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Zadzooks: Remember Me review – a thought-provoking adventure
Question of the Day
A memory hunter looks to restore her life and helps topple a dystopian government in the third-person action epic Remember Me (Capcom and Dontnod Entertainment, Rated Mature, reviewed for Xbox 360, $59.99).
It’s the year 2084, and a player controls Nilin, a female agent mixing the physique, moves and skill sets of such pop culture heroines as Aeon Flux, Lara Croft and Selina Kyle.
Sounds promising, and it’s hard to not appreciate a game that not only delivers a strong lead character but jogs so many, well, memories, by tapping into many of my favorite sci-fi movies.
Specifically, I could find remnants of “Blade Runner,” “Total Recall,” “The Running Man,” “Minority Report,” “Inception” and “Judge Dredd” among the roughly 10-hour, solo campaign.
At the start of the tale, we find Nilin suffering from a serious case of employer-induced amnesia as she escapes a facility and finds herself in a futuristic Paris.
By the way, the city offers some of the most realistic-looking statuary I have ever seen in a game.
She exists in a world where a human’s memories become digitized and pieces of a corporate-controlled commodity. It’s up to Nilin and her rebellious friends the Errorists to restore citizens back their most precious brain cargo.
As our heroine moves from below to above ground, the gorgeous designs throughout tease with stunning beauty (reference futuristic, ornate buildings) as well as despair (littered sewers filled with garbage and graffiti). The constant need for a player to roam is unbearable around every corner while the way too linear narrative unfolds.
Alas, exploring is always at a premium, and I am stuck on a predetermined path almost all of the time, unable to climb where I want to or enter intriguing areas.
So dealing with the decided lack of freedom within Neo-Paris is a disappointment but sometimes forgotten by the developer’s attempt at innovating the game mechanics.
The clear highlight of the action arrives not nearly often enough as a player can remix the memories of a character to help Nilin.
During specific scenes, use the controller’s analog stick like a digital movie timeline editor to reverse an enemy’s select memory and carefully look for the slightest glitches onscreen.
Combine multiple glitches to play out a new scene to try and to change its outcome. For example, a reprocessed memory of a bounty hunter’s boyfriend dying changes the outcome of an encounter between Nilin and the female warrior.
These mixers could have dominated the game and really made it a spectacular experience.
Unfortunately, there are only a handful of these brilliant moments.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in communications, Joseph Szadkowski has written about popular culture for The Washington Times for the past 17 years. He covers video games, comic books, new media and technology.
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