I really want to enjoy this more than I do.
Neo-Paris, which serves as this game's fictional futuristic setting, combines ubiquitous virtual reality display pop-ups with what are essentially slums and wraps it up in a misty mystique that makes it highly engage to explore. The story's central conceit of our memories becoming transferable between people, malleable by others, and generally commoditized is both clever and thought provoking. Olivier Derivière's soundtrack further adds to the appeal of the setting by blending the work of the Philharmonia Orchestra with distorting synth sounds in a way that feels wholly unique and appropriate. Even the main character is a refreshing reprieve from the "straight white male protagonist" syndrome that plagues the majority of high-budget video games.
So where does this game go wrong? It's during all of the parts where you actually play it. After only an hour of playtime, I am already fatigued by the game's two primary methods of interaction: linear clambering sections and button-mashy brawling. The ability to run around and scale buildings in such a well-realized environment sounds wonderful on paper, but in practice, each spot that you're supposed to get to is highlighted with an impossible-to-miss orange marker. Leaping from spot to spot involves pressing the space bar in the right direction, and that's it. The combat sequences don't fare any better, with the combo system rewarding players for punching out the same rhythmic combo sequences again and again. At best, it comes across as a weak facsimile of the fisticuffs from the recent Arkham games. At worst, the timing just feels off, leaving me feeling like I'm not completely in control of my character.
I would normally spend more time with something with as much potential as this to see if things get better as they progress. The game had other plans for me, though, by repeatedly freezing during the game's first memory-altering sequence. I don't particularly feel like reinstalling it and starting over from the beginning, so this is probably it. What a shame. If nothing else, elements of this game would serve as an excellent foundation for a movie, as its setting and themes deserve more.