Remember Me; Who’d Forget?

Remember Me is an awesome linear story set in Neo-Paris in the future where memories have been commoditised and can be shared with everyone. You play Nilin a memory hunter whose hunting her own memories as she’s been `wiped`.
The game starts out with an advertisement for a Sensen, this is the tool that lets people remember every single event in your past and that of others who are willing to share theirs. You wake up in this horribly white and medicinally clean setting that gives it an uneasy vibe already. Your first task; Escape.
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The general game has a look & feel of the most recent Deus Ex with Total Recall thrown in especially given the memory angle. So the population of Neo-Paris has become addicted to their Sensens – understandable I think, depressives will wallow and replay the events that put them there and those who are truly happy may become obsessed with chasing previous feelings.
So in this 2084 future you have to find out who you truly are. Once you finish your fist task there is a news flash talking of your epic departure but seeing as you and your character are both being reintroduced to this world its unsettling to see this news flash describe you as a terrorist. Just who is Nilin? Who are you?
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In terms of gameplay Remember Me is a mixed bag that comes out surprisingly enjoyable. In terms of fighting you’ll have to deal with hand-to-hand for the entirety of the game which is refreshing given the industry’s simple and easy power-fantasy fascination with guns. Nilin is incredibly acrobatic with her fighting style (imagine maybe Batman’s Arkham Series). Also as you fight an awesome soundtrack kicks in which you may not notice at first but is quite catchy – I was trying to get in fights just to hear the song by the end.
As your memory comes back so does your fighting abilities which ties in nicely to gameplay & story. This takes shape in Nilin remembering different combo lay outs and some fantastic special maneuvers.  One really fun part of the combos Nilin remembers is that you’ll only ever remember 4 (which is sucky at first) however what makes them to the core awesome is that they are customisable. This means that the combo set maybe XXX or XYYXYY but Nilin has `Pressens`, Pressens are different punches/kicks meaning that any combo you remember you can then choreograph which is incredibly refreshing and lets you change up gameplay to how you want it. Remember however that at times it is very hard to pull off the longer combos which does create a level of frustration as you desperately try to land that last punch only to be hit off balance at the last second.
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Pressens allow you to choreograph a combo but there’s a little more to it than that. Pressens can take on 4 different types – Damage, Regen, Cooldown & Linked. Damage Pressens allow for heavier damage to foes, Regen Pressens allow for you to regain health that may be lost in combat (maybe not sensible but makes the game compact and forces you to change fighting to what you need), Cooldown Pressens reduce the cooldown time of Nilins specials moves (though even when at 0 you need `Focus` to execute these moves), and finally Link Pressens are merely a multiplier for the previous move so if the previous Pressen was a damage one then it does double damage, if a regen you get double health back etc.
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Pressens are unlocked by buying them with PMP (procedural mastering points) which you gain from fighting. You’ll need to unlock Pressens if you want to have several combos as a Pressen can only be used in one combo at a time.
As you run & climb around Neo-Paris you’ll find patches for either Health, or Focus or even that just add some extra information about the world around you. What is cool about these patches is that tiny screens pop up around the world with a picture of where the patch is located and you have to find it based solely on that.
One thing that was slightly annoying however about exploring what little there was to explore (the game is very linear) is that the camera handling is quite old school, so its not always 3rd person, you may round a corner and now you have to deal with an aerial camera, its a minor thing but personally its abit annoying.
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Since Remember Me is based heavily around memories, your own and that of others, they added a very cool mechanic that is employed via story and not choice but that is the `Memory Remix`. This is where you go into an enemies mind, watch how they remember a scene then rewind through it altering data to make them think something else happened due to the changes you’ve made – As cool as this mechanic is, it does result in some tragic consequences made all the worse by the fact you HAVE to do it to progress the story, but if you can feel that then it shows some powerful story telling at play, so take with one hand and give with another.
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Talking about the writing however, in places it does seem strange. There is admittedly good voice acting as you can feel the exasperation that is displayed in Nilin as she desperately tries to recover `herself` but still some bits seem odd and probably should have been changed for instance you are displayed as a terrorist by the news and those you fight, however they call you Errorists which just felt a little sloppy in terms of writing.
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In cutscenes Nilin reflects on what has happened in her mission and deals with the consequences of how that makes her feel. These cutscenes are set in this weird mindscape where there are disjointed blocks that float up to support her feet. It is a great layout and one that had me clamouring to just be able to walk around in it for a minute. To give an example of how it feels imagine being in Assassins Creed Animus but the floor moves like it would in Bastion.
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Overall Remember Me despite its limitations is a fantastic game and one I definitely recommend playing. There are several quite philosophical things I took away from it as well. As the game revolves around memory and you have the ability to change minor things and major things in those memories – Did things happen the way you remember them?
If you had your entire memory wiped away but gained it back would you arrive at the same conclusions you did before or would you look back at yourself in distust with how you acted?
However at its heart I think Remember Me is about remembering what is important which is family, friends and that things should be remembered and not forgotten even in the most painful of thoughts.

