Remember Me

I think I’m over half way through the game Remember Me and I just don’t feel like going on anymore. I want to but I just can’t stomach the abundance of fighting parts as the mechanics are just too annoying and simplistic to sustain my enjoyment. Punch and kick, punch and kick. And if you know how to dodge you really don’t have to even worry about the combo system. I tested it out and for an entire section I just used that 3 punch combo with a damage, health and, focus attached.

It wasn’t too bad at first as the would throw heaps of easy enemies at you which were kind if fun to slaughter but then they added a lot of combat mechanics which are far too tedious. Waiting to attack stealth mobs, waiting for your gun cooldown, and the worst of waiting for a special to tick down over the course of a minute because this one mob damages you on attack. Stupid.

Remember Me

Don’t mind me.. just waiting for the recharge Mr Robot

Also it’s just so formulaic. You get your standard mob introduced, then your special, and then a shit load if both. Rinse and repeat ad nauseam. It might have been enough as I’ve played and enjoyed games with combat systems more simplistic than this, it was kind of fun at first but then the repetition of it slowly sucks away your soul to game. This is probably why it took so long to even get this far as I’ve only been able to stomach the odd infrequent hour.

The story isn’t particularly engaging either. Due to the amnesia you never really feel connected to the main character Nilin as you really know nothing about who she is, her interests and morals, and what her goals are. How can you understand a character when they don’t understand themselves. It’s kinda of amusing though as your playing the puppet of a character who is a puppet of others.

During earlier interview about the game we were also getting claims of it being more open in the way you traverse the maps and complete objectives but the entire experience is incredibly linear. Point A to point B with little to no deviation. and the climbing/puzzling aspects that could have been engaging are more like uncharted for dummies.. bright flashing signs where to go and what to do. It is an incredibly tight corridor, luckily it is a very pretty one though.

The world of Neo Paris is truly stunning.. just absolutely breathtaking. The environment has a very cinematic feel to it with great depth in the foreground and large guiding structures in the background that really draws you in. The way modern technology, the Parisian culture and the old Romanesque architecture has been melded together has created one of the most gorgeous locations I have ever seen. There is an attention to detail in the buildings and interiors and even items on the horizon that you really don’t see very often and it all feels very cohesive.

Remember Me

I’ll pick door number 2

The way the world is designed beckons you to explore more.. but you can’t. It is freekin infuriating to see so much detail and beauty in the world but you’re shackled onto the arcade ride. I can see the development team at Dontnod Entertainment have spent a lot of time and effort detailing this beautiful world yet it is mostly going to waste. Why would you spend this much time, money and resources to create such an imaginative and luscious world yet not go the extra step and open it up fully to the players. If this game was more like Assassins creed, or even dishonored in how you could explore the world and complete missions in different ways it would have been absolutely amazing, but now it’s just another game that is entirely average yet has delusions of grandeur.

Little rant coming about mature themes that may be completely unfounded

Another part that really turned me of this game was the predominance of rape themes throughout. I should be used to this sort of theme due to its predominance in modern gaming, Lara croft for instance played this a little too heavily for my tastes but here it kind of crossed the line for me. Disregarding the opening scenes in which Nilin is tortured that really offers no benefit to the feel of the story bar forming a strong personal disconnect to it, it is just more they way in which memory transfers happens. I don’t know why but it just feels rapey to me.

I’m used to combat in games and killing monsters, and people by the truckload.. I have no problem blasting someone in the head and watching the gory chunks rain down but this is something different from that. Here with the style and graphics of memory manipulation it feels like you are violating these people in really quite intimate ways, it even comes down being worse than the physical game based implications that get brought up as you are forcibly defiling who they are, their memories and what feels like their soul yet leaving them the remnants…would death not be better than that.

Remember Me

Sorry, I really wish there was a choice

The takedown mechanics for a few of the bosses really takes it to the extreme as you get a view of yourself forcible entering and ripping out memories where they are visibly in pain from the action. The memory remix events where you are puzzling out how to alter their memories to suit you are fun, but when you contemplate the effect it’s appalling. You are ruining these people in deeply personal ways, changing who they are, and what they can be.. you even cause one person to commit suicide and all I could think was “is that really necessary?” During combat it actually got to the stage where I would stop doing those special takedowns because it just made me feel kind of dirty; it is a really cheap tactic for Nilin to use, it is morally wrong to do and it felt entirely uncharacteristic for someone who was the victim of and is rebelling against these same exact acts. 

This could be me being a little sensitive but for a game I was really looking forward to playing based on its strong female protagonist it just didn’t suit the expectations I had. It seems like it still suffers from the same story and design directions that it would have if the protagonists was a male. They could have explored these themes far more indirectly by changing the characters actions to suit the female perspective more often but they don’t and as such their lofty claims of improving the representation of female characters really doesn’t hold up.

It’s still an ok game and worth seeing for the pretty scenery alone when it drops in price but nothing I would really recommend. As usual I took way too many pics and they’re on the Flickr, here’s some of my favourites though.


9 thoughts on “Remember Me

  1. I was with you until the line “They could have explored these themes far more indirectly by changing the characters actions to suit the female perspective,” after which I was thoroughly confused.

    What exactly is the ‘female perspective’ on such issues as the moral implications of mucking around with someones memories and self-identity with magic powers? How does it differ from the inferred ‘male perspective’? And how do you do memory editing ‘more indirectly’?

