The Hardest part about writing this review is one thing.
I like this game. I found stuff I dislike but I like this game.
My first article ever written was about Capcom becoming stagnant and this game is the prime example on how to get out of stagnation. Remember Me as you know deals with memory theft and the using of memories against people on the quest to regain your own memories. The fact that you yourself might be manipulated and you would not even know it terrifies me.
The game finds ways to make me think about it even when I’m done and that makes this game even better. What happens when you can’t trust even your own memories? Who or what can you trust when you can’t even trust your yourself? This is an amazing theme and kept me going no matter how much the game managed to make me throw my controller.
First off the graphics look amazing. Water effects look amazing and rain looks like actual rain. Character models look amazing and your character you control looks amazing. One problem I have is the enemies get repetitive not in pattern but in design. There are 2 enemy types, Leapers and S.A.B.R.E forces. Both units have 3-4 types and they all get annoying. S.A.B.R.E has basic soldiers, shield soldiers and electric soldiers while the Leapers have basic Leapers, Rage Leapers, light based Leapers and teleporting Leapers but the designs barely change between each class.
Back to the graphics, the games visual design actually reflects the style of a futuristic Paris rather than some generic future city. The sleek design of the upper class with the dark downtrodden look of the underclass area reflect a more social struggle than the ‘they rich we poor’ thing that most modern FPS games try to do to make you hate the people who ain’t white. I said it.
The problem I have with the graphics is when I am about to die the game starts acting like the disc is glitching (which, with a digital version is impossible) this is to make it I guess seem like your are failing in a memory but it just makes the combat that much more difficult.
Sound is… split. The voice acting is actually really well done and I enjoy the fact that it’s a mix of not just different ethnic characters but different accents giving it the feel that it IS Paris and not just some generic city since I see mo many people TRY accents and fail miserably but this game does it very well on my end. On the other end the music annoys me since it can’t choose a style. Sometimes it has this annoying electronic sound while on the other it’s orchestration and by splitting it it becomes dull and boring rather than amazing.
The true problem with the music is once again in battle (a lot of things revolve around combat don’t they?) the music sometimes does this remix sound thing that honestly has led to me being distracted and getting pounded into the dirt. It’s a pointless addition and only adds frustration.
Now onto gameplay but this time I want to split it into basic gameplay and combat since they seem to be from totally different people. Haven’t I went down this road before?
The standard gameplay is actually very fun with Prince of Persia style platforming that’s actually easy to understand since the game actually highlights areas to jump to making accidental leaps of death easier to miss and it gets fun later as some areas have some great exploration but then some areas feel kind of linear ruining the fun of the more bigger areas. Hunting for health and power up items is made into a fetch quest with pictures shown in certain areas showing off the location off the items in question.
This actually adds some exploration to the game giving you more reason to actually explore the locations your in to discover more. You also find data logs talking about the world your in and how everything works. I have not even gotten to memory hacking which is the greatest thing in the entire universe. You can re-edit peoples memories to either be happy, sad, or even kill them in their memories. This ties into what I said above with you not being able to trust even your own memories and it should have been the actual core of the game, not just some simple side thing done a small handful of times.
What I hate is the main core of this game:the combat. I had to stop playing the game for a while because the combat in the game stress me out so bad I could not sleep and add a bad head cold on top of that you have a recipe for turning a simple 2-3 day review into a week long nightmare.
First off: The Good. The combos are customizable with strikes split into power, healing, ability recovery, and bonus. The power strikes deal more damage, the healing returns health, the ability recovery shortens the time in between ability usage and the bonus gives you bonus XP to get more buttons. This means that the combos can be fine tuned to ANY situation and give total control to the player in terms of ability.
The abilities given to you also help with battle with stunners, taking control of robots and making them self destruct, unlimited combo attacks and some more fun evens. The abilities have a ridiculous cool down times and that’s why you need to use the ability recovery strikes. These strikes use a special energy called focus which you get when you are hit or deal a hit so combine that with the recovery and you think the game would be fun city right?
Then you get to the bad which is why I want to bring up the 2 studios theory again. My thought it this.
This game should NOT have this combat system. This game should have been around the memories and hacking there of. The memory topic was enough to carry this game and turn it into a an epic action adventure game. You throw the combat on top and you get a wreck which is what most fights turn into. Formulaic but a wreck nonetheless.
First the amount of enemies and enemy type gets out of control. I mentioned the enemy types above so I can mention the scenario that made me actually switch over to Batman: Arkham Asylum. I am chasing 2 Leapers who have just stolen memories and end up in a area where I have to fight the 2 only to find out they are teleporters that can only be damaged once I release a stunner which is impossible since I cannot get enough combo’s going to gain focus and take too much damage that using health combo’s is useless since the teleporter teleport right behind me too fast and break the flow of combat.
Many of these flow breaking enemies are why I hate the combat. This would work in some other game where fighting is the core rather than the side but the combat takes the game over and makes it a main point sometimes with waves of bad guys that borders on Aliens: Colonial Marines levels of frustrating.
The only thing that kept me going was the Story which has this mystery feel to it as you must recover your memories while being led around by a mysterious voice of a person you have never seen before. You end up meeting a few interesting allies and discover amazing secrets about not just them but the secrets of yourself leading to an actually satisfying ending. I actually like the ending since it has a good message… Let me tell you all something.
My mother died in 2010. I ended up in some bad places after that since I never dealt with the grief in the best ways. I ended up moving into a place where the people abused me and treated me like trash. My aunt ended up getting me out of there but in the process the people I lived with stole my DVD collection and my mom’s Ipod and Camera. I was lucky I wrapped my more personal possessions in my blanket and they left that alone. I wanted to just forget about that and move on but my friend even to this day keeps telling me it was not their fault that they acted like that.
I learned from my mistakes and I still remember moments from that place to remind me that locking the bad memories away is not the answer. You have to deal with them or else you become this bitter shell of a person clinging to whatever happiness they have left without realizing that YOU have the ability to make happiness in the now. Stop living on past happiness and make new happiness in the present.
This game like another game created this year actually made me THINK about the end. No game this year has actually made me think about the ending other than this and one other game… Bioshock Infinite ok!
The point is no matter how bad the music and combat got I wanted to continue til the end. Like I said earlier, its flawed but I like it.
Pros: Great Story, non combat gameplay, graphics, voice acting
Cons: Combat feels unneeded, music is annoying, not enough focus on the non combat moments.
Best and scariest Moment: Rewriting the memories of the head of Memorize only to reveal something kinda frightening.
Remember Me is available from Capcom on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.