PlayBack: Remember Me

Things didn’t go so well for Remember Me. From that first clip of footage – which many mistook for new Sony IP – right up to release, developer Dontnod Entertainment appeared to hold all the cards in their hand. However, when the game finally touched down last year it was met with a mixed reception. Review scores fluctuating, Remember Me was dealt a second blow by underwhelming sales, causing all but a ripple in charts.

For some, the game’s performance came as a surprise. Although not as easy to market as, say, Call of Duty or its contemporaries, Remember Me appeared distinguished enough to at least hook a hardcore following. In truth, it may have garnered a moderate following but, less than a year after release, Dontnod’s debut has already faded from memory.


Worst Bit

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The game’s biggest problem was a combination of consistency and pacing. Stretching way beyond the ten-hour mark, Remember Me was far too long. Now, that may sound like a bogus argument (if anything, we always want as much bang for our buck) though, once reaching a certain point in Nilin’s journey, the game started to feel drawn out.

What started as an intriguing voyage into a wonderfully-realised sci-fi metropolis began to lose its edge as the story carelessly meandered with no real sense of bearing or purpose. Remember Me served up a solid cast of characters though they were betrayed by a narrative that continued to extend itself, as if the writers kept bolting on epilogue after epilogue to give it a more substantial feel.

The same analogy can be used when describing the game’s mechanics. The combat system eventually exposed itself as a Arkham imitator, despite a really interesting custom combo feature. Puzzles, as well as the oft-touted Memory Mixes, also had little appeal after encountering them the first couple of times. Touching on that first point yet again, Remember Me was in desperate need of condensing or, even better, the introduction of more nuance as the game progressed.


Best Bit

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Dontnod’s first crack at a major action adventure game wasn’t a runaway success, then. With that said, regardless of its shortcomings, Remember Me was above average, partly thanks to its stunning locations and overall art direction. One aspect that drew the attention of punters was Neo Paris itself, a futuristic metropolis that seemed perhaps too advanced for its 2084 timeline. Combining the French capital’s timeless Gothic architecture with an appropriate sci-fi twist, Remember Me served up some memorable vistas and plenty in the way of variety.

The network of sewers and labs may not have had the same effect, though catching a glimpse of the Eiffel tower, hemmed in by a swarm of metallic, ultra-sheen skyscrapers highlighted just how dedicated DontNod were to bringing Remember Me to life. Other visual tweaks, such as user interface, were nice touches. When solving puzzles, entering new locations, or tracking statistics, smart text boxes would appear from Nilin’s Sensen implant.

Speaking of Sensen, that too was another particular highlight. The developer may not have fully capitalised on Remember Me’s narrative potential though the premise alone was exciting enough. The concept of being able to manage and commercialise memories was refreshing as was Nilin’s character, a combat-savvy hacker capable of stealing and remixing the memories of her targets. This core theme was explored again with The Bastille, a prison in which inmates’ memories were confiscated until their time was done.


Here’s the question, then: is Remember Me still worth playing?

Though not resounding, the answer would have to be yes. The game certainly has its flaws though some of these may be overlooked depending on whether you gel with characters and diverging plot. As mentioned before, the limitation on Remember Me’s combat mechanics are also a let down yet the game is still unique and refreshing enough to warrant at least a few hours of your time if nothing else.

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13 Comments

  1. I loved it. Thought it was thoroughly entertaining, fantastic graphics and interesting story.

    The fighting did turn slightly into an almost guitar hero-esque game of timing the button presses at just the right time without even barely watching the action on screen mind. Good game all the same though.

    • Maybe that’s where I was going wrong Dellboy I was using my DJ hero controller
      Lol..I never quite understood the combat system.very confusing.when I needed the healing combo it done the complete opposite.

  2. I really wanted to like this game, in fact i did like almost everything about it, except for the combat. Sadly that was enough to put me off playing it past the first few levels.

  3. I really liked the idea of it, but unfortunately, I got bored pretty quickly mostly due to the combat. The main character seemed so weak that fights took forever to finish and while all that jumping and spinning around looked good at first, it got old fast. I bet a lot of the complaints about it being too long could’ve been fixed if she just kicked a bit harder. I gave up after the first “boss” fight.

  4. Iffy cameras,dodgy platforming,nonsense combo system and boss battles that were frustratingly hard.
    What’s not to like?

  5. I’m going to be awkward here (which might not surprise people ;)

    The combat system was excellent. Once you got the hang of it and worked out the ideal combos, and got your head around the timing, the fights were actually quite fun. Almost like some complicated choreographed fight scene in a film. Or like an unnecessarily violent dance. Much more fun than that Batman nonsense, where you could do fancy combos, or just smash buttons until things died. Try that with Remember Me, and it’ll be you that dies.

    As for the length, I don’t think it was quite long enough. Those memory remixing bits were a neat idea, but in the end just padded the game out in wrong places. A few more (different) locations and more of the story (which was a very interesting, proper sci-fi thing) would have been better.

    So it was kind of too long, but with different design decisions, it could actually have been longer and not felt too long at the same time.

    Also, it all looked (and sounded) rather good. With that proper sci-fi story on top. Definitely took some inspiration from Philip K Dick there, which is a good idea.

    • Completely agree with you. I would also add that the way they mixed the music into the fights, where after the first few hits in a combo the music started up and then got more intense as your combos kept flowing, was excellent. Also the way the music cut out when you got hit added to the atmosphere.

      The art directions in this game was superb. I was reminded of Mass Effect hubs like Omega.

      I think Nilin could have used a better VA, and unfortunately the French VA struggled even more than the English language version.

      Story-wise, I think it was perhaps a little bland but based on a strong premise, which carried it enough for me to really enjoy it.

      I’d highly recommend anyone checking this out, at least for a few hours.

  6. The setting was mind-blowing and that is enough to play this game.
    The city and Nilin’s family were so beautifullu crafted.
    The game should have ended differently. Edge’s character was no adequate in the story. I specifically found the last boss battle a turn-off.

  7. It had some interesting sections, but nothing really stood out apart from the artwork. The combat, as others have commented, should have been it’s stand out feature, and it was, but in completely the wrong way. I did complete it though and would recommend that people give it a go as if, you can get past the dodgy combat, it’s actually not a bad game.

  8. I enjoyed the game. Nice location was the highlight for me. Not a big fan of combat games but loved the batman ones. This didn’t hit the same high for and even though you could edit the combos I found myself sticking to the same ones for ease.

  9. I quite enjoyed it, got the game through ps+. One thing that stood out to me the most was the stunning soundtrack.

  10. I gave the soundtrack my soundtrack of the year on my music website, Oliver Deriviere is a stunning composer. That plus the story is made this game a real stand out for me. :o)

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