I think that about wraps it up for Remember Me. I’d really like to finish this game, but I can’t, because the designers don’t know what “easy mode” means.
On the plus side, it looks like I got through over 80% of the game. But it just pisses me off when a game just doesn’t want to let you get through it.
There’s a fight in episode 6, with Johnny Greenteeth, that’s almost impossible. Here’s the thing:
- You have two superpowers you need to use in combination: Sensen DOS to stun him, and Sensen Fury to whale a bunch of blows on him.
- It takes three Furies to finish him off.
- The cooldown on DOS is three fucking minutes. Seriously: once you’ve used it there is nothing you can do against him.
- To even use the superpowers you have to build up focus by hitting the Leapers he summons. I used a combo to regen health, but it’s not easy– you’re swarmed by the Leapers, and Johnny keeps teleporting in to hit you. Just staying alive is a challenge.
- You can create combos that reduce the cooldown. Great, except most of the time the only combo that works is the first, weakest one. I am a whiz at Arkham City combat, so I understand the concept and I know my mouse is working, but most of the time I cannot get the other combos to register. Plus, as I said, you’re swarmed by the Leapers, so getting five hits on one dude without getting hit is not easy.
I managed to get through it, and have no desire to do it again. The game is full of fights like that– just nasty hard, so I’m glad they’re over and hope I never have to do them again. (It’s little consolation that the Zorn fight I mentioned here is repeated later, and I did defeat it pretty fast that time.)
Anyway, in chapter 7, guess what, you face two Greenteeths. I tried, I just can’t do it. As each takes three Furies to take down, the fight would be 18 minutes long, and I can’t stay alive even for half that time while also fighting ten Leapers. (Plus of course if you fail at any point, it’s back to the beginning.)
- Edit: I went back and defeated the bastards.
Surprisingly, Yahtzee is fairly positive about the game. He thinks they were trying too many things at once– the build-yer-own-combo mechanic and the memory fixing– and didn’t quite do either well. I agree that that memory interference is the best part of the game, and they should have made it a central thing rather than a strange little add-on.
The combat isn’t undeveloped, though, it’s just totally unforgiving. Too many enemy types who are designed to be lengthy and punishing to defeat. The mechanism of “you need to use your superpower to defeat the boss, only we won’t let you” is intensely annoying. It’d be nice if they had implemented Easy Mode like in every other game– e.g., your damage should be higher, your HP higher, your cooldowns faster. Failing that, a set of combat maps like Arkham City would help a lot. I didn’t master AC combat without them; once I did, the main game was much more enjoyable.
The boss fights aren’t the only aspects of the game that seem user-hostile. A minor but real annoyance: there are collectibles scattered throughout, and you want them, because they give you things like extra HP. Often you have to leave the railroad slightly to find them… that’s great! Only if you explore into the next section of the map, the game locks the door behind you and never lets you go back. I hope someone didn’t think that was a great mechanism. More likely they just weren’t thinking like a player. The designers knew where all the goodies were, so it just never occurred to them that the one-way doors were a problem.
Also… in the first bit of the game I though “Hey, parkour, cool.” Only it’s not– it’s just a very elaborate railroad. If the game wants you to, you can cross a gap or climb a wall; if it doesn’t, you can’t. Tomb Raider had lots of railroaded bits, but there were at least a few open-exploration areas, and Lara’s powers seemed much more consistent– if she can climb up a wall of a certain size here, she can do it anywhere. I know it’s more work to make alternate paths, but the thing is, they already put in that work in Remember Me. It has enormous levels, often with rooms you can see but can’t get into. It’d be nice to be able to do more exploration and sometimes have a choice of path.