Remember Me

How Could We Forget?

We finally get some hands-on time with Remember Me.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: February 14, 2013
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Though we're glad the pre-release publicity for Dontnod Entertainment's Remember Me is finally starting up, for a while there, the game's title was somewhat ironic. Since the re-reveal of the game, originally a second-party PS3 exclusive called Adrift, the game's vision of 2084 Neo-Paris was largely forgotten. The cyberpunk trappings of memory hacking, hand-to-hand combat and agile environmental traversal apparently didn't stick with others as well as it had with some of us in the office, and inevitably bringing the game up would necessitate a crash course reminder.

Clearly among those in attendance at Capcom's little preview event this week, Remember Me hadn't been excised from any grey matter. With just four kiosks (two 360 and two PS3), and a whopping hour and a half of gameplay, it was clear we weren't going to be able to imbibe the full experience in the three hours Capcom had allotted. So, while we patiently waited for our chance to settle in with the game, we sat and watched, trying to keep our jaw from scraping against the floor too often.

To say that Remember Me is a pretty game would be the grossest of understatements. This is a phenomenally gorgeous rendering of futuristic Paris, littered with so much detail that it's almost impossible to drink it all in without stopping to actually let your brain process everything. Dontnod's attention to detail is on a level with the absolute masters of the craft like Naughty Dog, and we struggled to find a single repeated texture or copy and paste of an environmental detail beyond the normal bits that lead amnesiac Nilin was scampering around. Sure, there were vents and pipes aplenty, decked out in subtly highlighted strips of color (as well as plenty of augmented reality indicators of where to go next), but the walls would transition from crumbling stucco to bare brick and spill out into rich, detailed storefronts without any hint of repetition or reuse.

The environments were also absolutely teeming with architectural detail. Rising from sunlight-choked underbelly of the city up into the brightly-lit upper areas was a huge contrast, and despite being a fairly narrow pathway, there was zero shortage of things to distract and interest the eye. It took everything in us not to look away so we could see and explore these areas in detail, but as time until the event ticked down, it grew increasingly obvious that we'd have to experience some of these areas by painful proxy.

Moreover, the game's heavy use of augmented reality readouts splayed across the environment itself showed plenty of artistic flair. While walking along a central shopping area, menus for establishments would wink into view, then tumble down to reveal the contents. Handholds that were nearby were painted in yellow to indicate the start of a traversal string, and throughout all the menus and cinematics, heavy use of that time-tested sans-serif font, Helvetica were contrasted with thick swathes of rectangular colored backgrounds. In many ways, the overall look felt very reminiscent of the Assassin's Creed series, though that's to be expected given the shared Parisian locales of both developers.
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