Release Date: June 4th, 2013
Systems: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Metacrtic Score: 72
“Remember Me” is exactly the kind of game “Poor Man’s Geek” was made for. This is a game that should never have been released as a $60 triple A game. But, reevaluating this as a $15 find at my local used game store vastly changes my expectations and the experience over all. Most of the criticisms reviews had at the time are still present, but the lower price tag lowers the frustration of their presence. Issues that could end up being a deal breaker for a new game are instead just a minor inconvenience. So, just how drastically does the lower price tag help the game? Lets find out.
In 2084 a corporation called Memorize has found a way to digitize human memory. People are free to delete painful memory and trade happy ones with their friends and loved ones. However, not everything Is so easy to forget, like addiction and greed. Dwelling in the sewers of Neo Paris are “Leapers”, memory addicts, always looking for another hit of someone else’s emotional residue; and in the towers above, there’s Memorize, who are using peoples memories to fulfill their own ends.
You Play an Nilin, a memory hunter who has the ability to steal (and change) peoples memories, witch makes you a valued member of an anti-Memorize resistance group called the “Errorist” The game opens with you having most of your memories erased after commuting a crime you can’t recall. As you are being moved to a more advanced memories whip, a man speaks to you. This is Edge, silly named leader of the Errorist. He remotely tells you how to get out, and fills you in on your back story. With Edges help you aim to regain your memories, as well as taking down the both the prison that held you and Memorize itself.
For the most part I liked the story in this game. It B-science fiction, and it’s conferrable there. That doesn’t stop it from having some issues however. The biggest one, for me, was the length of the game. Playing on easy (I was trying to get this review up as soon as possible) the game only took me about 10 hours to beat. I started this on a Monday, around 10 at night, and beat it the next Tuesday: and in between play sessions I had work and family obligations to deal with. So if you are looking for a meaty game to sink your teeth into, this isn’t going to be it.
The story itself, though enjoyable, always seems to fall flat at the end. It’s kind of like a Stephen King book: great build up, but usually a week pay off. Even after getting your memories back, you find out that Nilin still has peaces missing. This is meant to set up a couple of big reveal moments, but the twist the game has are obvious and not really all that impact. But even when the game is at it’s most mediocre, a gloriously bad line (like “This little red riding hood has a basket full of kick ass” said unironicly and with a strait face) or a genuinely interesting idea comes up that saves the experience.
The only other issue I had was with the structure of the story. Between each of the eight millions (here called ‘episodes’) we see Nilin is a vast, near empty space (I believe this is meant to be somewhere in here mind, like a representation of the digitization of her thought process) where she gives a brief run down of what is about too happen. Because of this, pretty major ideas aren’t brought up until we are about the deal with them. Like H3O, the server where the memories are kept. It plays a major part in the last episode, and that was the first time anyone mentioned it. This kind of structure also makes the world feel smaller, as we go from mission to mission with no real travel between them. We need to be in this place to start a mission, so we are here.
Together, these issues definitely bother me, and if I had bought this game new I almost assuredly would have been pissed. But for what I got it for and what I got out of it, I found it mostly enjoyable. No one will talk about this in the same regard as they do “Blade Runner”, “The Matrix” or “Inception”, but this is just as fun a sci-fi romp as any other cheesy B movie.
As with most games under the “action-adventure” umbrella, the game in the last of us is divided mostly between action and traversal. By far the weakest part of the game is traversal. While there are some hidden goods that it does help to find, most of the environments are super linear and don’t encourage much exploration. In fact, i’d say at lest half of the hidden collectables I found I only found because I got lost and stumbled upon them. There is some light platforming sections as well, but they end up being underwhelming. Part of this is because there is an indicator that always tells you were you need to go as if the game doesn’t trust you enough to find the ledge that is right next to you. The other issue is that Nilin makes every jump, and almost nothing seems to go wrong. Sure, every once in a while a ledge would brake, but it never really felt like the Nilin was in any real danger in the environment. In one early section, I had to climb on some billboard sights that spun and changed. This was meant to force you to do a little thinking before scurrying, but all that happened with i failed was I dropped to a lower level and had to climb back up. Most of the platforming felt like the development team looked at the “Uncharted” games and said “lets make a blander version of that”. If they did, they did what they set out to do, and that something…i guess.
