Deja View: 7 Minutes Of Remember Me

By Craig Pearson on August 15th, 2012 at 1:00 pm.


After watching 7 minutes of Capcom’s sleek looking open-world hacking game, I’m pretty sure Ubisoft showed off something similar at E3. When I accessed my memories of that conference with my Memorinator (I keep my memories in there, so my brain has more room to think about kittens) it was all different: it wasn’t Ubisoft showing off Watch Dogs. It was an hour of the Capcom logo, with Blueboy’s ‘Remember Me‘ playing. After seeing what Remember Me’s Nilin is capable of, I think I got off lightly.

It is superficially similar to Watch Dogs: aesthetically, they share the floating UI, although in Remember Me it’s a part of the world. Watch Dogs is more grounded, Nilin’s parkouring through a world of floating drones and high-tech sparkly things. Both deal with you fiddling with things under the surface, but Remember Me looks to be more reactive to Watch Dog’s malevolent, planned out hackery. In this instance it’s a lot more slapstick.

Nilin can rewrite memories. Her goal in this playthrough is to make a high-ranking enemy kill himself. First she needs to find out where he is. Her movement is more akin to Prince of Persia than Assassin’s Creed: deliberate and grabby, rather than sprinting and hoping there’s something beneath her feet. She needs to find her target by finding a guard and yoinking the information out of his head. It looks like the lower level of her powers, and when she discovers where he is the real fun begins. Her most important skill is in rewiring memories, hopping into someone’s thoughts and changing what happens. As it turns out her target is a rather sad and volatile chap: Nilin overhears a phone call that she uses to her advantage, hopping into a memory of a fight Frank has with his wife.

The memory stuff is interesting: the scene plays out then you rewind it, looking for ways to disrupt what happens to corrupt his thoughts: moving things around in the world to rebuild what occurred. Her goal is to get Frank to kill himself, so she starts prodding the memory to make the worst possible outcome of his fight with his wife. Watch.

I kept reminding myself that what she was doing wasn’t going to end up with the wife actually dead, but that it was a remixed memory instead. I wonder how many ways the scene can play out? Are there a number of death scenarios, with an optimal path, or all you really doing is using the swooshy interface to find that one solution? It has possibilities, but if all you’re doing it flipping switches till the correct outcome then it could be rather limited.

Remember Me is out in May 2013

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50 Comments »

  1. pakoito says:

    Reminder, the game was announced a year ago at Gamescom, and Remember Me is just a rebrand.

  2. roryok says:

    ooh I like it. reminds me of aeon flux

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    Lumberjack_Man says:

    Looks like she’s got a shit in her nappy

  4. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I wonder how much of that climbing is free-form and how much is “press X to be awesome”? I hope it’s free-form, because that sure beats crate-stacking.

  5. Thingus says:

    Anyone else getting shades of Ghost Trick in the memory remix segment?

  6. Unaco says:

    I’ll see your Blueboy and raise you some John Leyton.

  7. Justin Keverne says:

    The idea of entering minds and changing memories is a Cyberpunk favourite, or maybe just an Cyberpunk Anime favourite, so anything that does it is instantly appealing I just fear each time you do it it’s going to be a bespoke experience.

    I’d love to see something like this in a more systemic game. Imagine if you could remix not just your specific target, but other people as well, say the guard on the front door. Maybe pull in parts of the environment with you, so if he’s standing next to another guard you pull in his memory of this other guard and convince your target that his colleague is sleeping with his wife. They start fighting allowing you to sneak in. Or you remix his memory so he thinks he remembers you from somewhere so let’s you in.

    It probably wouldn’t be possible for those interactions to play out as visually as it does in Remember Me but I’d be more interested in a game like that where the ability to remix memories was a tool not simply the “boss fight” at the end of every assassination. Maybe that’ll happen to some extent in this game though I fear not.

    • S Jay says:

      Agreed. I am also afraid the memory part is not really a puzzle you can solve in several ways, but just in that one specific manner.

    • The Random One says:

      The example given does give off that idea. May it just be a super simple first mission and not representative of the whole thing. The last thing we need is for the “guess the developer’s thought processes” mechanic from adventure games to become widespread (who am I kidding, as if it wasn’t already).

  8. Kadayi says:

    Looks pretty interesting although one hopes that there’s a lot of flexibility in terms of how you carry out your missions, as that example looked very route one. Liked the Aesthetic though and the shattered nature of the memory representation.