Remember Me 8/10
Thanks for reading :)

 

Fred Garrett-Jones
http://willza99.wordpress.com/
https://twitter.com/magicalfunbus

E3 Day 1; The Console War!

Another E3 has once again arrived and the first day has blasted it’s way to the front page of a lot of tech news as we see the `Console War` progress and possibly climax with its next victor.
The first day of E3 was split into 4 major talks, Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony to round off the day. So lets dive into the first section.
Microsoft
Microsoft;

Microsoft started out their obnoxiously green talk with a little surprise from Konami & Kojima by showing the highly anticipated Metal Gear Solid 5, and open world Afghanistan based game with a plethora of transport options from horses to tanks. The open world mechanics present in the next MGS allows for far more play options for both stealth and aggressive maneuvers and is definitely something to look forward to.
Next up was a surprising announcement that the Xbox 360 would receive another redesign. So from the original 360 we then got; The Elite, The Slim and now this, designed to a similar standard as `The One`, as I call it. This new design is supposedly more sleek and quiet than its predecessor and has possibly been released due to part of the gaming community calling out for blood with the new Online check-ins and such that Microsoft is integrating – On a side note, something that I find very odd everyone is complaining about, these are people with smartphones and tablets yet they hate the idea of having to have their console have an internet connection?
Anyway here is the new 360 and god knows what its name is, 361?
New 360
Microsoft then went onto talk about Gold memberships and the changes to be made there, first off 2 free games are going to be given away each month to everyone new and old to Xbox Gold starting with Assassins Creed 2 and Halo 3, Gold will now having sharing capabilities within your household so that if your child/spouse/friends have a silver account but you have gold then they get access to many gold features. Also there will no longer be the old fashioned 100 friends cap, it has been removed entirely allowing you to make more friends with people you don’t know.
Before launching into games I’ll just round off other news brought to light; Xbox now has a partnership with Twitch.Tv so you can stream gameplay on The One, something I personally find interesting as during the holidays I do enjoy streaming with friends; Microsoft will no longer be supporting Microsoft Points but instead purchases will be made with your local currency. A new tool called Upload Studio has been implemented where you can personalise clips, give them thumbnails, edit them (although to what degree wasn’t shown in detail) and then upload them for all your friends to see, this works much like the Share button that the PS4 implemented.
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Now to list off all the games that Microsoft showed at their talk, remember this is not a full list of Microsoft games, many are exclusives and I will try to say which ones are and are not. So here we go;
SpliterCell blacklist which has been shown everywhere for a while – for more info there will be a later post on the Ubisoft talk in the future
Batman Arkham Origins – The MS talk didn’t show this game off that much but this was readdressed in the PS talk later on and it looks to be one hell of a gritty fun Batman game even though Rocksteady aren’t involved in the 3rd of this epic trilogy. it does however I feel fall prey to the issues of many prequel games which is; It has much better awesome gadgets (because the game series has progressed, users need something new) but it’s better and more advanced so why isn’t it in the `future` games.
Grand Theft Auto 5 which is coming out soon in September.
World of Tanks is coming from the PC now to Xbox so fans of this apparently big hitter may be glad to see a port over to consoles. EXCLUSIVE
Max: Curse of Brotherhood – you play as a child who banished his brother to another realm and must save him, with some quite nice cartoony graphics it looks to be something fun and light to play.
DarkSouls 2 – The epic trailer to this game merely made me even more sad at the fact i’ve still not played let alone finished Dark Souls 1.
Ryse – you play as a Roman Soldier, the gameplay showed off real time fighting but with quick time events thrown in to finish off enemies, I worry this may get a little repetitive and boring as the game progresses. Also I’m sad as originally this game was meant to be a kinect heavy game where as now its rumoured that it’ll only be kinect enhanced, whether that means voice commands I don’t know. EXCLUSIVE
Killer Instinct – This is the game that is being streamed above, a standard fighter with a similar art style to StreetFighter I feel, all the same looks incredibly fun. EXCLUSIVE
SunSet Overdrive – This is a heavily stylised FPS with Openworld that has a cool cartoon look to it with very vibrant colouring, it sounded like the game would be updated frequently with things like daily challenges and other treats to enhance gameplay and change the way you think constantly. EXCLUSIVE
Quantum Break – In this game time freezes and slows in confined areas, meaning you could walk in on an event that had frozen such as an explosion, this game supposedly blurs the line between TV and Games (which in my personal opinion isn’t good, games are their own medium and shouldn’t be trying to copy old technology). EXCLUSIVE
Spark – A game where you can create a world with kinect or smartglass, even villages and enemies. You can even give personalities to items such as giving a rock the personality of a pet, so that whenever you are in a certain range, it bounces and runs toward your character. It was presented in an odd manner but the gameplay stood out and looked amazing, definitely one to buy. EXCLUSIVE
Deadrising 3 – You play Nick Ramos in an open world with absolutely no load times (such a fun perk in games), the same on the fly weapon customisation is still in place and smart glass plays a roll too by allowing for help from other players online. Definitely an awesome game and hopefully there’s plenty more to be revealed.
Witcher 3 – A huge free roaming, 100+ hour game with kinect voice commands to help with quick swaps of equipment or even saying incantations for magic spells.
Battlefield 4 – This actually went wrong at the talk and the speaker nearly walked off stage until luckily the demo started playing – see more later when I talk about the EA talk
TitanFall – A new IP, an FPS game that involves huge Mechs you can get in and control, jetpacks that create a more fun 3d traversable environment and some awesome multiplayer from the looks of the demo, definitely one to purchase. EXCLUSIVE
And Finally HALO 5 – Only a small teaser was shown of the Master Chief walking through a dusty planet before a huge forerunner mech appears from out of the sand. Apparently the first game to run at 60FPS on Console, a definite buy for any old Xbox Fans.
Spark Titanfall Halo5SSO In order; Project Spark (world creation early stage), Titanfall (beginning of a mission), Halo 5 (teaser), Sunset Overdrive (trailer).

