Remember Me - Preview

Remember Me Preview for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC at GAME

Right now, as we all thaw from what feels like history's longest winter and look towards a summer that's a little scarce on games, we should be grateful for anything to play. And if there's something on the horizon that's not a tie-in, not a sequel and not a throwaway mobile game, our gratitude can be excused for bordering on the gratuitous.

Thank the heavens, then, for Remember Me, an action game for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 that's notable not just for being one of the handful of games coming out in May - it's also noteworthy for being smart, stylish and the kind of thing we don't normally expect to see at the end of a console generation.

Developed by new French studio Dontnod, a team formed of veterans from Criterion, Ubisoft and several other stellar outfits, Remember Me's an adventure that deals in strong, cerebral sci-fi. It's the late 21st century - 2084, to be precise, a date that's one of many nods to classic science fiction - and you awake in a world where technology has reached inwards and corrupted the human condition.

Remember Me Preview for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC at GAME

Fighting Chance

It's a crisp vision of the future, and it's not just the Paris backdrop that gives away the fact that this is from a French developer. There's a vibrancy and lightness of touch to this vision, where messy slums wash up against bright primary colours - it can't help but remind you of Luc Besson's The Fifth Element - or, stretching further back, the work of French artist Moebius that proved so influential to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

In Remember Me's world, Social networks have mutated and run amok, with people able to upload entire memories - and also to lose them entirely. You're cast as Nillin, emerging from a fug with a bad case of amnesia. It's a bit of a classic videogame cliché, but at least Dontnod handle it with style - everything in Remember Me is about the fallibility of memory, and it's a theme that's tied into the combat, the puzzles and the world itself.

Perhaps unsurprisingly for a game from the publisher that brought us Street Fighter, the combat in Remember Me's sticky and fierce (indeed Yoshi Ono, the wonderfully over the top developer responsible for Street Fighter IV, lent a hand in this department.) Nillin takes on waves of enemies in little impromptu arenas, dancing between enemies in scraps that are a little reminiscent of the Arkham games.

Remember Me Preview for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC at GAME

Forget Me Not

Remember Me runs a little deeper, though - you can unlock moves by 'remembering' them, and then set about linking them together in custom chains. Some moves regenerate health, some crash through an enemy's guard, and some just look brilliantly acrobatic. Like so much else in Remember Me, it's thoughtful and engaging.

More directly cerebral are the little puzzles that are littered throughout the story. Dubbed Memory Remixes, they're little opportunities to delve into someone's mind and alter their perception of the past, with often devastating effects in the present. You wind and rewind through memories, changing little details that can have a grand impact, and it's all a bit like a neat twist on the premise of Inception, something that's as playful as it is profound.

Which is a good enough way to sum up Remember Me, really. It's a clever game, and one that's backed up with stunning visuals, a rich story combined with combat, and puzzles that are a pleasure to engage. This isn't the next GTA, Uncharted or Gears of War - Remember Me is something else entirely, and when it's out at the start of summer you'd be wise not to forget about it.

SKU: Previews-214842
Release Date: 17/04/2013