As someone who was raised on a steady diet of Street Fighter II and Mega Man, it’s very difficult for me to pick out how many original games Capcom has pushed out over the years.
While their quality has always stayed near the top, the sheer number of sequels and spin-offs have always been associated with the company’s name.
I have spent time bitching about that myself, but I also think equal time should be spent praising them for taking risky decisions.
Before Guitar Hero, Capcom made a game that could only be played with a specific controller in Steel Battalion, and nothing has been made like it since. They took a chance on Nintendo’s Gamecube by signing an exclusivity deal for five games. They have caught a load of shit in recent years for cancelling Mega Man Legends 3 and giving us what seems like endless iterations of fighting games.
Yes, they want to make money, but they remain innovative and are about to give us something incredible in Remember Me.
Upon first viewing gameplay for Remember Me, I thought of what would happen if Luc Besson made a video game. A cocktail of dystopian steampunk, I immediately took to the universe that looks like a slightly rosier version of Blade Runner. The idea of a surveillance state has been done before, and enough talking heads on the internet have sounded off about it. They had best shut the fuck up, because here’s a tip: almost everything has been done before. I am okay with total innovation being left to indie developers who can get their feet wet on the Xbox Marketplace and Playstation Network while the big companies continue to give us fun adventures to play.
The idea of “memory remixing” tickles the balls of the voyeur in me. I love the idea of someone in a supposedly powerless society being able to manipulate somebody’s actions through the act of rearranging their memories, and judging by the sample shown in the Gamescom trailer, said manipulation can have severe consequences. I have to admit feeling just a little dirty watching someone’s head get raped and it will feel downright perverse when I perform the actions myself with my own controller.
Of course, as soon as the game was announced, Capcom detailed plans to keep the Remember Me name around for quite some time. That’s when the trolls were released.
Joystiq spoke to Capcom senior producer Mat Hart who mentioned the desire of his company to establish a continuing business relationship with Remember Me developer Dontnod, who is making their debut with the game formerly known as Adrift. No sooner had he been quoted that people tore Capcom a new asshole for the same reasons as they do with the supposed constant barrage of downloadable content, enhanced versions of existing games being re-released, evil corporate mentalities and all the other tired rhetoric that veterans of flame wars like to scream until they shit themselves.
Here is your truth, readers: Capcom is not doing anything wrong. If Remember Me plays well and sells well, why wouldn’t they want to continue to be on friendly terms with Dontnod? Look what Bungie did for Microsoft. Look what Naughty Dog did for Sony. The business of gaming has so many expensive pitfalls that striking gold is becoming more and more of a rarity in today’s economic and consumer landscape. Not only do people have less money to spend, they have vast social media tools to tell their friends where they should and shouldn’t spend that money. We are not bound by still photos in monthly magazines anymore; as soon as Remember Me was shown at Gamescom, the entire world was able to digest it and decide if it warranted their attention. So far, it got mine and it looks to hold it until May when the game is released.
I am perfectly aware of the potential for a publisher like Capcom to take something new and run it into the ground, but with so many options out there as a video game player, I am not worried. A lot more of my money has been spent on smaller digital purchases as opposed to the usual $60 retail box, and even when I do buy physical copies of games, many of them have been handhelds. This isn’t me taking a stand against the empire; hell, Capcom has my money already reserved when Resident Evil 6 comes out on October 2. If Remember Me sucks, it will be obvious. If it is a great game, I will be happy to shell out cash. If enough people do the same, we can look forward to many more adventures in Neo Paris thanks to Capcom.