Playstation
SONY:
Sony started out their talk by talking about the PS Vita, it has 85 titles coming to it including Final Fantasy 10 and 10 part 2, God of War HD 1 & 2, Killzone Mercenary & Tearaway. As an old FFX fan I nearly ordered a vita there and then.
Sony talked alot more about games throughout and left most of the new tech stuff until the end, apart from the PS4 design (hold on, I’m getting there).
They went on to talk about some of the large games coming to the PS3 and Next Gen including Last Of Us which continues to get 10/10 ratings (EXCLUSIVE), Rain which looked an odd and almost depressing game that I wish they’d said more about (EXCLUSIVE), Beyond 2 Souls where they showed Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe (who is just the creepiest looking man even in game), the gameplay looked interesting, showing Ellen going through training before being assigned the mission to take down a Warlord (EXCLUSIVE), and a better and improved Batman: Arkham Origins trailer showing Bane, Deadshot, Deathstroke and Blackmask (EXCLUSIVE CONTENT e.g. Batman Skins).
Sony then went onto answer the major question burning in everyones mind; “What does the PS4 look like?”. Well, a little something like this:
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with a slight slant in the design the PS4 reminds me of my old PS2 and doesn’t look that far off The One (which makes me laugh at everyone who said The One looked stupid) in terms of general design. Sony then went onto talk about how Sony Pictures were working on a new plan to bring entertainment to the PS Network including Music & Video unlimited, both of which are available day 1 of release for PS4. Also Redbox will be coming to the PS4 for all their US customers and Flixster will be coming later in Autumn.
The PS4 will be released 399 Dollars/Euros, and 349 Pounds possibly near November along side The One.
From there on out the talk remained focused on games both large and small with a little slip being made that PS will support Self-Publishing Content from Indies and the like and also that the PS4 will use Gaikai to stream PS3 games on the PS4 (providing they stream FFX HD and the Jak & Daxter HD Trilogy I’ll definitely be buying a PS4).
So lets run through the Sony games that were put on display;
The Order – A steampunk victorian england where you play as possibly 4 players against some unknown large gangly creatures (possibly werewolves, I couldn’t tell). EXCLUSIVE
Killzone Shadowfall – With awesome action & gus on display as well as some cool gadgets this game only continued to sell me on PS4. EXCLUSIVE
Infamous Second Son – A cool game where you have supernatural powers that seem to revolve mainly around fire – hopefully there’ll be some other powers later in game.
Knack – This wan’t spoken about much but a little teaser was shown.
Super Giant Games showed off their next hit Transistor – same isometric view as Bastion but with a few new art styles in certain places in the game, it looks to be a hopefully great hit from Super Giant.
Don’t Starve, Mercenary Kings, OctoDad, Secret Ponchos, Ray’s the Dead, Outlast, New n’ Tasty Oddworld (HD remake) and Galax-Z were a bunch of indie games that are also coming to PS4.
Diablo 3 – This wasn’t shown but there was talk about exclusive items from other playstation games which is an awesome little touch.
Kingdom of Hearts 3 – Not much was shown but it has the same cool cartoon-esque graphic style fans will be familiar with.
Assassins Creed 4 – The live demo gave a little look into the next AC and it looks a hell of alot better than its predecessor (which I’m struggling to complete as I hate it), this looks to have some fun Jungles and busy towns (unlike AC3 where there were near no buildings).
Watch Dogs – Another Live demo (something which Sony did very well), it showed driving around the world which was very beautiful, the game looked open with options allowing for some very smart play and also allowing help from Mobile players on their tablets to make your mission easier.
Mad Max – Only a teaser but all the same the game looked cool and had a similar wasteland art style that reminded me of Rage the ID software game.

