Published Aug 06, 2013"What If?" was a novelty line from Marvel that reimagined key points in comic book continuity to see how small changes could make stories play out differently. That's essentially what alternate reality narratives do, whether set in the deep past or near future.
Remember Me is of the latter school, placing itself in the year 2084 in Neo-Paris. Using an actual city, replete with such history class stalwarts as the Bastille (the infamously stormed prison where Remember Me begins, with your avatar, Nilin, waking up just before she's to be completely mind-wiped) grounds the more fantastical story elements while also avoiding being some generic sci-fi city by mixing the familiar with its futurism.
Using our privacy deficient social media now as its key jumping off point, director Jean-Max Moris imagines how all this sharing of meta-memories via Instagram, tweets and status updates might evolve if they became literal.
The resulting tech, which allows the uploading, sharing, purchasing and deletion of (not to mention addiction to) memories via a neurological implant known as a sense, features fragments of Dollhouse, Strange Days, Total Recall and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It also allows for the perfection of the surveillance state, a theme given considerable credibility thanks to the ongoing NSA PRISM scandal.
Nilin, it turns out, is a member of the rebel group Errorists, who are battling tech giant Memorize. However, she alone boasts the ability to go into people's heads and "remix" their memories by changing small details, thereby modifying personalities.
Remember Me admittedly has its downsides, ranging from overly linear level design to repetitive combat to not enough reminiscence remixing. However, its core concept is so cool and its future Parisian setting so striking that I'll remember it fondly until (hopefully) a sequel comes along the rest of its gameplay elements to the same level. (Dontnod/Capcom)