Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Everyone has come to love Life Is Strange, Dontnod’s adventure game about teenagers and supernatural powers, but the company’s first game was Remember Me [official site]. It had a similarly appealing art style and also featured a female protagonist, but instead of over-earnest conversations with your besties the main thrust of the game was third-person combat about chaining combos and beating up monsters.
Where Life Is Strange is about time manipulation, Remember Me is – as the name suggests – about manipulating memory. You’re a memory hunter fighting against an oppressive society, and the way you do that is by reaching into people’s minds and fiddling with what you find inside. You’ll scan through a remembered scene inside someone’s head and, by tweaking elements of the scenery, change the chain of events and thus how that person remembers them playing out. It’s an uncomfortable power from the start, too: the first time you use your skill, it’s to convince a woman that her husband is dead.
Even more uncomfortable is Remember Me’s combat system. When not hopping between ledges and rooftops to travel between missions – the game is set in a gorgeous Neo-Paris – you spend time creating your own combos in a confusing menu or trying to time button presses to beat up memory-addled zombie creatures. The game is published by Capcom, but its fighting system contains none of the precision of their better games. That – plus a sometimes awkward script and overbearing cutscenes – can make it a chore to play at times.
But while Remember Me is not a great game by any stretch, it’s still interesting – especially in light of what Dontnod did next.