PC Review – Remember Me

Note: This is for the PC version of Remember Me

 Remember Me is the first game developed by DONTNOD entertainment. Originally, it had a hard time finding a publisher, as many of them were reluctant to pick up a game with a female protagonist that also didn’t fatally kill every enemy you come across. Capcom eventually picked it up, and published it to three platforms (PC, Xbox, and PS3).  I played it on the PC, with an Xbox controller, on the hardest difficulty.  I didn’t attempt it on the mouse and keyboard, but based on how it plays,  I can’t imagine it would be a fun experience.

One of it’s strongest attributes is it’s music.  The soundtrack, composed by Olivier Derivière, fits the world perfectly. It adapts itself to combat, changes it’s style based on what’s going on, and is tremendously unique in terms of what it offers.  I would strongly encourage at least giving the excerpts a brief listen, courtesy of the Soundcloud link below. The soundtrack itself is availible on Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon MP3 if you end up wanting to check out more.

Gameplay-wise, it has a lot of things in common with Arkham Asylum, where the emphasis is more on watching the rhythm of battle and reacting accordingly over mashing out a 46 button combo that you’ve committed to muscle memory. You only ever unlock 4 ‘combos’, all of which are pretty easy to remember and make sense, reinforcing a more simple, but effective, method of combat.  Where Remember Me adds it’s own sense of flair is the ‘pressen’ system.  You can adjust each strike to have one of four effects: damage, health restoration, Sensen cooldowns (more on that later!), and ‘chain’. Damage and health restoration are pretty self explanatory; the ‘chain’ ones simply take on the effect of whatever precedes it.   Sensen Cooldowns lower the countdown timer on your specialized abilities, which could be considered the ‘special’ moves.  Each one has a different effect–one allows you to openly freeform moves in a series of devastating strikes, another brainwashes a robot enemy to your cause before it self-destructs.  There’s more in there, and they definitely add a flair to the combat–they are prevalent enough so that you can use them freely, but not so common that they’re all you do.  It’s a simple system that’s pretty fun, though over a multiple-hour play session it starts to feel a -little- robotic. (I’m still riding the MGS Revengeance high, though, so I get withdrawals if I’m not bisecting a Metal Gear Ray in half.)

These are the specialized Sense Abilities you get. The game does a nifty slowdown mechanic to give you time to choose--but the combat doesn't stop!
These are the specialized Sense Abilities you get. The game does a nifty slowdown mechanic to give you time to choose–but the combat doesn’t stop!

Outside of combat, you have the typical Tomb Raider-esque platforming. Nillin, the protagonist, can climb, vault, and jump with the best of them.  The game’s sense of style is amazing here, too–you never feel lost, thanks to helpful HUD elements that show you all the safe spots to jump.  If you’ve ever jumped for a ledge in a game and missed just due to the fact it seemed like it should’ve been a safe haven, rest assured that doesn’t happen here.  And while you do have a sweet moveset for traversing the terrain, the game is unfortunately rather linear–there’s  a few branches where you can hunt down collectibles, but otherwise, it’s fairly straightforward.  Personally, that’s not a huge deal to me, but there were times where I wanted to go and explore Neo Paris in all it’s beauty.

Guys, this menu is gorgeous. Like seriously. So damn stylish -- and this is only the intro menu!
Guys, this menu is gorgeous. Like seriously. So damn stylish — and this is only the intro menu!

There was a few bugs here and there. Most often, a scripted event didn’t go off, leaving me without a ledge to jump to or elevator to ride.  These didn’t provide a major hurdle, as the game’s checkpointing is damn brilliant.  The feelings of “Oh shit, where was my last check point?”, so common with quite the number of games, didn’t occur here.  Other than that, the game ran smooth as silk, and I had no problems with the initial install.

In game UIs are really slick, and aside from your health/Sensen abilities, everything is rendered as something Nillin actually sees, thanks to her Sensen implant.
In game UIs are really slick, and aside from your health/Sensen abilities, everything is rendered as something Nillin actually sees, thanks to her Sensen implant.

Overall, Remember Me is a solid game.  There’s nothing that stands out, but the combat system has enough nooks and crannies to not feel completely redundant with other games. Where it shines is it’s art style and sense of self; it’s one of the few games where the world feels fully believable and fleshed out. The animations are top notch, too–Nillin gives a great sense of being wounded or confused or angry even when idle.  Ultimately, it’s something I think people should experience for at least the sights and sounds, and the gameplay isn’t something you’ll need to suffer through for getting from point A to B.

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