Remember Me Review: Total-y Recall-ing Blade Runner
I have a feeling that Remember Me is going to be one of those games a lot of people don’t really like, and to which some people are fiercely loyal.
It may well break down along personality lines of optimists and pessimists when all is said and done. There will be players who see Remember Me as a pile of ideas that worked better on paper than they did in practice, with a few truly intriguing possibilities mixed in. And there will be players who see a huge amount of promise in the IP, in the game’s “Blade Runner by way of Google Glass” world, and in Nilin, its ass-kicking but morally lost protagonist.
I find myself skewing toward the “sort of loved it” end of the Remember Me spectrum. That doesn’t mean that the game’s flaws aren’t important or numerous, but there’s a lot to praise, as well. The biggest shame about Remember Me is that it wasn’t more adventurous: though its premise is fascinating and its characters endearing, it feels as though much of what could have made the game truly significant was dialed back for fear of failing to attract a mainstream audience. That leaves Remember Me trapped somewhere in the realm of mediocrity, with a strong chance of becoming a cult hit among a loyal, if somewhat small, group of fans.
Platforms: PC (Reviewed), Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Released: June 3, 2013
If game worlds can sometimes be considered characters, the augmented reality version of Neo-Paris in Remember Me ranks among the most gorgeous and subtly frightening. Set in 2084, Remember Me finds its world beset by a technological dependency that borders on an epidemic in the most literal sense. The tech is called Sensen, a neurological tool that lets its users download, store, share and erase their memories.
…There will be players who see a huge amount of promise in the IP, in the game’s “Blade Runner by way of Google Glass” world…
This is one of those cyberpunk dystopian utopias, one which seems beautiful on the surface but which is actually tearing itself apart. Remember Me starts with a mock TV commercial espousing how great Sensen technology can be, but we see its darker side almost immediately — for all the great things that memory sharing and manipulation has made possible in this society, it also has allowed for the wholesale erasing of people’s identities.
In such a stat we find Nilin, Remember Me’s protagonist. Within a few seconds of suffering her memory wipe at the hands of some strange and sterile doctors, she’s contacted through her Sensen by a mysterious anarchist called Edge, who uses hacking and Morpheus-esque instructions to help Nilin escape her captors into the sewers of Neo-Paris.
There live the Leapers, a huge group of Morlock-like feral mole-people, the sufferers of an illness derived of too much Sensen use. Seems the constant erasing and replacing of memories has its costs.