Anticipation is growing for the action puzzler game from Capcom and Dontnod Entertainment that could be one of 2013’s biggest releases, Remember Me. The game developers and Dark Horse Comics have put together a stunning visual collection for the enigmatic dystopia that Remember Me creates, with introductions and notes to guide audiences through this beautifully chilling view of the future.
Paying homage to George Orwell’s classic novel, the year is 2084 in the divided and war-ravaged Neo-Paris. We follow the story of Nilin, a wanted memory hunter, who has lost her own memories and must now fight to survive as she recollects what she has lost. This adventure explores several themes: memory, humanity, and intimacy. Each theme is probed and subdued by the art of the game, depending on the approach players choose and how they perceive the world around them.
The Art of Remember Me displays all of this masterfully. The back of the book boasts “arresting visuals”, which is not a lie. The intros and small informative paragraphs show that the art designers took pride in their work. This element helps to build anticipation for the places and characters that were created to bring Neo-Paris to life, as each part is discussed passionately. The artwork itself makes the game world feel very alive and populated even before discussing the story. Neo-Paris is portrayed in large landscapes, each differently scaled with points of visual interest that do not disappoint. This images are reminiscent of classic science-fiction and anime in their style, but feel radiantly alive in their darkness and decisively real.
The urban-digital feel of Neo-Paris is based in realism. Art developers sampled real advertisements and graffiti, changing them enough to fit their world but still seem familiar to viewers. Many monuments and sites from current day Paris are visible. From the Eiffel Tower to the Paris Underground, these modern day locations are thrust into Remember Me in an authentic futuristic view, creating an appealing balance that does not feel forced.
Divided into three parts, Neo-Paris has its war-torn slums, sullied middle grounds, and higher end areas that still boast the beauty of the once glorious city. Each of these sections has their own feel, splashed with brilliant flashes of colors in cloudy grays and foreboding backdrops that come to life. The streets are no longer crowded by personal vehicles, but locked down by search lights and aircrafts patrolling above.
Spectacular skies, water, reflections, and bold color make Neo-Paris a truly electric and innovative experience. As the book notes, lighting is the most important step, especially in environments that periodically change throughout the game. Everything from the humid claustrophobic sewer tunnels to the cold geometric science labs breathe life from the page.
The character designs are appropriate to the setting and story. Nilin is a mixed race woman that fits the ultramodern feel. Her clothes and appearance are based on modern designs, with a skilled touch that helps Nilin feel ahead of her time. The models for enemies in this book are very intimidating. With the dreaded memory-starved leapers and military after Nilin, these characters will inspire true fear as they terrorize and spread their propaganda.
The only downside to this book is that it may have minor spoilers about the story and progression of the game for those wanting to remain oblivious to such things. The Art of Remember Me is chock-full of content, from the beautiful artwork, character designs, and in-depth information that it provides about the world of Remember Me, making it worth the $39.99 asking price.