|System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC|
|Release: June 4, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Angelo M. D’Argenio
Dontnod Entertainment’s Remember Me has very little hype. The relatively few demos of it available at PAX East and the deserted lines attest to that. Despite the lack of hype, I was excited about Remember Me. The novel focus on memory tampering potentially opens up paths for unique gameplay that no other game has traveled down before. Unfortunately, the demo on the PAX floor did not show off any of the memory bugaboo that has defined the marketing for the game. Instead, the demo focused mostly on combat and exploration.
The mediocre combat system in Remember Me uses the same light and heavy combo system that nearly every action game uses. I wouldn’t say the game rewards button mashing, but I’m too polite. As things stand the combat system is shallow. Enemies don’t pose much of a threat. At any given point in time I felt I could just run at the nearest enemy and hammer the attack button until that enemy died. The combat’s not all bad, though. The fluid way Nilin engages enemies prevents the fights from feeling sluggish, despite their shallow nature.
The part of the combat I was anticipating most was conspicuously absent from the demo. The “combo lab” is a feature that promises to allow you to tweak and customize your combos. These combos could be designed to increase damage, decrease ability recharge time, restore health, and more.
Even though I didn’t get hands on experience with the combo lab, the demo left me with a worried feeling that the combo lab, despite all its potential coolness, would be redundant. The two combos they let me use in the demo was one combo more than I needed to get the job done. This makes me fear that the final game won’t reward you for combo customization, but will instead let you glide through the game on whatever combos you start with.
No matter my gripes with the gameplay, I have to admit that Remember Me is pretty. The incredible Neo Paris combines a classic Parisian aesthetic with futuristic looking technology to render an absolutely stunning environment. Meaning lurks behind every alleyway and every balcony, lending Remember Me’s city a feeling of life. The on-point camera work enhances the atmosphere by never getting in the way. If you are the type of gamer that just likes to swivel the camera around to look at your surroundings, you’ll love this game.
The beautiful environment has an allure that demands exploration. Unfortunately, I have to draw the same parallel many others have drawn: the game feels a lot like Uncharted. Like Uncharted, the deceptively small maps only offer you one real path to get you where you’re going. The linearization of movement helps Dontnod better control the flow of the story, but it also neuters the environment of a living, breathing city Neo Paris tries so hard to invoke.
The only time Remember Me allows you to stray off the beaten path is to pick up collectibles. These collectibles can be used to increase your stats. I have two problems with collectible hunting. One is that searching the landscape for hidden treasure is yet another gameplay element taken from Uncharted. The second problem is that for people who don’t worry about finding these stat boosting items, the game might become too difficult in later portions of the game.
Overall, the Remember Me demo was fun, but it didn’t show off anything I was excited about. I’m still unsure as to why Dontnod left out both the “memory mixing” and “combo lab” portions of the game in their PAX East demo. Although the lackluster performance of the game didn’t kill my interest in the title, it does have me concerned. The game is only a few months away. A lot of things will have to change in that short time or else Remember Me will be another forgettable platformer, only this time with a coat of cyberpunk paint.
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Date: April 18, 2013