  9. Iskariot says:

    I love what I see. I love the Cyberpunk game world and I love the atmosphere.
    This game is mine.

  10. Hicks233 says:

    I just felt sorry for the guy.

    If they take the time and effort to build on the reactions to her actions then it could be something special.

    • PopeJamal says:

      Agreed. I found the entire ordeal a little creepy, but just enough so to be interesting. Others have mentioned the “gues what the devs were thinking” puzzle trapand I hope they avoid that. I just hope the second act of the story doesn’t turn into your typical “shoot all the things” carnival ride.

      I will be keeping my eyes on this one for sure.

      SideNote: Hmmm. WIll “cyberpunk” be the new “OMG Zombie Mode!”? Either way, I’m liking this new wave of incoming cyperpunk titles. Good times ahead!

  11. vodka and cookies says:

    Sounds pretty cool hopefully it all works out, new IP is nice and a female lead is not that common either so it’s good to see Capcom take some chances.. Ubisoft relegated it’s female lead on assassins creed to the PS Vita spin off.

  12. Pindie says:

    Having multiple solutions would mask the linearity of the story itself.
    I have to object to calling it open world, seems like level-based.

    I think the creators are going for morality dilemma and guilt tripping player but as we already discussed (to death): you cannot have that in a game that outright says “you have to kill that person or the game cannot continue”. If real world worked like that no court could ever find any criminal guilty. The solution is simple: stop trying, just write a different story – you cannot write a video game the same way you write a move, it is a different medium.
    I hate to complain about it and it has been done to death and I am preaching to choir, but yeah, ouch…

    I suspect this is a prologue segment and afterwards you become a rogue agent of sort, mending all the wrongs etc etc… I sure hope, otherwise the experience will be pretty shallow.
    A story where you are on the run from your organization and the law could be engaging.

    • Mike says:

      I don’t see why multiple solutions would preclude linearity. Everything post-memory change is just built on the idea the wife is dead, it doesn’t even mention cause other than Frank in some way.

      There’ll be multiple ways for it to work, but it’ll all be very linear by the looks of how it presents the choices to you. Still looks beautiful though, atmospheric and all.

  13. Balm says:

    Looks rather weak.
    At the most basic level idea is nice, but execution is uninspired. They showed no punishment for picking wrong lynchpin in memory sequence so what it’s simply a flashy cutscene player – pick video-clips one-by-one until you find one that will advance story.

    • medwards says:

      The execution is uninspired because you aren’t punished for trying multiple things? This looks genuinely interesting (assuming multiple solutions are possible) but lordy how tedious it would be if I had some arbitrary limit on how I can mess with his memory. Even if there is only one true path, every path through the memory is kind of like an exploration of how the dude feels. Even the failed first attempt at remix was interesting because of how the wife’s behaviour changes.

  14. gekitsu says:

    totally unrelated to the game itself, but to the post title:

    deja view is also the blog of legendary disney animator andreas deja, who animated aladdin’s jaffar, beauty and the beast’s gaston, lion king’s scar, and lilo and stitch’s lilo: http://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/ – if you are into drawings and animation, its well worth checking out. lots of preparatory drawings, animation roughs, classic disney animator drawings…

    ok, off topic over. carry on.

  15. Rivalus says:

    Oh my, Inception?

  16. Deadly Habit says:

    I was hoping it would be more of a futuristic cyberpunk Alpha Protocol, but this looks more like Assassin’s Creed. Could be cool, time will tell.

  17. Josh W says:

    This looks like one of those games I’d like to watch but not play, although I wouldn’t mind playing it if we were taking turns.

    There’s some really nice use of music, space and camera angles in this footage, mixing uncharted’s style of hinting, dynamic camera with cyberpunk anime tropes. Gameplay looks very rote.

  18. HilariousCow says:

    It’s prodding around an entirely contrived possibility railyard. That’s the main problem. It’s not about the creativity with which the player employs the natural affordances of the tools given them: it’s just, as said at the end of the article, flicking a dashboard of toggles until the right solution appears. Perhaps there are a few clues here and there as to what the right thing to do is, but for the most part, it puts the game designers in the position of a witholding parental figure: if you can find the result we want (somewhat arbitrary) we’ll pour praise on you. But telling you how defeats the point of us asking you how to do it. However, since everything is systemically arbitrary, you don’t *really* have any real power to figure these scenarios out logically (assuming there only a handful of solutions). You have to figure it out by poking it until it responds.