Beyond2Souls KillzoneShadowfall NewnTasty WatchDogs In Order; Beyond 2 Souls, Killzone ShadowFall, New ‘n’ Tasty, Watch Dogs.

That pretty much wraps up the major talking points about the 2 warring Consoles and on a personal note I feel that although I’d love some of the Kinect functionality and the Twitch.TV partnership Playstation may have won me over. If I buy a console at all however is another question, as a PC owner Steam wins every time as it’s cheap as hell.
The major feeling across the gaming network however is the same as mine, Playstation seems to have won this Console War, so hats off to you Sony, well done you avoided the pitfalls you made with the PS3, unfortunately Microsoft didn’t.

Thanks for reading and keeping looking here for more on some of the games being shown off at E3. Soon to come Ubisoft & EA talks.
Thanks again.

Fred Garrett-Jones
https://twitter.com/magicalfunbus
http://willza99.wordpress.com/

8 Superhero Twitter Covers

A few weeks back, Twitter launched an update to profile pages, introducing a new cover photo to make each person a little more unique. These Spiderman, Avengers and Batman photos are the perfect size for the Twitter cover pictures, so you have a new way to express your love for superhero films. You can find a lot more at a TwitrCovers, a new website dedicated to providing you with images for your profile.

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Play As Batman on iPhone and iPad

Gameloft have just released The Dark Knight Rises game for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, meaning you can now fly around Gotham while you’re on the go.

The game’s release ties perfectly in with the film which hits UK cinemas today. The game allows you to take control of the Dark Knight, laying the smack down on criminals in side quests, while tackling the main quest which follows the same story line as the film.

Like many Gameloft titles, The Dark Knight Rises is a very large download, which isn’t surprising considering the size and graphics of the game. It’s one thing to be able to bring a free roaming game to mobiles, but with graphics like these you can’t blame Gameloft for charging £5 ($9.99) for the game.

The Dark Knight Rises isn’t getting a video game for consoles or PC, which makes this a mobile exclusive. This looks set to be the second popular Batman game on iOS following the release of the Infinity Blade-style Arkham City Lockdown earlier this year.

(Update: Now on Android.)

iTunes | Google Play Store