I Love Remember Me Because I Hate It

I Love Remember Me Because I Hate It

I hate most of the cast of Remember Me . I think almost every character is a terrible human being and that the “heroes” are just as bad as the villains. I’m not even going to get into how I managed to beat the whole game just by relying on the square, square, square combo attack. Yet, despite the cast being very bad men and women, I’ve found that I love Remember Me because of it.

I’ve played anti-heroes before. There’s been Grand Theft Auto , Manhunt , Thief , God of War , Saints Row , and, most recently, Deadpool . (I mean, he crashes the Blackbird within the first two hours.) It’s just in other games, the characters and I know who they are. There’s no pretense. In Remember Me , these Errorists feel like they’re heroes, and the heads of Memorize think they’re saving people. Everyone’s self-righteously thinking they’re the best, and I’ve found that even though it disgusts me, in a way it also pulls me further into the game.

Take Nilin, for example. I absolutely hate Nilin. Sure, she’s a strong female character who’s standing up to a big, bad organization. Except, the moment the game begins, she’s willing to immediately trust everything Edge says and blindly follow his instructions. Remix people’s memories? Sure. Get plans for what can only be called a major terrorist act that will kill hundreds, even thousands of people? Let’s get on that! I was so disappointed to see she was going to do whatever he said without ever questioning him. But I kept going anyway, because I wanted to see what happened.

Actually, the same can be said for her remixing ability. Nilin is an Errorist who can remix people’s memories. This means she goes into their head and finds glitches she can exploit. For example, in an early case, she can change bounty huntress Olga’s memories of her husband in the hospital, making her think he wasn’t properly restrained in a bed and was given the wrong kind of medication, a combination that kills him (in Olga’s mind). The first instance of remixing immediately has Nilin doing something unforgiveable. I can’t even blame Edge for “making” her do it, because Nilin did it of her own accord, at the spur of the moment. Her first instinct was to screw with this woman’s head, and I imagine the results were devastating. I wish they’d been shown. While I hated what happened, and the part I had in making it occur, I couldn’t help but to secretly think how cool it was. I loved that Dontnod Entertainment wasn’t afraid to have such a questionable character as its lead. Though I hate the idea of altering someone’s memories, it was such an interesting process that I loved the experience and wish I could have messed with more peoples’ heads.

One of Remember Me’s main villains is almost as loathsome. Enter Scylla Cartier-Wells, the CEO of Memorize. This is the big, bad company that’s caused all of these problems since it turned memories into a form of currency. Actually, I can forgive Scylla’s actions, because at least she has an understandable motivation. She was in a terrible car accident, which left her broken and cynical. She doesn’t care that her company is hurting people. She’s fine with exploiting the weak and for pretty much being responsible for the formation of classes in society. Not to mention her part in the existence of the pitiable Leapers. Still, I liked that I could understand why it happened and how she got to that point. I didn’t like her or her company, but I did like the story surrounding her situation.

Of course, I can’t discuss my love-hate relationship with Remember Me without talking about Edge. Edge is the leader of the Errorist Movement. I’m going to try to go through this segment spoiler free, but I despise Edge most of all. He’s the one in charge of the entire attack against Memorize. He sends out his agents into dangerous situations. He tasks them with fighting authority and getting information needed to pull off deadly stunts, all to bring down Memorize. He has everyone else doing dirty work, so he can take those results to bring about even more devastating actions.

I Love Remember Me Because I Hate It

Moreover, one could assume that Edge doesn’t have much consideration for his Errorist agents. Bad things happen to them. Nilin begins the game in prison, with almost all of her memories wiped. The friend Edge directs her to, Tommy, used to be a member of the movement, like her. Except, he was so badly injured that now all he can do is run a bar in Neo-Paris’ ghetto. I can’t get into what happens to another agent, called Bad Request, but I assure you, it isn’t good.

Yet, I can’t help secretly admiring even the worst of the lot. Edge is always portrayed as a charismatic figure. He’s thinking of the greater good! He wants to make a better Neo-Paris for everyone! Sure, that means a few people have to die, but look at this society–with all those Leapers running around and Memorize going unchecked, there’s a chance those people would have died anyway. That sounds pretty scary, right? But if you play through enough of Remember Me , perhaps going through it all in one sitting, attempting to see during a second playthrough if Edge has some redeeming qualities, you could end up believing the propaganda.

Remember Me isn’t Game of the Year material. I won’t come back to it every few months to play, like I do with Mass Effect , Dragon Age , or Pokemon . Yet, it’s managed to do something for me that very few games do. It got me thinking. Despite the negative feelings I have for almost the entire cast, I’m quite glad I played it, and these negative personas made me develop a little crush on the game.

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