Guide - Updated on September 24, 2022

You and I are unhappy. Evolution endowed man with abstract thinking, dooming him to reflection. We dig into the past and look at what we have become. Sometimes with joy, but often without hiding regret. We are looking for forks to which we can cling. Thoughts “Oh, if I were more reasonable”, “If I knew then” and the like visited anyone, admit it. Although sometimes instead of complex reasoning, we simply indulge in memories.

The further time goes, the faster the pace of life accelerates, and there is no time to reflect. You have to keep working affairs, everyday life in your head, and don’t forget to watch the new season of the series, which came out just yesterday. To reflect, you need a reason, whether it’s a meeting with a person from the past or a return to your native places. This occasion wants to be a new game Ice Pick Lodge.

The first rule of a mess on the table is to properly serve the mess on the table.

To be honest, I did not personally get acquainted with the projects of this Russian studio. Yes, about “Knock-knock-knock”, “Turgor” and “Mor. Utopias ”is in the know, but only the last one was drawn to try it out. Fortunately, this will not create problems, because the latest release is not the team’s main game right now. So far, the main forces are focused on finishing the remake of “Pestilence”, and “Remember …” is a project to distract and appease fans. Small and not much of a claim. Which makes it a great entry point.

Before we begin, I will immediately indicate: the passage of “Remember …” left a contrast in my head. On the one hand, the impressions are pleasant, and I watched the credits with a little warmth in my soul. However, it was worth starting to disassemble and dig in the usual way, the game immediately fell apart. The reasons for this lie on the surface, so let’s move on to the review.

Meeting point

Our ward for the next five and a half hours is Misha. He lives in a small closed town somewhere in Tatarstan. Although the game does not show how the hero spent time before the start of the story, the environment and clues do not create the most rosy picture. In addition to working as a controller at the station twice a day, Misha has nothing. A guy wastes a lot of free time. Everything changes when childhood friends come to their hometown for a holiday. The coming days will be the most interesting in people’s lives, and the player will spend this time with them.

If the place of action is clear, then it is difficult to determine the time. The appearance of the environment and most of the characters seems to be from the 80s, and Soviet vehicles ride along the streets of the city. However, mobile phones are mentioned, which puts the attentive player into a stupor. You can calculate the year, but firstly, it’s still digging, and secondly, such knowledge will not give anything. Developers deliberately do not attach to the date in order to make the story more abstract.

At any time, you can look into the hero’s head, but as the game progresses, there are less and less thoughts in it

I’m not just obsessed with time. Its flow is one of the side themes the game brings up. For a project with such a name, this is logical. Heroes, remembering the past, involuntarily compare themselves and the world around “then” and “now”. For example, how life leaves their hometown, and they themselves can no longer afford childish frivolity.

The game speaks about time not only at the macro level, but also at the micro level; in other words, minutes and hours. “Remember…”, trying to create tension, regularly drives the heroes. This is simple and straightforward, but once the player is given a watch and given freedom of action. Like, can you do everything and never be late. In addition, the plot does not forget about the course of the day. Here I would like to wrap up the idea that the developers deliberately linked “small” and “large” times, but this will be an obvious SPGS.

About the most important

Where there will be no unnecessary conjectures, it is in the topic of memory. The game is still dedicated to her. I said this above, but the events of the past are not the key part. The main thing, I think, is the transmission of the process of memories itself. Ice-Pick Lodge is trying to make the player a participant in what is happening and adjust the gameplay narrative accordingly. For example, they transfer partial control of several heroes at once to the accompaniment of a story about the past. There are two such cases, but they are remembered. You seem to be going through history along with its participants.

There are many moments in the game that can be mistaken for references. Not sure if they are true

The rest of the time, “Remember…” tries to get out due to two game mechanics. The first is memory points. They are marked by beautifully fallen autumn leaves. When entering such a point, a memory is “activated”: the flower corer changes, and soap bubbles appear near the heroes. You get on one, and friends will begin to tell a story from childhood tied to this place. Sometimes details are added to create a suitable entourage. The decision turned out to be unusual and, most importantly, not knocking out of the passage.

The second mechanic – “puzzles” – cannot boast of this. At moments that are important from the point of view of the plot, the player is given fragments of a child’s photograph. As they connect, the heroes, as in the case of bubbles, remember the events behind it. There are a lot of them, that is, photographs, and at times the puzzles begin to tire. The developers understand this, and adjust the complexity and, as a result, the emotions of the player with more obvious connections. Unlike the “bubbles”, the mechanics are not as elegant, but they have a stronger effect on the narrative. Viewing photos under the stories of friends creates the feeling of flipping through an album at a festive dinner. Which is ironic: there is such a scene in the game, but it is remembered only by a mini-game with pouring tea and going through a black screen at the most interesting place.

City before winter

The right moment to step aside the technical component. From this point of view, the game is not perfect. No, there were no critical or any serious bugs. “Remember…” is technically simple, there is nothing to break there. Is that sometimes in the cut-scenes the characters strive to go through each other. Another thing is that when passing through, it feels like too little budget has been allocated for the game. This is partly confirmed by the fact that there are few cutscenes themselves: two or three in all five hours. And the mentioned black screens, it must be admitted, do not look like an artistic solution, but banal “stubs”.

Sometimes “Remember…” is generous with special mini-games

Style can be attributed to the same treasury of “cheapness”, but it plays into the hands of the reflective spirit. Visual distortions like crooked windows hint at the unreality of what is happening. The low polygonality of the autumn city seems to say that the game is one big memory. Or a dream. A limited color palette goes to the same piggy bank. This technique is found, for example, in Firewatch, but there it works for the visibility of details.

Breaking

I saved the story about the main plot for the end. Any word about history threatens to go into critical spoilers. If you disassemble the plot structure without reference to events, the game will seem narratively broken. The conflict ensues after more than two hours, which, given the total duration, means … yes, almost in the middle. Further development goes on as usual, but the climax looks sparse. So much so that it can be missed. Closer to the end, the plot is thrown by thoughts on the topic of childhood memories and memory in general, but does not form a full-fledged statement. And the whole game is like that.

The map is assembled in the same way as photographs. There were no other ideas.

Here is the time to outline the main idea that I realized in a short analysis of impressions. “Remember…” does not form a concentrated return. In the description of the key theme of the game – memories – the word “process” popped up. It didn’t just pop up. The new Ice-Pick Lodge project focuses on movement, not results. Reliving childhood memories of friends or solving a problem that has piled on the town is a process. Inconclusive. The feeling of the finale and therefore turned out to be slightly pleasant: the passage was interesting, but without any influence. You don’t start remembering your childhood after you’re done. You just get on with things.

Instead of a full-fledged conclusion, which is not required today, I will add an important note for understanding. The heroes of the game are about 25 years old, which seemed strange even at the beginning of the passage. For a story about memories from the past, they are young. Although I am the same age, I still do not succumb to such nostalgia for childhood. Perhaps that is why the game does not work properly. In a few years this may change.

5/5 - (1 vote)
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