It’s surprising that the imminent release of a major Capcom title has not received a great deal of attention, especially when that games’ title is Remember Me.
Fortunately, just months before release, Capcom have allowed me to delve deeper into this twisted futuristic world, and helped me to understand the unique imagination of new blood studio, Dontnod Entertainment a little bit better.
I’m not going to start this preview talking about the story or the richly detailed world in Remember Me. In fact, what i’m about to tell you could be a bit of a deal-breaker when considering your purchase of the game.
There is a lot of hand to hand combat in Remember Me. A big lot. So it shouldn’t be a major surprise that there’s a special feature in the game called the Combo Lab. However, this is where things get more interesting. The Combo Lab makes it possible for a player to create their own unique combos. Creating a combo is as simple as adding a Pressen move to one of the pre-displayed combo boxes. Players start with a limited number, but more combo box slots and moves become available as the character Nilin levels up throughout the game.
What’s so fascinating is how the combo system actually works when put in to practice. Each of the combos is time sensitive. Anyone attempting to button mash will probably find themselves eating dirt pretty quickly. It’s all about getting the right timing. There are even combos that will reward the player with some health if the whole combo is successfully used on an enemy.
After getting some hands-on with the system, I can tell you that it’s genuinely satisfying creating combos and using them on enemies. In fact, coming away from the demo, I visualized several opportunities where this system could be expanded upon and developed further post-release. The idea of getting players to create combos adds the possibility of adding different types of moves as downloadable content. It could even mean the inclusion of further downloadable missions with extra moves. Obviously, it’s just an idea, but it would certainly fit this sort of video-game, seeing as Remember Me is all about the memories of the main character and those around her.
In addition to combos, there is also a lot of emphasis on dodging enemies. This is particularly beneficial during fights with tougher enemies or large groups.
In Remember Me, there are also occasions when the fighting is replaced with platform sections. These are very enjoyable and often test to see if the player is paying attention. Most of the platform sections are fairly standard and consist of climbing and other athletic activities. However, there are times when quick thinking is required. These often involve the ingenious use of environmental props, such as moving ad boards. It places extra pressure on the player to pay attention to the finer details of their surroundings.
Getting through these sections was definitely one of the highlights of my preview session, especially since they become more complicated as players progress. It reaches a point where main character. Nilin, is trying to avoid security robots. She does so with the aid of Remembrance. This fancy feature makes it possible for Nilin to see a projection of a memory. obtained from someone else. In the preview, the Remembrance was used to show the safest path to reach a target located at the top of a high security building. It’s one of the many thrilling features Remember Me has to offer.
Another great feature is the ability to use special moves whilst fighting enemies. For example, one of these moves, Rage, enables the use of free combat without any combo limitations for a limited period of time. It certainly makes the combat sections more dynamic and interesting.
The pay off is that these special moves require the use of Focus, which is earned by fighting enemies. This is a neat way to keep the player using the innovative Combo Dojo system without always resorting to these special moves to get the job done.
But Remember Me isn’t just about combat sections or a variety of platform challenges. It also has clever sections where Nilin gets to show off her more unique ability. Nilin is not only able to access memories, she can also manipulate them to point where the owner of those memories remembers them in a completely different way.
In the preview, an agent from Nilin’s past, ambushes her at a friend’s place. This agent claims that she has been ordered to capture Nilin. Faced with no other choice, Nilin uses her special glove to access the memories of this agent. At this point, the player has access to the agent’s memory through Nilin, and we learn about the agent’s motivations for tracking down the character. In this case, it turns out that the Agent’s partner is infected with a disease that not only affects his memories, but also his physical appearance.
Fortunately for the agent, the doctor is confident that he can revert the condition and get her partner back to health. However, this is a very expensive condition, and the only way to raise that kind of money is by bringing in the fugitive, Nilin, who is worth a lot of money to the authorities. This will enable the agent to pay for her partner’s treatment. At this point, the player is presented with the opportunity to modify the agent’s recollection of this memory.
At first, it is quite tricky to get the hang of this process. It almost feels like a puzzle since all the pieces must fit together and in a certain order. In this case, the objective is to modify certain sections of the memory so the agent remembers events differently. In this case, the agent must believe that the doctor ended up having to kill her partner as the condition was incurable.
Remember Me is unafraid to deal with controversial topics, and this is one such occasion considering Nilin is forcing the agent to believe that her partner is dead. The memory alteration process is a genuinely satisfying gameplay mechanic, though. Being able to change variables to create different outcomes is, at you might expect, very enjoyable. Fortunately, it’s possible to rewind and undo any alterations made so that there is no risk of failing if the player gets the wrong outcome. One of the few possible outcomes of this scenario sees the agent dying, overwhelmed with grief.
This short memory alteration experience shows a lot of potential. Nilin’s power allows her to change how people view her and the world around. Such a concept seems a perfect base for expansion, adding even more post launch content, focused around Nilin’s life and the memories she has manipulated.
Remember Me is set in the futurisitic city of Neo Paris. I got to experience the first chapter, which sees Nilin escape from a facility in the slums of the city. It’s certainly not a pretty sight and there are plenty of enemies hanging about. Most of these are easily defeated, though. However, the stronger enemies, such as the Berserker, require the player to come up with strategies. The Berserker is invincible at certain times and it’s necessary to be aware of that, then find out how to make him vulnerable to attacks.
Meanwhile, in the interest of contrast, the second chapter shows off the posh side of the city, where Remember Me’s eclectic vision of a futuristic sci-fi city is more prominent. The mix between old and new is inspiring to look at, especially since the architecture feels very unique when compared to similar video-games.
Most of the demo consisted of navigating fairly linear sections, but there were a few occasions where it opened up to show off populated districts. Fortunately, Nilin has a handy eye augmentation that the player can use to locate the next objective easily. There are also various maps cleverly placed in the environment that guide Nilin to collectibles.
Just like the beautiful city, character models are looking mightily impressive, especially sub-characters which normally suffer so extra time can be spent on the main cast. It’s obvious the team has worked diligently to build their very own vision of what they think a futuristic sci-fi world would look like from scratch. As you might expect, not much was revealed about the story throughout the demonstration, but what I have seen is very impressive and deeply interesting.
Remember Me is a surprisingly refreshing take on the third person adventure genre. All the standard features you’d expect from the genre are there, but the various unique features shown, while fantastic on their own, make for a genuinely entertaining experience when combined. The memory alteration process is provocative and a very unique way to implement puzzle-solving into the experience and introduce it to players.
Remember Me is an apt title for one of my biggest surprises of the year. I’m certainly finding it difficult to forget the time I spent with Nilin, and I can’t wait for more in June.