Capcom's got a full slate of games on deck for 2013, including the forthcoming DMC: Devil May Cry from Ninja Theory; the all new Lost Planet 3 from Spark Unlimited; and the downloadable fighting game Darkstalkers Resurrection, which is sure to be a hit for long-time fans and tenderfoots alike. But in the midst of all this is a mysterious new release called Remember Me, which was announced a few months ago and has been the talk of the Tokyo Game Show, among other gaming events. Its story is shrouded in mystery, but the big discussion here is how you'll be able to craft your experience as you go using the in-game Combo Lab.
In Remember Me, you take control of Nilin, an elite memory hunter who's got a shady past, ones she'd rather forget. She's fighting her way through an alternate, neon-powered version of Paris in 2084 (renamed Neo-Paris as a result), and using her skills in memory hunting to her advantage. She's actually able to "hack" people, as she has the power to break into people's minds to steal their memories. We're not sure who'd made such a tall order, but Nilin finds herself up against mysterious adversaries, and must use every asset to her credit to stay alive – even if it means injecting into the unlikeliest of memories.
Remember Me plays out in real-time, where events unfold depending on what moves you make. While that doesn't quite sound innovative (after all, what game hasn't been dependent on what you do in it?), the way you do it, through a combination of combat and exploration, is. While looking for clues as to what your next target should be, you'll run across various enemies itching for a fight – something that Nilin is happy to oblige in.
Now here's where Remember Me's most innovative features is introduced – the Combo Lab. Here, you're actually able to string together your own combos and put them into active place, so you can refer to them should a situation call for you to fight. It appears that various slots are open for you to customize your combo in, with a number of punches and kicks to mesh together. You'll need to put them together carefully, and execute them even more so, because failing to connect with a proper combo could give the enemy the upper hand, not leaving them stunned and forcing them to counter-attack with something that could leave Nilin in peril.
These attacks fall into four specific categories – Power, Regen, Cooldown and Chain. A meter at the bottom of your customization screen shows you how effective each combo is when it comes to Total Damage, Regeneration and Cooldown Reduction, so you'll want to time them just right without leaving yourself too winded.
The Power Combos enable you to do some real damage, if pulled off right. But the kicker here is being able to finish an enemy quickly with an execution, done in bloody yet brilliant fashion. As this bad guy falls, you'll want to pick up some PMP orbs, which act as a currency in Remember Me. Using these, you can extend your combo capabilities with more Pressens (read: abilities), giving you more range when it comes to finishing opponents in just the right way. After all, who wants to kill a guy the same way over and over? Not us.
Then you've got Regen attacks, which are weak compared to Power but allow you to rebuild any missing health as you fight. Should you be running low after an encounter, you'll want to rely on these to refill, then move along to along style. You can also build up enough energy to perform S-Pressens, which are special abilities that give your combat a little extra oomph when it comes to style. Our particular favorite has to be the one where you can hack an enemy and turn them into an ally. Sure, it's not killing them, but it can really help you out in some cases.
Cooldown is a little trickier, as these combos also tie into S-Pressens, but leave you vulnerable the longer you use them. The damage is just a little stronger than Regen, but they're ideal for chaining together the Pressens.
Finally, Chain attacks enable you to link with anything they touch, which in turn doubles the damage done to whoever it's hitting. This is probably the most complex of combo systems, but also the most rewarding for those who master it.
We'll delve more into Remember Me with a hands-on report in the months ahead, but, for the time being, it sounds as if it's really going to revolutionize action games by letting you customize your style as you go along. It's definitely something you won't want to forget when it releases sometime in 2013.