Imagine you were given the keys to an expensive and exotic sports car; only to be told that you couldn't drive it, or you were given a check for any amount you wanted to write in, but told that you couldn't cash it. It's a fascinating thought, but there's so much potential there that will never be realized. This, in essence is what playing Remember Me feels like. The new IP from Capcom introduces some new ideas but fails to deliver on them in even the smallest sense. Leaving us with a cookie cutter third-person action game that does almost nothing but disappoint.
Remember Me's concept is what both makes it appealing and makes it so disappointing. In the year 2084 memories are a tradable property. They can be uploaded and shared and also can be whipped from your system if you so choose. The Remembrance Corporation has seen opportunity in this and has used the technology to control a major part of the population, leading to a small group of rebels known as the Errorists to try to take them down. Our hero, Nilin is such an Errorist in Neo-Paris, which is where our story picks up.
Neo-Paris is gorgeous and brims with character; it's a city that has life, that has personality, or at least it seems that way. You never get to truly explore the city, and thus, it loses it's appeal. The difference between a city like Columbia from BioShock Infinite or the post-apocalyptic Russia from Metro: Last Light is that the ideas are put into place and you can expand on them, Remember Me is so careful to steer you in the right direction and hold your hand that it's setting suffers and becomes more of a movie stage than the living city it should have been. This was perhaps the most disappointing aspect of Remember Me - I wanted to bad to just spend some time learning about the city and the world the game took place in, but there was no way to.
So where does that leave Remember Me as a gaming experience? Ironically, it's pretty forgettable. This is a third-person adventure that you'd expect from Capcom and very little more. You'll spend the majority of your time running, jumping and getting into typical melee combat with identical looking enemies. The combat itself isn't all that bad; it flows nicely and there's an interesting idea that allows you to create your own combos but the camera is so frustratingly bad, it seems intent on staying behind the action, putting you in the worst possible spot.
Combat is rarely difficult - especially once you get into the later parts of the game where you've learned a whole slew of attacks that the enemies never seem to have an answer for.
This isn't all to say that Remember Me doesn't try to capitalize on its interesting premise - -it just doesn't do enough. The brightest parts of Remember Me feature Nilin going into a stored memory and attempting to alter it enough to get a desired effect from the world around her. You see the memory how it happened and then get the opportunity to go in and fast forward or rewind through it and change several factors, whether it be something major like unfastening a seatbelt, leading to an accident or something as small as moving a piece of furniture in an effort to change the outcome. It's a very interesting idea, but it really only happens three or four times throughout the game and like the majority of the game feels like it was left unexplored.
It's very clear that Remember Me wants to put you in the middle of a Sci-Fi movie, it puts a heavy emphasis on style over substance, often letting the game's unique idea of style get in the way of the gameplay mechanics. There were several times where I would be hopping from rooftops or trying to take out a number of enemies when the camera would swing wild and often cause me to fail my objective. Sadly, with it's hackneyed dialogue, predictable plot and cookie-cutter characters, Remember Me is less Sci-Fi epic and more Sy-Fy channel movie of the week.
I want people to take a chance on Neo-Paris. I want stores to put it on sale so it's a more attractive gamble. I want it to be the cult-hit that spurs an E3 reaction when there sequel is announced, because there's something to Remember Me. It's just that no one, not the gamers, not the marketing team or the development team really know what it is. As it stands though, Remember Me is a convoluted and cookie-cutter game that fails to deliver on the majority of its promises.