Remember Me for me has been one of those games that sounded like a great idea on paper. It’s a unique IP set in a futuristic Paris, France revolving around the theme of memories and being able to manipulate them. Getting a chance to actually go hands on with the title at this year’s Penny Arcade Expo was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I wanted to really experience this for myself and see if it works as well as it sounds.
Upon instantly booting up the demo, I was struck by how beautiful this world Dontnod Entertainment created actually was. The color palate was vibrant, very interesting, and the world you were placed in felt alive. Sure, this gameplay demo was based in the Neo-Paris slums, but it was still visually interesting as there were people doing normal activities, small shops selling their wares, and generally just people going about their business. Neo-Paris looks incredible featuring strong lighting and attention to detail. These things combine to create a very fun and awe-inspiring world to play around in.
At it’s core, Remember Me is a third person action game with a focus on hand to hand combat and platforming. The combat also features the ability to customize and create your own combos (though this was extremely limited for this demo) using a menu called the Combolab. The demo showed off two combos featuring a more damaging attack and another which could heal Nilin. These “Pressens” can be mixed and combined for what I was told would be over 50,000 possible combinations in the retail game. Overall, the combat felt good for what was there in the demo. It has a very distinct “Batman: Arkham” feel to it as enemies display an icon above their heads before they attack allowing you time to perform a dodge move. The system revolves around combos and keeping this streak alive whicyh also discourages button mashing to get by. I saw many players not adhere to performing combos and die time after time. Getting the timing down to perform a long combo string was challenging in the short demo but I never felt frustrated by it and I’m sure given more time, it would become second nature.
Nilin also appears to gain special abilities that can be activated and then go through a short cooldown period. I don’t have much context onto the ability that was available during the demo, but I believe it enhanced your attacks for 30 seconds. It certainly helps in tight spots during combat segments.
The enemies in the demo were fairly simple, but there was one segment where you went up against a stronger enemy type which shielded himself until the other weaker types around him were defeated first. Again, it wasn’t anything to write home about but I personally feel that’s because of the demo and not the game proper. I’d be shocked if the retail version didn’t mix up or create any different enemy encounters outside of what was shown in the demo.
The platforming and controls felt responsive and tight which was a good thing. It has a very cinematic Uncharted like feel to it, which I have no problems with. Nilin also has this ability called the Sense Engine (SENSEN) which has a number of different features but for this demo, acted as sort of a compass showing where Nilin could run, jump, or hang in the level. While this sounds like a feature that would dumb down the experience, from what I saw and played at the convention, that doesn’t appear to be the case. While it may guide you in the right direction, it doesn’t mean that’s always the best path. This system merely highlights available locations to go, but you’ll need to explore a bit more to find hidden paths or alternative routes which can lead to all sorts of things like collectibles and upgrades.
Remember Me impressed me with what it brought to the table from it’s beautiful visuals and interesting combat. It certainly captured my attention and I feel holds a lot of promise from what I played. If you’re looking for a new intellectual property to sink your teeth into this year, keep your eyes peeled on Remember Me.