The mind, often touted as the last great frontier, has always been a hallmark setting for the science fiction genre – how to control it, how to alter it. The possibility of someone losing their free will and cognizance to an outside force sets up a powerful, emotional conflict, and French game developer, Dontnod Entertainment (whose staff has worked on everything from Rainbow Six to Batman: Arkham City) is taking up said sci-fi, mind-meld narrative with the upcoming title Remember Me.
Set in the year 2084 in Neo-Paris, players become Nilin, a professional memory hunter in a world where digitized, personal memories have become a high-priced commodity, and total privacy has been sacrificed by the masses in favor of technological comfort.
Hired by Memoreyes, a company specializing in memory retention, Nilin has the ability to “remix” a human target. This allows her to alter or even remove a memory, which in theory can cause a chain reaction and change the world. However, for reasons unknown, Nilin is arrested, and her own memory is wiped away. The game begins with Nilin escaping Bastille Prison and undertaking a quest for justice and answers in a world where everything is suspect and nothing is grounded.
Though still in mid-development, Dontnod has released a few facts about the game. The combat system will focus heavily on melee, and players will be able to design their own combo moves in the game’s Combo Lab. There are four styles of fighting moves, designated as Pressens, which can be selected and used in succession by accumulating Procedural Mastering Power (basically EXP.) The Pressens are classed as regen (for health), power, cooldown, and chain. Players are able to have up to four active combos at any given time, and a Pressen’s efficiency is measured in its placement within the combo.
Capcom has reveled that there are more than 50,000 combinations available via the Combo Lab, and players will have an on-screen display to help give them feedback on their various designs. When basic powers are not enough, there are five special moves called S-Pressens that are unlocked by completing sections of the main storyline. These do everything from removing shields from heavily armored enemies to overriding mechanical foes, turning them into allies.
The game also features a glitch system. When Nilin’s health falls to dangerously low levels or a certain combo is proving ineffective, the screen “glitches,” signaling to players that it’s time to heal or alter their combos to help win the battle.
A demo featured at Gamescon showed Nilin taking out a target who is an outspoken and dangerous critic of Memoreyes. Footage shows players exactly what it takes to remix a memory. The target’s mind is altered to make him believe he murdered his wife in a drunken stupor. Once Nilin disconnects from him, the man remembers his crime and commits suicide, thus neutralizing himself and completing her mission. The demo clearly leaves room for questions of morality and decency, and with a little luck, the game will bring them up as well. With so many games swimming in the shallow end of the pool, the industry could use games that offer a little grit and philosophy, and Remember Me seems poised to do so.
In arguably one of the coolest marketing ploys in recent years, the developer is offering interested fans a chance to create virtual ads that will be featured in the game. They will be visible to Nilin as she walks (or stalks) around Paris.
Remember Me is slated for a May 2013 release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC. Watch the trailer below.