Recently, something very interesting happened (this is rare). Browsing game-related stuff on YouTube, I came across a title that I had never heard of — Capcom’s upcoming Remember Me.
Granted, with all the various announcement trailers and mobile game news out there I was bound to stumble on all kinds of gaming garbage, but this one actually looked, you know, good. So gather ’round kids and let me tell ya tell a tale, ’bout a game called Remember Me and why I hope it don’t fail!
#1 Awesome setting
The game is set in the not-to-distant future so you’d expect everything to be drenched in lens flare and look like it was made pumped out of an Apple slave camp because that’s how things are now, right?
Thankfully not. Remember Me looks and feels like a future that’s just around the corner… rather than relying on one specific ground-breaking discovery that revolutionizes how everything is done in the world. It’s essentially cyberpunk, which usually plays out in one of two ways: everything’s awesome or everything’s gone to shit. I’m happy to say that in Remember Me, things aren’t so clear-cut; it feels closer to real life. Some people have it pretty good, some people have it pretty shit, but then there’s that middle ground where folks are just getting on with their lives.
It’s more Watch Dogs than it is Deus Ex.
#2 Gameplay looks fun
Along with the trailer for the game, I was fortunate enough to find another video showing off around several minutes of gameplay (see below). Whilst I was watching it, I just wanted to pick up a controller and fall face first into the game. Granted, you can never rely on gameplay footage too much but, if it’s representative of the final product, I think I’ll be sticking around for more than just the setting and story.
With a healthy dose of acrobatics, violence, and high-stakes chases, Remember Me looks like some mad blend of Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, and Oni with a healthy amount of Ghost in the Shell thrown in for good measure. In fact, there’s a lot of Ghost in the Shell influence, but not so much that Remember Me feels like trying too hard to copy the anime classic. Though I don’t think I’d really complain if that was the case, now that I think about it.
#3 Juicy controversy!
If there’s one thing I love, it’s game development drama. It turns out that a number of publishers backed away from the project when they became aware that the protagonist was a mixed-race woman – they declared that this choice would heavily impact sales (in the bad way).
Of course, when news of this deliciously unpolitically correct decision broke, people were quite understandably pissed off about it. Why do publishers think that games will only sell if the player character is a buff, wise-cracking white dude? When asked about this, the co-founder of the development company Dontnod responded:
“I think these sort of issues become self-fulfilling prophesies; people saying that only white males sell so then everyone only does white males. If you start believing these things you get your head inside this cold marketing strategy that you cannot get your head around. It becomes a pretty fucking racist and misogynistic way of thinking about lead characters.”
I wholeheartedly agree. If you’re the kind of person who’s not going to play a game or watch a film or read a book that doesn’t have a white male protagonist, then not only are you limiting yourself; not only do you appear to be a douche; you’re not going to enjoy a well made, narrative-driven game because you’re too busy hanging out with your bros. After all, girls are icky and you’ve got bigger things to worry about — like being caught smoking by your parents.
#4 Not your typical transhuman
Deus Ex did a good take on transhumanism via augmentation. which is the posh way of saying “becoming more than a human by sticking new stuff in and messing with the hardware,”* but that’s not the only way to explore transhumanism.
Remember Me seems to be going down the Ghost in The Shell route by portraying a world where the population can opt for some form of cyberbrain surgery. People have a computer integrated in their brain that allows them to upload and download memories, which is the main focus of the story. I find this far more interesting than major augmentation because it seems that much closer to our world right now.
OK, we don’t have computers mixed with our brains just yet, but would you really be that shocked if you heard on the news tomorrow if somebody did? And if there were zero risks involved in the surgery, would you still shy away from it? And would doing so be the tipping point at which we stop being human?
Actually, excuse me a moment… I need to write all these ideas down before someone makes a series of games or an anime series about all these ideas. Something that, say, all cyberpunk fans should check out.
* which is a really roundabout way of saying “your arm is now also a gun, can opener, multitool and industrial grade vibrator.”