Remember Me is an upcoming Capcom release that will combine platforming, exploration, stealth, plus lots of punching and kicking. Sounds like countless other games out there, right? Right.
But it’s all in the details, as the saying goes. And it would appear that the first game to hail from Paris based Dontnod Entertainment, a new studio formed by individuals who worked on Rainbow 6, Splinter Cell, and Heavy Rain, is culmination of those aforementioned titles, of all the lessons learned, with a heavy sci-fi sheen laid on top.
What’s Remember Me all about? Well,it is the year 2084 (one hundred years removed from 1984, which is no coincidence, I was told by a Capcom rep) and memories appears to be as precious as gold, perhaps more so. So much so that there are individuals who are dedicated to the art of stealing and altering memories.
You play as one such person, Nilin, a former agent employed by MEMORIZE, the Big Brother of Remember Me. The demo I was able to test drive kicked off not long after the game’s beginning, where she awakens in the slums of Paris, where memories junkies fight over scraps of pleasant thoughts (I think).
Nilin, quite appropriately enough, has had her memory wiped out, but thankfully you have some mysterious fellow passing along instructions, to help get one started. After learning the basics of combat, the demo required me to follow one of the underground denizens across town.
On a purely surface level, Remember Me was visually pleasing, despite the fact that the parts I traversed were designed to be ugly. Its rendition of Paris was that of a city that was once the cradle of art and culture, now ravaged by technology and politics. One that was also quite dark and confusing, hence they liberal use directions to help Nilin on the right track. It’s clear that Dontnod Entertainment loves type, with the aforementioned instructions presented in big and bold blocks of text, bathed in white and orange. Remember Me is quite future stylish, albeit not in the most original of ways.
Though dark corners and sans-serif fonts aside, the heart of the game is running around and climbing, which feels a lot like Uncharted, as well as melee combat, which is reminiscent of quite a few other games on the market today, pretty much insert any name you can think of here, except with one significant twist: customization. This is achieved via the Combo Lab.
Like many similar games, you learn new moves as you play, but Remember Me allows you to create you own combos, called Pressens, by collecting the building blocks, called Procedural Mastering Power. The basic concept is that Nilin already knows these moves, and you’re simply unlocking them as you go along. Makes sense. There are different types of Pressens, and the most intriguing thing is how the elements can be combined. For example, a Power Pressen is a combo that combines various different movies and ends with a flashy finish. You also have a Regen Pressen, which doesn’t do much damage, but have regenerative qualities, if completed successfully.
With some tinkering around in the Combo Lab, I was able to create a string that both dished a significant amount of damage and also gave myself a little health. Though, not surprisingly, the button combination that brings everything together was hard to pull off; the combat is heavily reliant upon timing and not just pure button mashing. I was only able to pull of this super mega awesome combo 2 out of the 10 times.
The idea of a completely customized combo sounds great, and it’s even better once one has been finally crafted. But the middle part is where I had problems with Remember Me. It’s a bit ironic how a game that places such importance on customization plus sexy, clear graphic design, is not able to get the two ideals talking.
The Combo Lab was somewhat of a chore to create combos, and I needed to be walked through the process quite heavily by the rep. There is a genuine fear that many casual players will become frustrated by the process of creating something truly unique and simply follow the onscreen prompts to create something basic. Then again, perhaps hardcore players will have no problem in the end, and maybe regular folk as well, after enough time has been spent learning the nuances of the interface. Admittedly, my time with Remember Me was quite fleeting.
Remember Me comes out soon, very soon. June 4 in North America to be exact.