While many people know Dontnod today because of the widely-loved Life is Strange, few recall the company’s first game, Remember Me. Releasing almost 5 years ago to the day, June 3rd of 2013, Remember Me was an admittedly flawed action game that received mostly average reviews due to the flat characters and predictable story and was promptly forgotten by the overall gaming consciousness. However, those who enjoyed the game when it originally released, such as myself, remember it more for its breathtaking art design, striking soundtrack, and futuristic world where memories have become a commodity and a curse.
I chose to replay Remember Me recently, out of nothing other than boredom and curiosity. I hadn’t played the game since its original release but had thought about going back to it many times, wanting to see if the game was in fact worth remembering. After playing it again, I found myself thinking even more highly of its art, music, and world. During my playthrough, I also took over 200 screenshots, wanting a photo history of all the sights that dazzled and inspired me. As I neared the end for the second time, however, I realized I wasn’t quite ready to move on: I wanted to share my fascination for Neo-Paris with others.
With the game’s anniversary, and today’s release of Dontnod’s newest game Vampyr, I figured there was no better time to remind everyone about Remember Me. Instead of describing the game in text, which I’ve done before in my original review for the game back in 2013, I decided to try something a little different--sharing the sights and sounds of Remember Me through links to the soundtrack and embedding (some of) my screenshots. After all, the true strength of Remember Me is not in its gameplay or storytelling but in its grand score and gorgeous art design--what better way to show it off? Hopefully, I can evoke some of the same emotions the game made me feel in some of you and bring some interest to an oft-overlooked curiosity from the last generation.
First, let’s talk about the soundtrack. It was composed by Olivier Deriviere and features the Philharmonia Orchestra out of London. Deriviere took the original orchestral recordings and then added electronic sounds and distortion effects to create the uniquely glitched-out style that perfectly suits the themes and visuals of the game. One of his coolest tricks is with the main combat theme, Fragments, which dynamically rises and falls with the action of a fight. It makes an already cool-sounding track even better, ebbing and flowing as you nail combos and dodge attacks: hearing it an actual fight is how it was meant to be experienced. Still Human is a much more subdued track that demonstrates the strength of the orchestration and is still the one I remember most fondly due to its memorable opening. These tracks are just a taste of the fantastic soundtrack and I urge you to give the entire thing a listen.
I would consider art design to be one of Dontnod’s greatest strengths. Neither Remember Me nor Life is Strange have impressive graphical fidelity but they more than make up for it with the thoughtful care put into the looks of their characters and settings, immersively drawing you into the world of the game. The mix of Parisian architecture and cyberpunk elements in Remember Me was unexpected, but the studio melds them together in a way that looks both natural and awe-inspiring. It’s hard to do it justice through words alone, which is why I curated a collection of 35 images that I think show off the game’s look and style best. While I made sure to avoid posting any overt spoilers to the game’s story, I am obviously spoiling some of the more impressive visual moments.
Additionally, I want to note that the game looks even more impressive in motion. There are some fantastic effects which are impossible to show in full detail via still images, such as overloading your enemy’s memories and seeing them burst from their head in a shotgun blast of holograms. Nonetheless, I think these images paint a clear picture of Remember Me’s unique visual flair. I hope you enjoy!