How much would you pay to be able to experience Michael Jordan’s foul-line launched dunk? How much would you pay to experience what your spouse was feeling during the birth of your newborn? How about paying to re-experience one of your own past peak moments. Remember, we are not talking about watching these moments on a monitor but experiencing them as though they were among your very own memories?
In DONTNOD Studios’ Remember Me, due out in early June for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, the science of digitizing cognitive memory has advanced to the point of perfection by the year 2084, which is when the game takes place. Typical of views of the future in game fiction, the technology is advanced– but humans are still plagued with that most ever tenacious blessing and curse– human nature. As a result, most everyone uploads their digitized memories to the net to share with others. Soon after that however, the company that made it possible to digitize the memories also seeks to profit from them. Liberties are lost, control is imposed, George Orwell chuckles.
In their narrative premise, DONTNOD, like any capable hard sci-fi author, asks us to buy into a near-future technology that is within reach, yet may be ahead of current ethical maturity. Scores of gamers even in their 2nd or 3rd decade of playing may rejoice at this set up. It is a juxtaposition with a good deal of intellectual gravity.
Enter the hero, whose story we will follow in this morass of continued human fallibility.
Nilin, an agent of MEMORIZE, the mega-corporation amassing all of the profits from digital memory playback, is a Memory Hunter. She is trained to go into a person’s memory (against their will) and somehow alter it…thereby altering that person’s view of themselves, and hence altering their very lives. As in many stories of this ilk, Nilin’s handlers think she knows too much and with their power, they erase her memory.
Nilin’s memory needs to be reacquired (so she can get the bad guys, right?) Enter you, the player. Remember Me is a linear action game not unlike Uncharted in its tight control of camera and direction toward completing the narrative. However, Remember me uses close combat melee instead of gun violence to dispense adversaries. Nilin will also do a lot of what the developers call “memory remixing.” This game-play involves rearranging a target’s memory in order to manipulate them and further the story. There is quite a bit of customization to the melee combat Nilin will perform at your control. Within the option interface, a player can set up their own custom combos for use in the game.
The combination of a conceptually legitimate hard sci-fi world with a robust customizable combat system, coupled with the traditionally strong story-telling sensibilities of its French developers could make for an unforgettable gaming experience.