(Capcom for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano
Games are unique in that there are lots of ways to hook the player. A unique visual style, compulsively addictive gameplay, a catchy soundtrack – any one hook can grab the player and convince them to stick around for the whole ride, even if other aspects of the game don’t possess that same special quality. For Remember Me, the hook that got me right through the cheek is the incredible setting. Once I set eyes on Neo-Paris circa 2084, I was on board. As the player, you’ll guide underground freedom fighter Nilin through this awe-inspiring landscape of starkly modern architecture mixed with futuristic flourishes and a vibrant, seedy underbelly. The art direction is fantastic, bringing every environment to life with brilliant color and, most impressively, intense attention to detail that gives each space a lived-in quality. Plus, the game just oozes cool, from the ferocious cyber-wings that Nilin sprouts when she learns a new ability to the title of each chapter, which, listed out, read like the track listing of a long lost DJ Shadow or Pitchshifter album. The price for all of this style, though, is a bit of a trade-off when it comes to substance. It’s a very guided adventure that feels a little too inflexible at times, whether dealing with the hand-hold-y climbing/platforming or the combat system that doesn’t get interesting until more than halfway through. It reminds me of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, wherein the story and characters were what really compelled you, rather than the gameplay. Even so, the sci-fi world that developer Dontnod has created is a fascinating place to visit, and I’d love to think that Remember Me is just the first of many journeys we’ll take through its volatile streets.