Capcom’s action game Remember Me releases on June 4th for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. We recently chatted with DONTNOD Entertainment co-founder/creative director Jean-Maxime Moris about the game’s unique world, creating and customizing your own combos, and tons more!
AMANDA DYAR: Remember Me is a futuristic action title set in Neo-Paris in the year 2084 where memory scanning technology has made surveillance and law enforcement easier than ever before while making personal privacy almost non-existent. How did the team behind the game create such a unique world for Remember Me, and is this a world that could actually come into existence one day?
JEAN-MAXIME MORIS: The starting point for any book, film or videogame set in the future is the here and now, the life we have and how we live it. From there it is a process of imagining how these things can be extrapolated into the future. For Remember Me we explored one central strand, the explosion in the use and popularity of social networks. We are already in an age where we regularly share our experiences with family, friends and even strangers and for the most part have no qualms in doing so. We then projected this current behavior into the future and envisioned a world where memories could be digitized and then shared, sold or traded with others.
Once we had our narrative theme we began to build the world where the action would play out and used the same process as previously outlined. So, when you look around Neo-Paris you will see familiar landmarks and architecture that are visible today alongside all new buildings. Similarly with Nilin, we have dressed her in blue jeans and a contemporary jacket but added futuristic gloves and boots. We feel that this mix of the here and now along with the futuristic elements delivers a vision that makes it easier for the player to be drawn into the world of Remember Me.
AMANDA: Remember Me stars an elite memory hunter named Nilin on the run from her former employer, the Memorize corporation. Can you describe Nilin’s personality and her role in the game? Also, it seems unlikely Nilin will survive on her own for long, so what other characters will be featured in the game’s supporting cast?
JEAN-MAXIME: Nilin is a really interesting character – she is physically strong, agile and in possession of a unique ability allowing her not just to steal memories, but remix them and change the course of events. Yet she is also emotionally very vulnerable when we first meet her as she has had her memory wiped so is unsure of who she is, who she was and who she can trust.
While in prison Nilin is contacted by Errorist leader Edge who finds her an escape route before providing her with a series of missions that will take her face to face with Memorize. During the course of the game Nilin begins to remember more of her past including the skills that made her the most revered memory hunter. As well as Edge, Nilin will meet a number of characters who will help her, but just as many who will stand in her way.
AMANDA: It seems as though Remember Me will feature plenty of unique game mechanics that will not allow it to easily fit into any one genre of gaming, but what other games or different genres is Remember Me most comparable to and what sorts of things will players be able to do throughout the game?
JEAN-MAXIME: If you were to put Remember Me into a genre then it would definitely be action-adventure, but action-adventure with a twist. Gameplay is split pretty much equally between action and adventure – the action element consisting of combat, boss fights and platforming, with the adventure side comprising of exploration, puzzles and memory remixes. All of these elements have their roots in the ‘memory gameplay’ that makes up Remember Me.
AMANDA: One unique feature included in Remember Me is the ability to go inside the minds of enemies and seriously alter their memories. How does this aspect of the game work, and how can players use this to their advantage to progress through more difficult sections of the game?
JEAN-MAXIME: We call these sections memory remixes and there are a total of four which we use at key moments in Remember Me ’s story, allowing players to really become immersed and play an active role in driving the narrative forward. During each memory remix the player will be able to move the action backwards and forwards, looking for memory glitches, elements which can be altered to change the outcome of the memory.
We opted for “quality over quantity” with these sequences and focused on two main concepts: the butterfly effect and the moral consequences of directly interfering with a person’s identity. It is a really unique feature and something we really believe players will enjoy.
AMANDA: Combat will obviously be a huge part of Remember Me, and the game will feature a really cool Combo Lab feature that will allow the creation of customized combination attacks. This is a feature rarely seen outside of the fighting genre, so what sorts of things will players be able to do while in the Combo Lab, and how important will using the Combo Lab towards completing the main storyline of Remember Me?
JEAN-MAXIME: I’m really pleased to hear you like the Combo Lab as we spent a lot of time getting that element right. It was important for us to add some real depth to the combat system, but at the same time make it accessible for players of all levels.
Remember Me’s Combo Lab allows you to create and customize your own bespoke combos by unlocking new fighting move memories and combining them to maximize their power. Over the course of the game Nilin will remember more and more fighting moves, known as Pressens, that can then be placed into one of four combo chains.
There are four types of Pressens: power, regen, cool down and chain which can be combined to best suit the player’s style or strengths. This is very different from usual combo systems where input timing and memorizing are key. In Remember Me, timing is the same for every move and there are only 4 combo input sequences to remember. The focus is on how the player plays around with the effects of his combos on the gameplay. The Combo Lab hence encourages players of all abilities to experiment with different combinations and find the best combo for each combat situation.
In addition to the Pressens, Nilin will also get to use S-Pressens, unique moves that can turn the tide of battle. While they are not directly linked to the Combo Lab players will need to perform successful combos to build up a resource called focus before unleashing these power moves.
Overall, we have a combat system that is as accessible as that of typical TPS’s, but as deep as any combo driven game, and we are very proud of that.
AMANDA: Remember Me looks to be one of the best games released in 2013, but we’d still like to know more about the basic ideas of the game. Will Neo-Paris be an open world ready to explore early on, or will the game be more linear and based around specific missions. Also, how does the narrative tie-in with the gameplay? Will there be many cutscenes throughout the game, and will there be missions set outside of Nilin’s own storyline?
JEAN-MAXIME: Remember Me has, we believe, an engaging story that we want to tell and want the player to experience and it was therefore a creative decision to make the gameplay linear. The narrative is intrinsically linked to the gameplay and this is no better exemplified than in the memory remix sections where the player takes on an active role in moving Nilin’s story forward while at the same time exploring other character’s inner selves. In addition to these sections we have a number of ‘regular’ cut scenes that provide more details on Nilin’s past and the other characters in the game.
To learn more, visit the official Remember Me website.
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