If they were looking at the “Uncharted” games though, there is one place the inspiration paid off, and that is in some of the games puzzles. Unlike a lot of games, every puzzle makes you think deeper than “find the lever, pull the lever”. Now very much, but enough. More impressive is that they never repeat themselves either. There are two stand outs, however, were the set up is the same. You have to relive the stolen memory of one of your enemy’s as he recites a poem to himself and figure out puzzle in order to go on. Sure, it’s not the piano puzzle from the first “Silent Hill”, but it was more brain work than I was expecting from any game that has come out this generation.
So now that were don’t talking about thinks that make you think (fucking nerds), lets talk about how you get to beat people up! The combat in this game is a lot of fun. While there isn’t a lot of enemy variety, there was enough that I looked at my opponents and had to think about not only who I would take out first, but how to attack them. There are four major combos that you will uses though out the game, but here they aren’t just combos. Through out the game you unlock “pressens” that change what each attack does. These very between doing more damage, giving you more life or cooling down your bigger attacks. The farther back in a combo a pressen is, the more effective it is. So if the second hit of your combo is a damage presse, you’ll do five more points of damage, but if its the fifth, you’ll do twenty five (just to let you know, this is a simplify explanation). What’s better is that you can mix and mach as you see fit. You can make it to were the first couple of hits deal extra damage and the last suctions off the max amount of life, or you can devote and entire combo to one type of pressen. And with the enemy each having different patterns I did find myself change my pressens mid fight multiple times. Because of this I almost never felt like I lost a fight due to some cheep attack. When I died, I changed my pressen orders and usually came back out on top. This is against human enemy’s, I should say. When fighting a large number of leapers, I often felt victory was more out of luck than skill. This isn’t because they are smarter or better fighters, but they attck fast and the game has no counter button. So when fighting large groups of leapers it honestly felt more like I was getting in a few hits, the dodging with no real thought or plan other than “try not to die”.
The other big game play mechanic is the memory rewrites. In these section you watch a video of a memory that was a defining part of someones life. You then altar parts of it so that the victim remembers the event completely differently. The outcomes of these section are something that I refuse to spoil for you and I can honestly say that was one of my favorite gaming moments since starting my review page. However, there are only four in the game. I normally don’t like sequel bating, but this is one time where I can’t help myself. I would by another game in this series just for this mechanic. If I heard tomorrow that there was a “Remember Me 2” coming out with more memory rewrites, I would totally mark my calendar and eagerly await the day it doped.
Game Play: 3/5
Music and Sound:
Kezia Burrows (Nilin) and Nathan Nolan (Edge) both do well in there roles, which is a god send as you will lesson to these two talk through most of the game. It would be nice, however, if the script was as good. It’s not the worst dialogue i’ve ever heard, but it does tend to be clunky and almost pure exposition (at lest on Edge’s side). In fact, it’s almost a joke in the beginning. Edge is spouting off exposition while Nilin is trapped somewhere and her basic reaction is “i don’t care, get me out of here you twit”. The music is completely forgettable. As in, I cannot remmber anything about the games score and I beat it yesterday. The rest of the sound effects are competent but unremarkable.
Music and Sound: 2.5/5
Overall score: 2.6/5
Who is this game for:
This is for people who are okay with an unsure bet. This is for people who are looking for new ideas in their games and are okay when the results aren’t always the best or most polished. If you like B sci-fi or big ideas, this is a game that you may get some excitement from. I doubt this will change anyone’s life, but i’m sure it will bring you around 10 hours of enjoyment, if nothing else.