June 12, 2013 Updated: June 12, 2013 at 10:45 am
What is it?
A third-person action platformer set in the year 2084. With its Neo-Parisian setting, developer Dontnod has created a world where personal memories can be digitized, sold, traded and bought. Gamers play as Nilin, a former memory hunter who has the ability to break into people's minds to alter and steal their memories. Fearful of her capabilities, Nilin is arrested and has her memory erased. Players lead Nilin through a complicated, dangerous plot to regain her memory and discover what has happened to her.
A brilliant concept. "Remember Me" is all about memory. Nilin is trying to retrieve hers and in doing so she not only steals other people's memories but manipulates what people remember. Players will use Memory Remix, a gameplay mechanic that allows Nilin to alter parts of memories. I used this ability early in the game to change an enemy into an ally. I also used my character's ability to manipulate memories to access important information. This power is not just for coercion or intel gathering. During the game an NPC gave me a memory of how to beat a security system. Using memories as a gameplay device is a creative idea with a ton of potential.
Clever combat. Gamers familiar with the Arkham series of Batman games will feel right at home with this title as it features a lot of countering. What makes "Remember Me" unique is its Combo Lab. Here gamers can tinker with different types of punches or kicks you'd want to deliver. Combat isn't just combat; depending on how you build your combos, you can also get other bonuses such as regenerating health.
A beautiful world. Neo-Paris is stunning. The buildings are detailed, the character models look sharp and text that pops out like a 3D image gives the world a futuristic feel. The entire landscape - from the slums to the skyscrapers- is designed with such care and style that players can't help but be immersed.
Restrictive movement. While Dontnod has created a beautiful world to traverse, the environments are much too limited. Instead of being able to move around the city, players are guided to exactly where they need to go. This wouldn't be such an issue if Dontnod didn't make it look like you actually can explore, then blocks any alternate path you'd like to take. "Remember Me" is disappointingly linear.
Oh, you again. While the combat in "Remember Me" can be satisfying, the fighting system and the gameplay can get repetitive. You'll jump from ledge to ledge, walk around a bit, come to an open area and get into a fight. Lather, rinse and repeat. Once you get into a fight, you'll find yourself relying on the same combos over and over again. While there are several different kinds of combos, because you're often swarmed by several enemies at once you'll rarely get a chance to execute any of the longer ones, limiting your fighting style.
"Remember Me" left me wishing it gave me just a little more. I wanted the Memory Remix feature to give me more options, providing the game with the Choose Your Own Adventure feel it seemed to promise early on. I also wanted less linear gameplay, because the environments teased me with interesting places to explore.
While the game fell short, this is a very enjoyable first entry by Dontnod. With some refinement, this could be an excellent series.
Gazette Media Columnist Terry Terrones is a veteran video game journalist who has written for GamePro, PC World, GameZone, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/terryterrones.