    • Ahh dang, can’t remember very well what my train of thought was when I wrote that..hmm.

      I think to me it seems like nilins actions really belie the depth of the character. In many of her monolgue scenes she is struggling with the morality of her actions yet she continues to do the same thing. Most of the time her actions seem questionable in their motives, the overarching reason is to get back her memories yet it seems she is mostly being guided by revenge.

      Her actions throughout are centered on gaining power over others, stealing memories is a part but its also the ways in which she tortures or humiliates them after they have already been defeated. Is it neccessary? Do these acts need to be so primal and aggressive.

      It is these actions that makes her feel like she is more one dimensional and a bit masculine. I love that she’s tough and can kick butt and that she is (kind of) in control, it isn’t those things. It is the use and reliance on violence to achieve her aims that makes the character feel masculine to me and more like that arrogant uncharted fellow rather than the character who’s depth I glimpsed in those rare scenes placed in her mind.

      How to correct this though I’m not sure. I never felt this way towards Lara in the reboot yet she us just as action driven. I know my perception of this is being formed based on my biases and gendered stereotypes… Does that make them any less valid?

      Hmm, I’m going to think on it some more and maybe play the rest of it to pinpoint this feeling.

      • It might be one of those things that resolves itself in the end, a.k.a. a plot point. Or, of course, it might be shoddy storytelling. Or even the result of different people being responsible for different sections of the game.

        Personally, I ain’t played it and am very unlikely to since bloody near everything I’ve heard on the game boils down to “boring and frustratingly limited”.

        Though I would say that, from what I’ve seen, the game presents itself as cyberpunk (or postcyberpunk if you want to be pedantic). If you’ve ever read cyberpunk stuff one of the key themes is the relative triviality and cheapness of human life and the way that technology enables and exacerbates this. It seems to me like a pretty simple jump to transpose memories, and thus self-identity, with life. Which is what I’m imagining the writers were going for.

        With that in mind, and knowing that having amnesia in an story about memories is just screaming ‘twist ending’ at the top of its bloody lungs, I would predict that the unnecessary aggression and power abuse would be the result of Nilin’s (what a ghastly name, it looks like someone tried too hard to fit ‘nil’ in there for some, possibly hamfistedly symbolic, reason) original personality and that the story is setting her up to find out that she really doesn’t like the person she was or has once again become. Which is probably where the game would point out her name symbolizes her ’empty’ life (and probably ends with some tiresome ‘fight back against the system’ sequel hook too).

        Sort of like a more violent, unhappy, mutant filled version of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

        Working from that hypothesis, perhaps the disquiet is intentional, so that the ending has more pathos and impact. Or perhaps the writers didn’t know any other way to show the disconnect between who she thinks she is and what she’s always been. Or perhaps a dozen other things.

        Or maybe I’m full of shit and they just put all the violence and stuff because they didn’t believe guys would find it interesting otherwise. We already can infer that such demographics concerns were on their mind given the look of Ms. Stupid Name’s outfit and animations. But that’s another barrel of monkeys altogether and not a train of thought I like to go to without exhausting the other options first.

        I suppose the real issue is that the actual game bits are so tedious and dull that there’s no great drive to continue forward to see if the story has any meaningful payoff and character development when all’s said and done. If the game was actually fun to play then the story could be judged more fairly.

      • Wow look at this.. seriously stop posting these comments that make me think for a whole day

        I really enjoy a bit of cyeberpunk, in high school i even played a bit of cyberpunk pnp and really rather enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say Neo Paris is cyberpunk, it is that same sort of corporate controlled dystopian future but it just is’t grunge enough. It does feel very much like people are expendable but it lacks the political intrigue and corporate espionage that made it interesting. There is just one company here that as control over the populous and that’s not nearly as fun as having multiple factions and mercenary teams.

        Well played too as you picked the ending, from what I’ve heard that is exactly how it progresses. I might like to see where they take the story and how they justify these actions but I don’t believe it would change my opinion though. I never thought about her name but you’re right, nil basically means nothing which probably reflects her lack of memories. I didn’t mind her name though.

        I don’t think the violence has anything to do with the intentions of the story or any sort of critique on the morality memory manipulation. If they did think about it, and there are glimpses of this, then it was always a addendum to the combat mechanics. The messages between the gameplay and story aspect just leaves the game feeling disjointed with its constant conflicting messages. There are two different stories and basically two different games here. I tend to think that the storied aspects were all completed first, they were pitching near the complete idea back when they were getting knocked back based on the female protagonist (or so they say). They even seem like people who understand the underlying themes in cyberpunk literature but unfortunately in production they got to a point where they had to made it into a game.

        It’s also very much that I believe they felt pressured to create a longer game. We see quite a few games getting slammed on the press and by players based on the amount of content, aka time played. People are comparing this all the time to the value of a product, and they thought to pad it out a little further here. Unfortunately.

      • I post ’em so long as people reply to them.

        Which might be why I don’t post much on the GW2 or PS2 forums anymore. Nobody is interested in reading and making an intelligent reply. 😦

        All they want to do is bang on hysterically about their pet issues, post unfunny gifs, and generally not have to expend any effort.

      • Aha so I found your cryptonite then.. No more replies for you.

        Yeh, I no longer post on forums and such either.. Probably why I have a blog now too since I still felt the need to be critical. You do get a few reasonable replies but it’s always buried under a mountain of troll dung.

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