Remember Me, the eye-catching third-person cyberpunk action adventure game from French developer Dontnod Entertainment, has 50,000 different combos.
Jean-Maxime Moris, Dontnod Entertainment creative director and founding partner, showed the game's combat system in action during a developer session this afternoon at Eurogamer Expo. Main character Nilin is an agile melee fighter who zips about enemies in a fashion that rekindles memories of the recent Batman games. The key difference though is Remember Me's combo customisation feature, called the Combo Lab.
As you progress through the game you unlock and remember Nilin's forgotton fighting moves, called Pressens. At any time during combat you can have up to four active combos, but you customise those yourself to adapt to the gameplay situations the game throws at you.
You build combos from four types of Pressens: Regen (regains health), Power (does extra damage), Cooldown and Chain.
Moris showed how from within the Combo Lab you're able to drop Pressens from the right hand side of the screen into a combo on the left hand side of the screen, and see how it will look in real-time via a silhouette of Nilin in the middle. The more Pressens you have in a combo the bigger the effect of the combo.
It is clear fighting game systems have had an influence here. Nilin has a Health gauge and a Focus gauge that are displayed within the same icon on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, with the Focus gauge building when Nilin does and receives damage. There are five special Pressens, called S-Pressens, that act as super powers, and using one consumes one chunk of your Focus gauge. Examples include the Logic Bomb (plant a bomb on an enemy then move away quickly before it explodes) and Rust in Pieces (turns robot enemies into allies).
These S-Pressens are on cooldown after use, but you can build Cooldown Pressens into your combos to mitigate this effect. Pop a Chain Pressen into your combo and you will duplicate and double the effect of the Pressen that came before it.
For those who may find the Combo Lab a tad daunting, you'll be able to auto-fill the combos, Moris revealed. But if you invest time in mastering the system the rewards will be greater in terms of Achievements, Trophies and the Pressens you can unlock.
In a question and answer session following the demo Moris explained that you won't be able to overpower the game through manipulation of the Combo Lab.
"That would be the case if you had all these Pressens, all of these combos and all of the S-Pressens from the start, which you don't," he explained. "All of these are unlocked progressively throughout the game.
"You won't spend that much time in the Combo Lab. The pacing of the combat would be really weird if that was the case. You will start with 10 or 12 Pressens and three or four combos. From there you can build from up to 24 Pressens and five S-Pressens. And every time we introduce a new enemy into the game you will have new stuff to do and new Pressens and S-Pressens to face the situation."
Moris said players should think of their four active combos as their shotgun, rifle, sniper rifle and a more ubiquitous gun from shooters, and then adapt to each situation using each of these combos as they see fit.