Remember Me ReviewClayMeow - June 26, 2013
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Though combat is a large part of the game, Remember Me also features its fair share of platforming. Many people will naturally draw comparisons to the Uncharted series, though I guess those people must have forgotten that the Tomb Raider series came first. Remember Me does feel a little like a Tomb Raider game set in the future, though it is a bit more combat-centric. In fact, I'd liken Remember Me more to the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time trilogy – heavy on platforming and combat, with just a few "puzzles" sprinkled in. Still, the comparisons to Tomb Raider are certainly valid, since like that series, Remember Me stars an intelligent, acrobatic, badass female protagonist – something rarely seen in video games. Even more rare is the fact that she's not sexualized – not in her attire, nor in the dialog. Combine that with the fact that Nilin is mixed-race, DONTNOD definitely took a gamble and indeed, many publishers were reluctant to sign on, wanting your typical Caucasian male hero – kudos to Capcom for taking the chance and allowing DONTNOD to create the game it wanted to create.
All that aside, the platforming elements are your typical third-person, action-adventure fare. You grab ledges, shimmy across, jump across gaps, climb up or slide down pipes, etc. Unlike Uncharted, there is no combat while hanging on a rope or ledge – the platforming and combat segments of the game are always separate. Remember Me's platforming is also a lot easier than Uncharted, Tomb Raider, or Prince of Persia thanks to digitized readouts, clearly identifying anything grabbable. Not only are there clear orange arrows, but it also lists the distance from your current location. At least once, if not many times, in all those other aforementioned titles, I died because I thought a ledge/rope was grabbable or within reach, when it was in fact not. That's not to say you won't die during any of the platforming bits, but at least it will not feel like it was due to poor game design, where things were unclear. I still did drop into the occasional bottomless pit, but it was because of my own curiosity... or stupidity.
While this may sound like "easy mode", it actually fits into the lore – the readout is generated courtesy of your Sensen. In fact, the Sensen logo accompanies the readout like a copyright notification. Practically everything in Neo-Paris is digitized, from shop signs to hazards. The shop signs are merely aesthetic, but add a bit of life to the world. The hazard warnings, on the other hand, are quite useful – when your Sensen detects fire, it even lists the degrees Celsius below the "Danger" part, letting you know just how hot the flames are. The temperature may be a completely pointless readout in terms of the gameplay, but little details like that go a long way into creating a world that looks and feels lived in. When Nilin walks past fire, she holds her arm over her nose and mouth to keep the smoke out – again, a nice touch.
Neo-Paris is indeed a living, breathing world with incredible detail. Trash, debris, and graffiti clutter the sewers and slums. The high society section looks sufficiently futuristic and lavish. The slums have memory-addicted bums mumbling in corners like mental patients, while the upper class are waited on hand and foot by humanoid robots and cleaning drones. The difference between those two sections are striking and intentional. And then of course there are the interior sections, featuring an abundance of metal, glass, and digitized signs. While every bit of Neo-Paris is highly detailed, it's sadly mostly a very good texturing job. There is no physics system for objects – you cannot knock over chairs or knock garbage around. This is unfortunately not surprising since Remember Me is a multi-platform title and the current-gen consoles would have struggled if environments and objects were interactive with the amount of detail in the game. It would have been nice if the PC version had PhysX support. Still, I felt surprisingly immersed. If only Remember Me allowed exploration.