thu 28/05/2020

Remember Me | reviews, news & interviews

Remember Me

Remember Me

Can't remember the past? You'll repeat its errors in this sci-fi action game

'Remember Me': Cyberpunk science fiction proves not quite memorable enough

Memory is fertile ground for dystopian science fiction. After all, if you can't remember the past properly, if your memories are fake, implanted, then you can't trust your own beliefs or the history that you are being told informs the current political discourse.

Memory is fertile ground for dystopian science fiction. After all, if you can't remember the past properly, if your memories are fake, implanted, then you can't trust your own beliefs or the history that you are being told informs the current political discourse.

Charlie Brooker's excellent Black Mirror series looked at this with "The Entire History Of You" episode and science fiction writer (and paranoid schizophrenic) Philip K Dick was a master of memory games ‑ see both Total Recall and Bladerunner. At the core of Remember Me is a brilliant, interactive take on implanted memories.

Nilin is an "Errorist" – a cyber-terrorist in a futuristic half-flooded Paris, after a brutal war and the rise of memory-recording implants. Nilin can steal, overload and manipulate other people's memory chips. The problem? She's just woken up in the Bastille jail with her memory wiped.

After coming round, Nilin, with some help from a shadowy Errorist insurgent, breaks out of the prison and starts to hunt down those responsible for wiping her memory, while redressing the balance between the upper echelons of French society who edit their memories to pretend everything is fine – a terrifying idea of a self-censoring elite – and the less fortunates stuck in the slums with blanked-out psychopaths preying on them.

Remember Me - Capcom cyberpunk actionIn Remember Me, the environment of a simultaneously glittering and grungy Paris is beautifully realised. And the stunning visuals are backed by the times when the high concept memory games are fully and interactively realised. For instance, chillingly, at key points in the game Nilin has to remix the memories of her enemies – duping them into thinking and acting differently.

The memory editing is done by scrolling through a victim's memories and editing certain facts, such as turning a gun's safety off or changing the direction of a hospital drip's flow. This takes the high concept back story and brilliantly realises it in gameplay. But these moments are too far and few between.

For far too much of the game, Remember Me falls back on too-familiar game staples. There's a combo remixing system that feels novel, if a tad tacked on, where you can set which boosts your delivered punches and kicks gain you (extra health, damage etc). But the largely melee combat does little to deliver excitement. Instead it's just the usual repetitive rote mix of zombie-a-like memory-wiped, private security goons with shields and guns and boss monsters from both sides.

Remember Me - cyberpunk science fiction memory editing and actionThe dialogue and plotting is frequently creaky. And worst of all, the climbing sections, ripped straight out of the Uncharted series, include an annoying arrow indicator, so you're never stuck, but you're also never challenged either. A truly brilliant idea isn't totally lost here though, and the final stages and denouement of the game deliver well. But there's way too much non-memorable plodding to get there.

A cyber-terrorist in a futuristic half-flooded Paris... Nilin can steal, overload and manipulate other people's memory chips

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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