Come on, let me end this year on a good note.
December is supposed to be the month where you give it all of your bastard energy. Yet so far, all I’m getting is half-assed products made from people who give more of a shit about the colour of their socks, than the quality of the game they’re trying to make money from. What about Rememoried? YES! This looks perfect.
A walking simulator from a one-man Czech studio, based around an entirely new game mechanic; forgetting? This is perfect! The one man, in particular, is Vladimir Kudelka, whom I like to believe saw the film Koyaanisqatsi once while high on amphetamines and thought he could recreate the same visions and message in the Unity engine. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that Rememoried is the product of somebody who is a devout follower of the Time Cube theory.
DISCLAIMER: I feel like I shouldn’t say this, but I’m not vehemently against walking simulators or the argument that video games can be considered an art form. What I AM against, however, is a developer who is so up his own arse, that he has the audacity to charge 15 dollars for a game that lasts for an hour, and offers the same questions and conundrums that a 9th Grade art class would.
There is no story or at least any form of a narrative present. Instead, Vladimir hired two stoners to make random stoner statements, and he proceeded to create untextured environments out it all. The game states that there’s a virtual environment that you reside in but there’s not a shred of evidence that might lead to it, and instead pulls a bait and switch on the player.
Throughout gameplay, you’ll notice your player model, which is two hands with one of them devoid of skin, instead of showing some celestial power. “Great”, you think, “This probably means that we’re going to have some fun puzzle mechanic that involves misplacing objects due to “forgetting” them! Or that we’re gonna get something like Q.U.B.E. or The Turing Test!” Haha… Ahahahaha… HAHAHA… AHHHHHHHHH HAHAH-
There’s no actual puzzle mechanic. There’s no gameplay. What “forgetting” actually revolves around is spinning in fucking circles until the game randomly creates a path for your next objective behind your back. A real intuitive mechanic, I’m sure. I’m also sure that all the people who gained motion sickness from constantly spinning like they’re auditioning for FaZe in 2012, are grateful for your genius strides in gameplay as well, Vladimir.
So, yeah, gameplay is a bust, but it’s about the message! Of course, it’s always about the message when the developer doesn’t have a single shred of knowledge of game design. Instead of looking at this title as a video game, we’re supposed to just literally look at it, like it’s an experience or an adventure through untapped valleys of mind. Well, playing 15 bucks with that? I’ve gotten strains of stronger weed for cheaper.
These dreamscapes never change, and never attempt to challenge the mind in any strong ways. Instead, the two stoners from before will echo each other’s words, spouting drivel about reality being dogmatic law, the reward from the game is knowledge of your own self, and other such shit you could find in a Tai Lopez video. I’ve gotten more insight from reading the back of a cereal box.
Visually, it’s as welcome as a sausage on a synagogue. Most of the aesthetics come from ugly, muddy black and white landscapes with hints of colour that really don’t help with whatever symbolism that Vladimir is trying to impose on us. When you’re in the “spacey” parts, it looks like the skybox for Fallout 3 is artifacting, with the same graphical quality to boot, offering the same reaction of “this is pretentious”.
I bet Vladimir is also incredibly pleased that he was able to get some stock classical music to blast your eardrums with in-between the visual experience. They’re good pieces and movements, movements you’ve heard of, but they don’t really add anything. Again, they’re just there, they’re not embedded within the set pieces, it’s all so faceless and dull.
“Ohhhhhhhh, Samiee’s just against art! He just wants to shoot terrorists all day! Huhuh, school shooter supreme!” Nice try, but I’m here to review games, and Rememoried isn’t a game. It’s the inventor’s blueprint for losers who just saw Eraserhead for the first time. To reiterate my point, I’m going to showcase other examples of games that offer parts of the same message that Rememoried does, and do so with stronger effect.
First up; ‘n Verlore Verstand, a dream simulator from South African developer Skobbejak Games. Within the 4 hour journey, you experience various scenarios, simulations of life and surrealism that haven’t been tapped into since LSD Dream Emulator. Here, you conquer fears, embrace the powers you imagined in your life previously, and explore your own approach to the world you’ve been given. All of this is done without comprising the player’s input. It’s even playable on your VR headset, so hey, they actually did their job here!
Second? Soul Axiom, a walking simulator/cyberpunk thriller(?) from Wales Interactive. Here, you explore dreams within an *actual* virtual framing device, and despite it’s more general mainstream attempt (and the fact the game runs at 15fps most of the time), it still manages to offer better questions and interpretations throughout, namely with the argument of taking a person’s free will away for a utopian life.
The last example that’s on top of the Mt. Everest of “Games That Do A Better Job Than Rememoried” is Christopher Brookmyre’s Bedlam. The most generic approach to gameplay is applied here, but the virtual reality aspect is still there, and it even offers better topics up for debate! Here, the argument is about A.I, and whether or not is truly right to allow them to rot in their cyber landscapes, even when they’re aware of their own placement. It’s admittedly heavy stuff, even if it does induce the cringe factor sometimes.
My point being with these examples, is that Rememoried isn’t the first or the last game to challenge the mind with these dream-scapes and paradoxes, and there have been many other examples of this type of existentialism done better. Rememoried is pretentious, faceless and self-indulgent, to the point where Mr. Kudelka and his two voice actors are circle-jerking because they’re so pleased with themselves.
It’s up there with some of the worst walking simulators of all time, where it doesn’t even try to immerse you, and instead takes pride in the fact that “I’m teaching you a valuable lesson about life”. You want a walking simulator that teaches you a valuable lesson about life? Go outside, or read a book.
An obnoxious waste of time.