Memories are a tricky thing; we tend to over-exaggerate points or forget crucial details and sometimes turn a painful memory into something positive – With My Memory of Us, the game is a tale of the tragedy of the Holocaust. and an elder gentleman’s twist on such a terrible event where he tells a tale of bravery and wonder, robots and ‘red people’, a love between two childhood friends willing to risk their lives to save one another and those they hold dear from the evil robot invasion.
Hey there guys and gals, Clarice here bringing you my review of My Memory of Us!
Jumping straight into the game, immediately what jumps out at you is the amazing art style, and theme of the game; a noir setting with only one colour to distinguish important and relevant objects and people from the background — the colour red. On a grey scale environment, the colour red immediately pops out and almost creates a sense of separation and uniqueness to whatever is coated red. This is a core gameplay mechanic as the story is focused entirely on red representing negative or illegal items, with it being the main colour for the robot army. But for now I am getting ahead of myself, so lets start at the beginning. We start off as a young girl, on her way to a bookstore to where she finds herself a tucked away book coated in red, which kind of reminds me of the film ‘The Neverending Story’; she takes it to the elderly gentleman who tells her the story of the evil robot king and his quest for domination. The young girl also reminds the elder gentleman, who so happens to be voiced by non other than Sir Patrick Stuart, of a friend he once had but at the start he is not quite sure, instead choosing to proceed with his story.
The whole game centers around a tyrant’s cruel intent to separate those that are coated in red from those that are coated in grey, and at times I felt my heart in my throat, but although this is an experience to be had, does the gameplay and puzzles it present make this experience one to be had? First let’s talk about the story and the events that happened – When the elderly man starts his recollection, we are but a young boy, who just so happens to be a thief and what seems to also be an orphan; a young girl finds him and takes him home to grandpa, to where they become a family unit – That was until the Robot King invaded; bombs were dropped and towns were destroyed – Our characters scared and alone; once out in the open, robots come and take over, placing banners, propaganda and robot solders all over as our characters confused and carry on running aimlessly. The story then introduces its theme and the young girl is turned red – Soon enough those that were red are outcasted, classed as different and excluded from the rest. During the game you see that those that are red are being treated like scum, hoarded into camps – This hard hitting plot is what made me stay and complete this game, and the developers were able to tell it well, but I cannot just talk about the story – There are a few issues I would like to discuss.
One thing I want to make clear is that this game is not very long; if you ace the puzzles it’s about a 2-3 hour game which you can beat in one sitting, and in fairness I was quite disappointed that a game costing £13 was that short; saying that, the game had some charm and told the story well, but I found that at the start it was very slow and drawn out, and at times I was bored; the further I got into the story the more I got into it, though there was one glaring factor to do with the game itself which lies with the sudden jutters and screen tearing that I experienced on PC. Almost every few seconds, the game would just jutter and it almost ended up in me getting a slight case of motion sickness, especially at one point in the game where you would chase down your friend on a scooter. I thought I was the only one seeing this, but I asked Joe to come and take a look and he too agreed with me that it was somewhat disorientating. It really did damage the experience for me, but as I said this was what I personally experienced, so yours may vary.
Another point I would like to mention about this game is the game mechanics; in this game you take control of two children, and your goal is to use each others abilities and skills to beat puzzles and get both kids to the end; by doing that you hold hands when you want to stay together and let go when you need to do a certain task with just one character. In essence you take control of one character at a time – With this, however, on PC, to interact with each other uses the X and Z keys, and I personally, especially when in a rush to escape, would confuse the keys and end up swapping characters than running together; the arrow keys are to move and space to enter hiding areas with shift to exit and use certain skills. I did notice however there was a lot of lag between using the action and actually preforming them, it got pretty annoying at times and made the game feel like a slog to get through. For me what made this game enjoyable was the art style and the story itself until I got to a point later in the game, where I experienced a sort of softlock that broke me out of the immersive experience. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything, but there is a point in the game where, if you miss an action, you seem to get stuck and have to start all over again; you are tasked with delivering a letter to their beloved, and for me the action to interact with them never came up, so instinctually I carried on; as I entered a pipe to get a key, I couldn’t pick it up. Why? Because I already had an item in my hand… The letter… I couldn’t escape, I was stuck in the pipe and the only option was to exit the game and start again from the nearest checkpoint. This issue is entirely my fault, but this could have been avoided if only you could exit the pipe and go back. Stuff like this is what ruins games for me as my own ignorance or lack of ability to interact with important people means that a game seems to softlock for the silliest of reasons.
I would like to point out that some puzzles were indeed fun and enjoyable, and the cutscences were beautifully crafted and well drawn. The story that took inspiration from the obvious events of the Holocaust and Nazi Germany, and showed courage in what people had to fight against in terms this evil was beautifully put together, but what lets it down is the clunky gameplay and the problems I had during my playthrough. For me personally I would like to give this game a 6.0 / 10; the story and art style is what pushed the number up and the ending also had an inspiring message; always fight for those you loved and lost and you will once again see them again.