Saturday, 8 March 2014

"Remember Me" may not be worth remembering...

Note: Spoilers for the first mission of the game.

So today I started the game "Remember Me". In most ways it's nothing particularly special, but there is one thing about it that grabs my attention. See, the plot is that a company called "Sensen" is essentially running a good chunk of the world with their product that allows you to store your memories, wipe your memories, and share your memories. Tyranny and all that becomes the name of the day, blah de blah blah... We've all seen this plot before in many, MANY games over the past few years 
Nilin, the protagonist.

Where it gets interesting is with your character, Nilin, and her ability to remix memories. (Side note: Nilin is both female AND biracial, so kudos to them for that. And yes, it totally does suck that I still have to say "kudos" just because a main character is black/not white, but such is the age we live in).

The first time you come across this is when a bounty hunter (Olga) shows up to bring you back to jail for crimes against the regime or whatever, and before she can kill Nilin your character grabs her with her special "remixing glove". This launches you into the memories of that character where you see her watching helplessly as her very sick husband (who was also an asshole, so you don't feel too bad for her or him) under goes surgery. Or, what surgery is for that time. Apparently the best way to fix whatever illness he has is by mixing his memory with his wife's (Olga) and the "positive memories" will have a great influence on her. You know, the usual pseudo science nonsense you see in this kind of game.

ANYway, ultimately you find out it's a very costly procedure but Olga can pay for it by killing your character and collecting the bounty. It's at this point, as Olga is leaving to find you, the video "pauses" and lets you rewind the memory until you find certain "memory glitches". Ultimately, your goal is to make her memory be such that she remembers her husband dying on the operating table, killed by the doctor, so that she not only has no reason to kill you but instead wants to help you out.

It's this that's the one cool thing in the game. You remove or move certain things in the memory (in this case, you change which medicine the character receives, remove his anesthesia mask, etc.) and completely alter how they (the victim of your "remixing") remember things happening. It's both plot relevant and an interesting little mini game that you can do. The coolest part is that, of course, you have to rewind/fast forward the video clip slowly and you can edit it, and certain things change even if it doesn't go the way you want to (You can, for example, make them kill Olga... but obviously that doesn't work, since Olga can't "remember her own death" so you have to try again).

Where the game fails, however, is in the OTHER parts of the game; specifically, its linearity and hand holding. I'll get to the latter in a moment, but the game incorporates parkour and has a beautiful world design... but insists on being only one way. You can't talk to random people, so far there's been no side quests to like "enter random memories" which would be really cool, pathways are blocked by people and so you can't go down different alleys... nope, just one path to follow. I don't mind linear games necessarily, but it seems like a HUGE waste for something like this.

Those orange arrows constantly guide you on your "difficult" quest
The hand holding, on the other hand, is a much bigger problem for me. I chose hard mode when I started this game, as in the highest difficulty, to ensure I only had to play it once (I knew how linear it would be going into this), and yet CONSTANTLY the game is holding my hand. Arrows point in the direction of where to go at all times, the game slows down when a big attack is coming in to make sure you can dodge it (as well as giving a huge ! over the head of the enemy at the time of the attack), and of course if you accidentally run off the platform when doing a jump don't worry! Your character will magically spin around and grab the edge of the ledge. We wouldn't want you dying, after all!

But still, this is a game that was created by a first time Dev company, which you can tell is a small one because they (Dontnod Entertainment) don't even have their own wikipedia page yet. Because of this, I will always give them a bit more leeway than I would if this was a Triple A game or, really, anything made by one of the big ones. Since this game was published by Capcom as well, it's entirely possible (nay, likely) the handholding was something the publishers forced them to put in in order to attract the casual market.

So all in all, I give this a 6.5/10. It gets points for graphics and for using a new plotline (referring to the memory control thing - obviously, evil corporation vs good rebels is NOT new. At all.) and occasional game device, but loses it for having the same parkour stuff every game has these days, as well as its linearity and hand holding. Plus, honestly, the plot is nothing to write home about.

But a score of 6.5/10 doesn't mean they failed. No, this company still has a lot of potential, as evidenced by their risk taking in terms of protagonists and trying new things. I look forward to their next title!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome!!! Welcome to the community, Tim, and what an outstanding first post!! Consider yourself followed. ;)