Review: Remember Me (PS3)

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Title: Remember Me
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PlayStation Network Download (6.4 GB)
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: DONTNOD
Original MSRP: $59.99
ESRB Rating: M
Remember Me is also available on Xbox 360 and PC.
The PlayStation 3 version was used for this review.

Audio Review:
The audio review for this game is available on Episode 324 of the podcast.

Gameplay:
This game is certainly not what I expected. The tagline “Remix Memories, Change The World” was highlighted throughout the preview coverage of the game. Capcom focused heavily on the remixing of memories when promoting the game. I was a bit shocked to discover that this would play a very small (yet significant) part in the game. So small that you only have four memories to remix in the entire game.

Surprisingly, this isn’t a bad thing. Remixing memories isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be and there’s enough of a story here to make up for it.

Set in Neo-Paris in the year 2084, people are routinely wiping away painful memories while buying new ones simply for the experience of it. This all comes at a cost though and deep, dark secrets are mostly hidden from public view until the day you break out of the maximum security prison, La Bastille, buried deep beneath the city.

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You play as Nilin, an elite Memory Hunter working with a rebel group. You wake up in a cell, most of your memory stripped away and moments away from having it completely wiped. An elusive rebel leader named Edge will be your guide, helping you escape the prison and then throughout the rest of the game.

The game is more of an action-oriented brawler than anything else and the combat is all about timing. As you regain your memory throughout the game, you’ll unlock four different combo sequences along with “Pressens” to fill the slots.

While the combat itself is pretty simplistic, Square and Triangle button combos, how you lay out the Pressens within each of the combos is critical to making it through the game. They won’t stay the same throughout either, you’ll need to enter the Combo Lab a lot and rearrange things to take advantage of enemies weaknesses or counter their strengths. It becomes a bit like a chess match, swapping things out in an attempt to give yourself the upper hand.

You’ll unlock and then place within the Combos a mix of 4 different Pressens. Regen will regenerate you health a bit for each hit, Power will increase the damage you do, Cooldown will reduce all S-Pressen cooldowns and Chain will multiply the effect of the Pressens preceding it.

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Your S-Pressens are special moves which are critical to surviving battles deeper in the game. These include the ability to stun all enemies while revealing hidden ones, turning robots into allies, making Nilin invisible so she can sneak behind an enemy and instantly kill them with one hit and so on.

The S-Pressens come with a cost though, you’ll need Focus to pull them off and they require at least a two minute cooldown. You gain Focus each time you hit an enemy or they hit you. The cooldown can be sped up with the aptly named Cooldown Pressen.

This is why it’s critical to jump into the Combo Lab, sometimes during a battle, to change up your combos to suit the situation, it’s really the only way to survive. I’ll admit, when I first saw all these combos, my head was spinning with the thought of this turning into a complicated fighting game that I’d just be lost in. Fortunately, the use of just two buttons, Square and Triangle, coupled with the fact that they ease you into it by slowly unlocking all four combos as the game progresses made it a much better experience than I expected.

Visuals:
Remember Me is a great looking game. The future city has been infused with a sense of technological wonder. That cool kind of future you tend to see in anime, which makes sense since a Japanese dev team helped create the game. The slums look run down and messy, a terrible place to live. Even the Memory Remix sequences have a cool and unique style that really helps to set this game apart in terms of how it feels.

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The one downside is that you’ll be sent to several locations more than once. Granted, things have changed from one visit to the next, but it felt like a cheat and an easy way to cut a few corners by repurposing assets. The camera can be a bit problematic in combat sometimes when you’re in a more confined space but it tends to be a rare occurrence.

Overall, the design, effects, character models and settings all come together to create a really unique experience.

Audio:
Voice acting is above average but some of the choices left me a bit puzzled, the stereotypical meat head security officer for one. The sound effects are well designed, creating unique audio cues for your tools and memory sequences along with the ambiance of Neo-Paris, slums and all.

The highlight of the audio however is how it’s worked into fight sequences. The electronic stylings are slipped so gracefully into the background you’ll swear you’re in a Luc Besson movie. It actually works in a surprisingly good way.

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Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single player only.

Conclusion:
Remember Me was certainly not the game I expected it to be, but that turned out to be a good thing. The combat can be frustrating at times, even when you have the right Pressens set, but it’s the little things the game does to draw you into the world of Neo-Paris that make the game shine.

There’s definitely room for improvement as it’s a cool concept that’s just a little rough around the edges, but the story and how it all falls into place helps to make up for any shortcomings.

Score:
8.0

* The Combo Lab and S-Pressen screens were taken directly from the game using the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro screen capture feature. All other screenshots used in this review were provided by Capcom.

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Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 18 consoles and 4 handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation.

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