It’s a surprise that Capcom has been keeping quiet about its upcoming futuristic title, Remember Me. Dontnod Entertainment’s idea of a future memory hunter with amnesia is certaily unique. Will it work just as well in practice or is it better forgotten.
This demonstration for Remember Me mostly consisted of fighting off several types of enemies. Fortunately main protagonist Nilin is extremely agile. She can take on multiple enemies by making use of the superb dodging ability and the various fighting moves she learns.
See, fighting in Remember Me is not about mashing a couple of buttons quickly. It involves making use of the unique Combo Lab feature. This makes it possible for players to build their own combos. Each custom combo consists of a few Pressen moves. More Pressen moves become available as Nilin levels up.
It may seem like nothing special but being able to build combos feels really satisfying. Even more since there are lots of different combos to build. One for example gives Nilin health, if the whole combo is used on an enemy. Combos are time sensitive, so it is necessary to press the buttons at the right moment. It take a while to adjust, but it is a lot more rewarding than just mashing buttons.
There are also special moves that become unlocked with progress. One such move, Fury, will make it possible to fight without worrying about combos for a short period of time. Such special moves use up a Focus bar, which is recharged as Nilin successfully engages enemies. It’s an efficient startegy to ensure that players rely more on combos, and think of the special moves as a handy way to get the upper hand during tougher fights.
Most of the enemies found throughout the demonstration were standard weaklings. However, some like the Berserker were worthy opponents for Nilin. These tougher opponents often require coming up with strategies. The Berserker for example is only vulnerable when Nilin takes care of his cronies. Fights are made more enjoyable due to the fantastic camera that carefully sticks behind the character at all times.
But Remember Me isn’t just about fighting off the various opponents that get in Nilin’s path. There are also plenty of platform sections. These revolve around climbing and jumping around various sections. What is so interesting is that a lot of it involves quick thinking. Most of the locations Nilin visits early into the demo are old and falling apart. This means that it’s not always possible to know if a platform Nilin lands on is about to fall.
There are also plenty of other imaginative challenges, such as a moving ad board, that Nilin must carefully climb across with the right timing. These platform challenges get more intricate later on. Fortunately Nilin has an ability called Remembrane, which consists of projecting memories that she takes from characters. One such memory allows her to carefully move upwards inside a high security building, without alerting the deadly security mechanisms.
Nilin has another impressive ability under her sleeve. She has the power to access the memories of those around her. It was shown off during a remarkable stand off between her and a bounty hunter. This female bounty hunter is determined to take Nilin under custody. The reason why she is so determined to fulfil her task is found, once Nilin reviews one of her memories.
Turns out that the bounty hunter’s partner is infected with a condition that is affecting both his physical and mental state. Once the memory is viewed, Nilin is then able to rewind and change how the memory plays out. This literally changes how the person, whose memory is being accessed, remembers the event. A rather controversial move considering the fact that it will also affect any subsequent memories linked to it.
To do so players must carefully look for variables that can be changed. In this case it is possible to for example remove a shackle, so the patient’s hand is free to attack the doctor. There is more than one outcome and it all depends on which memory props are modified. One outcome sees the bounty hunter dying, after she is overwhelmed with her partner’s aggressive memories, during the memory transfer process aimed at treating his condition. Only one outcome is correct though, so the player will have to rewind the memory a few times, before completing the objective. The process of getting the correct outcome feels like a puzzle. It’s confusing to come to grips with it at first, but the whole process is really enjoyable, after learning the basics.
Successfully altering the bounty hunter’s memory will result in her firmly believing that the doctor is responsible for her partner’s death after a complication with his treatment. She immediately stops viewing Nilin as a threat, and instead thinks of her as a necessary ally. It’s fascinating to think that Nilin is able to change how others perceive her. This was perhaps one of the best features shown throughout the demonstration.
This all takes place in a futuristic vision of Neo-Paris. The developers did a fantastic job of creating a city that still has links to the past, but still feels like it is set in a near future. The stark contrast between the poor and fancy districts is also interesting. Specially since it hints at a deep divide between those who can afford to comfortable live above, and those who must slave away to earn a living far below in the poorer district.
Remember Me seems like a fairly linear adventure. There are a few larger hub areas where Nilin gets to meet other characters. It’s highly unusual but even the less important characters have fairly detailed models. There were also hidden collectibles scattered across the two levels players. Nilin could use special maps hints to find them. She can also make use of a handy eye augmentation to easily find her way to the next objective.
Remember Me is certainly full to the brim with clever ideas. What is surprising is how they fit so perfectly when put together. It offers a breathtaking vision of Neo-Paris that offers a vibrant glimpse of what a futuristic city may look like. Remember Me is certainly an apt title for what is potentially one of the best surprises of the year so far.