Remember Me PS3 review – Your mind (and Neo-Paris) is the scene of the crime

We’re making this a rule: from now on, all discussions of videogame worlds are obligated to include Remember Me, a standard sci-fi actioner wrapped in an astonishing setting. Neo-Paris, 2084. Under Orwellian surveillance in a corrupt state, citizens have forfeited confidentiality in exchange for the convenience of technology. They’ve even given up their memories. Now, cherished recollections are commodities. This is where Nilin steps in.

Remember Me PS3 review 

A memory hunter, she can break into people’s brains to loot, alter and overload. Fearful of this power, former employer Memoreyes wipes her slate and locks her away. Her escape from head-sapping mega-jail Bastille kickstarts a journey of revolution and rediscovery: of who she is, what she knows, and of just how much damage a memory hunter can do to Big Brother. But is her anarchist, activist cause really the answer?

Disappointingly, this tempting gambit soon gives way to the ordinary. For instance, a large part of Remember Me is spent engaged in generic fighting. Door opens and feisty rabble piles into large, flat space – you do them in. Such sections make little sense, although they do offer fleeting glimpses of innovation.

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Combos are customisable, letting you set each strike on a chain of up to eight. Four different effects, called Pressens, enhance these strikes. Down on health? Slap all your red regenerative Pressens into one combo and let rip. Need to cut the cooldown of your special moves? Use the blues instead. Combos can be mixed and matched to suit circumstance.

Enemies are a nuisance, however, constantly disrupting your flow with weedy jabs. You can dodge them to continue uninterrupted, but it’s easy to tag a straggler and break the chain. The alternative doesn’t need to be comical queues waiting patiently to scrap – Rocksteady’s Batman games circumvented the problem by making enemies mostly attack between moves.

Fights steadily demand more of you. First come Leapers, deranged slum denizens who charge at you while yelling soundbites such as, “The flies hate me!” They vary from standard biters and scratchers, to ghoulish invisibles who need luring into the light. Then come baton-wielding SABRE troops with bigger health bars, pursuing you throughout in a Minority Report nod. Towards the middle are sleek air drones that you beat from a distance with projectiles, and by the end comes simultaneous fisticuffs with everyone.

Clambering over rooftops, slums and through steel and chrome industrial sectors is

visually arresting but lacking in peril

If fighting is half the game, platforming is the other. Clambering over solar-panelled Neo-Parisian rooftops, down flooded slums and grimy fish markets, and through steel and chrome industrial sectors is visually arresting but distinctly lacking in peril or dynamism. The next ledge is always highlighted by yellow icons and, unlike Uncharted or Tomb Raider, moving parts are minimal – just the odd steam vent or rotating billboard.

remember me ps3 screensThere is some wiggle room between fighting and jumping. Rooms populated by Remembranes, which see you retrace ghostly steps to navigate minefields or open doors, for example. Memory Remixes are even better. Like Inception, they’re about planting ideas. Want to convince a man he killed his wife? Rewind to the start of his memory and take the safety catch off that gun on the coffee table. Fleeting and brilliant moments like these are sorely underused.

You often feel like packing things in to just go and wander about a bit. In the seedy Slum 404, I, Robot-style hooker bots wait on dimly lit street corners; in the affluent district of Saint Michel, they wait tables instead. ATM-like points offer the chance to relive your best memories, while dodgy pawn shops let you cash them in. Historic landmarks stand steadfast against encroaching waves of gleaming glass and neon. Meanwhile, a codex details concepts unable to be baked into the skyline, from conspicuous residential projects to the great European Civil War of the 2040s.

Visionary ideas unfortunately fall to a
formatted medium. The world is
ambitious and brilliantly realised, but the
fighting and platforming can’t keep up

It’s Tomorrow’s World game design, using today’s technological horizons as a jumping-off point. Overt references, though, do somewhat assault: your gun is a ‘Spammer’, you rendezvous with a man called Bad Request, and moves have names like DOS and Logic Bomb. Visionary ideas unfortunately fall to a formatted medium. The game world is ambitious and brilliantly realised, but sadly the fighting and platforming can’t keep up. Still, Remember Me is fictionally fresh with a finger on the pulse.

Our Score

Score: 7