems a bit trite, Remember Me somehow has managed to spin it into something interesting. Crafting an entire world around memories is a fascinating way to take the oppressive regime and the amnesia plot in an entirely new direction. Just exploring the concept of memories is fascinating enough. We craft our entire purpose on our memories and a story where those are not forgotten, but stolen isn’t something we’ve seen often.
Neo-Paris in 2084 is a dark, depressing place filled with the husks of people who have experienced so many memories that aren’t theirs that they have lost all meaning of self and devolved in the shambling remains of people. Nilin has not only been robbed of her own life, but she possesses the ability to permanently change those of others. This is a world that just begs to be explored. I hope that Remember Me can craft these concepts into an excellent game when it comes out on June 4 2013.