Usually when we think of a city being futuristic we think about silly technological advancements like hover cars, hover boards, Futurama style transportation tubes, and interactive billboards. What we don’t consider is government corruption, the destruction of communities for personal gain, and the introduction of technologies to control the very beings that we are and completely alter and destroy our lives in a single pinch.
That however is exactly what Capcom have thought about in Remember Me, a game set in 2084 in a futuristic re-imagining of Paris named Neo-Paris. A time where a new technology called the Sensen has been introduced which at first seems delightful, the ability to share our memories with our loved ones, or remember something ourselves on command. It soon takes a crippling turn when you’re shown exactly what the creators of the Sensen, Memorize, want to do with peoples memories and the lives they ruin in order to get them.
In Remember Me you take the role of the female protagonist Nilin, a professional memory hunter or an “Errorist” as the game calls them, or at least she was. Memorize have captured her and have taken almost all that’s left of her memory, thankfully however you have friends in high places who manage to help you escape the huge memory harvesting prison La Bastille, not that you have any idea why, or who these people are, but go with it.
Capcom have executed this story quite well, so much so that you feel you’re going on a journey yourself. Instead of the usual “Oh, let me remind you how to do this for no reason what so ever”. Nilin, like yourself, has no idea what her surroundings are, how to fight, or who she even is. Throughout the game you learn together, which I think adds a hell of a lot to the entire experience.
So once you manage to escape La Bastille by climbing and getting sealed inside a coffin and washed down the sewers, you’re immediately thrown into combat with some rather gaudy looking Prowler Leapers. These mutants are the backwash of La Bastile and have mutated thanks to some sort of Sensen rejection. In terms of combat, Remember Me takes on the typical Capcom feel, if you’ve ever played Devil May Cry you’ll be familiar with this type of gameplay.
Attacks are compromised of a series of combo’s, where Remember Me differs from Devil May Cry for example is that you learn each combo step by step with the use of Pressens, these Pressens allow you to build up the “X-Y-X-Y” combo’s using different categories of X’s and Y’s. For example, there’s a Regen Pressen that when executed in a combo regenerates some live and a Power Pressen that when executed hits a higher amount of damage.
To further the gameplay a little more Remember Me takes on an old-school Tomb Raider feel to it. As a fugitive Nilin can’t just wander the streets of the aptly named Slum 404 so she must climb, jump, and shimmy across certain parts of the slum in order to get to her destination. This is often accompanied by puzzles in which you must solve in order to progress.
Slum 404 is a fairly poor district of Neo-Paris just one step up from the dank sewers where the Leapers hang out. It’s just one of the many down sides to Memorize’s reign over the city. With trash filled streets Slum 404 is littered with garbage, graffiti, robot whores, and junkies craving just one memory. That’s right, Memories seem to be used as currency in Neo-Paris with cash points branding “Cash for Memories” signs. Capcom have done a brilliant job with the presentation of this game.
Probably within the first 20 minutes of the game you’re introduced to almost every gameplay mechanic. You’ve fought some enemies, clambered around the slums of Neo-Paris, and finally you’re thrown into the world of Memory Remixing. If it wasn’t for this feature the game wouldn’t stand out too far from most other Capcom hack and slash/beat ’em up titles.
Memory Remixing sounds exactly what it is. It’s the act of finding a key memory deep in someone’s mind and changing the overall outcome to benefit you. You’re first introduced to a bounty hunter who’s planning to take you in for a hefty reward, you immediately jump into the memory and find out why this bounty hunter needs the cash, as you play through the memory certain memory glitches appear which allow you to change the outcome of the memory. Each successful remix has a “recipe” or “combination” of glitches which need to be altered, if done correctly you’ll achieve the desired effect and that person will from then on believe that memory completely unconscious to the fact that it’s been altered.
Remember Me has an impressive learning curve, the further you progress the more slightly difficult enemies and attack combinations you’re introduced to, it’s done incredibly well so that you learn how to get the “one up” on your opponent without being too overwhelmed with enemies. While I’m on the subject, along side Pressen combinations you’re also introduced to more powerful S-Pressens, these are specialist attacks which require a cool-down period in order to use again, these S-Pressens allow you to do things such as attack more powerfully for around 30 seconds, slam down into the ground and “stun” opponents, and attach a memory bomb to an enemy which explodes and takes out anyone in the vicinity.
In Remember Me there’s an awful lot of depth within the combat, along side the Pressen combinations and the S-Pressens, as you progress through the game you also unlock or “learn” specific actions from the bosses that you defeat. Also during combat with S.A.B.R.E. units – these are the muscle that Memorize has hired to keep things in order – if you manage to weaken a unit to a certain point you can execute a special move which overloads their brains with memories essentially killing them – nice.
In typical Capcom fashion the game is split up into chapters with each chapter finishing with some sort of boss battle. When you defeat said boss you usually learn an ability unique to them which usually adds a new ability to Nilin’s glove – I forgot the true name to this but let’s call it the glove gun from now on – these unique abilities often give you some sort of added power to Nilin’s gun glove which both aids you in combat as well as throughout the game.
Because the game is set in the future the city of Neo-Paris is littered with enhancements such as robotic assistants, floating drones which display a holographic advertisement, as well as clever warnings which feel like in-game prompts but actually exist in the real world. When you walk past closed shops a holographic sign appears letting you know when it re-opens, warnings appear near fires warning you of the temperature, the same happens when entering the sewers letting you know that you’re about to enter Leaper territory. These real world holographic prompts also help make the game’s waypoints seem a part of the environment so it doesn’t feel too obvious.
Remember Me feels completely fresh and new, but at the same time feels fairly familiar. With the typical Capcom combat system reminiscent of DmC, the game also has a hint of Tomb Raider in there, with a slight dash of Mirror’s Edge thrown in for good measure. The environments are truly stunning, from the light, bright Parisian feel that you get from upper Neo-Paris, to the dark, damp, and cold feeling you get from Slum 404 and the completely futuristic space-age feeling you get from La Bastille this game tickles all of your visual senses.
Remember Me has a completely immersive story too making the saying “I’ll do one more chapter then come to bed” turn into “Oh, it’s 6am already?”. It’s a game filled with a deep story, a completely bonkers combat system which has a brilliant learning curve, and the entire gameplay concept itself, Remember Me is a video game masterpiece.