    Mechanically, it’s as trial and error as any adventure game – i.e. not a whole lot of an interesting mechanic going on. That doesn’t stop adventure games having a certain appeal, still. But at that point, only the delivery, style and execution of the content can prop it up.

    I do like some of the visual/audio design in that respect. The platformy stuff looks serviceable, but overly familiar.

    • felisc says:

      I completely agree.
      This felt like a long cutscene with bits of not-very-fun adventure game in it.
      art sound design is quite nice !

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    Naum says:

    Let me point out what I consider to be the most interesting things about this video. Firstly, the heroine is kind of shocked to hear that she’s supposed to kill someone. Secondly, while two people die neither of those deaths is shown directly; the camera even turns away respectfully when the target kills himself. Could it really be possible to have a game that is not full of shooty-stabby ultraviolence?

  20. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    “all you really doing is using the swooshy interface to find that one solution”

  21. beema says:

    Oh good, there is a floating head talking in to an earpiece guiding you to every objective. I was worried somebody might make a game without that.

    The premise of this game looks fantastic, and so does the presentation, mostly, but to me it looks like they are holding your hand way too much. Single-button pushes to accomplish everything, super forgiving on the memory remix thing. I don’t know what the solution is, but someone desperately needs to come up with a way to make a story-driven game that still seems challenging. Being able to hack someone’s brain with one button push and no other effort seems silly. Having the targets that you need to hack illuminated AND labeled is too much. You should at least have to do something like eavesdrop on their conversation to determine if they are the appropriate hack target.

    As long as I’m nitpicking: we’ve come so far, but we still can’t make a person look like they are actually drinking something. Ugh. Some of the animations in this made me cringe.

    • Kadayi says:

      Do better

    • Dreforian says:

      I’m extremely skeptical as well about how well thought out it is. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex has plenty of people hacking, but it’s in an age of cyberization (is that a word?) where that kind of thing is not only plausible but well recognized, policed. Being able to wirelessly re-write a person’s memory? And not a security measure in sight? If this technology is ubiquitous then that’s a major oversight by the writing team. It’d be interesting to see if at some point you have to defend yourself against a similar attack (assuming you haven’t already been effected!) If it’s bleeding edge technology it might make more sense. Nilin being publicly wanted suggests somebody in authority knows she is bad news (at least for them). Her being incredulous at being asked to kill but doing it anyway suggests she’s either super-indebted, scared, or not nearly as moral as she is ethical.

      TLDR: short video doesn’t tell me enough!

  22. RagingLion says:

    I really llike the idea of this game and making gameplay out of going into people’s minds and ‘remixing’ them – how that will play out in terms how the game feels I don’t know. The general style and moving through that kind of world seems good too but I don’t know how well it will really capture a sense of being in the world.

    Will definitely be keeping my eye on this. And if this game doesn’t work out well, I want someone else to try to do it.

  23. kikito says:

    Some day character designers will understand that spies and assassins don’t wear sexy makeup, have outrageous haircuts, and wear sexy clothes with very floaty pieces of cloth attached. It’s got to do with very technical concepts called “blending in” and “camouflage”.

  24. BreadBitten says:

    Looks rather intriguing, I do wonder if memory shaping scenarios are only limited to one per target. Having multiple memories to mold could give the game some stronger legs to stand on…!

    Also, the game reminds me more than a little of ‘Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure’ except set in a futuristic Paris and less graffiti.

  25. Sunjammer says:

    Besides the art direction and fundamental concept, this just looks like an old splinter cell game with mcpixel grafted onto it. Super, super dumb.

  26. fFreakazoid says:

    Dont know why, but this video makes me want to play a Prince of Persia set in the future.

  27. Zwebbie says:

    “Take him out? You want me to kill him?”
    “No, I want you to tamper with his brain so that he feels so guilty that he’ll commit suicide.”
    “Oh, thank God, I was afraid it was going to be unethical!”

  28. The First Door says:

    That… was really rather depressing to watch. I love the idea, but I’m not sure I want to play a game where I’m asked to take advantage of someone’s sadness at being dumped and warp it into guilt genuine enough to make him commit suicide!