Science fiction is often erroneously equated with spaceships, geeky robots, and, inescapably, the tropes of 80s cinema such as Star Wars and The Terminator. If you have more than a passing interest in the genre, no matter which medium you prefer it in, you’ll know that what ‘sci-fi’ encompasses is far broader, and is often scarily accurate in its futurism, by dint of inventing the concepts in the first instance. Now the forthcoming Remember Me is set to finish what a handful of recent series got started; incontrovertible proof that videogames are the most important platform for future-gazing.

PhotobucketThe stories with the most impact are profoundly personal as well as universal in scope (or galaxy-wide), and thanks to the Hollywood juggernaut, sci-fi has been rapidly losing any ‘geeky’ stigma. Although the proliferation of ‘mainstream’ gamers (namely Call of Duty and Fifa fans) has meant a greater acceptance of gaming in general (and a more profitable industry than film) there are still many who will, frustratingly, miss out on the consummate sci-fi story of the decade; the Mass Effect trilogy.

At the risk of over-egging the argument, The Mass Effect universe ties together an expansive breadth of intriguing, topical and insightful concepts centered around the malicious nihilism of the galaxy beyond us, what it means to be human in the face of that, and what it might mean in the hypothetically real faces of alien races. Since the series’ debut in 2007 we’ve seen Deus EX: Human Revolution take a look at a future possibly much closer to home, but little else in the way of competition, until now. Developed by Capcom and Dontnod, Remember Me is an action/adventure game set in Neo-Paris that looks to be the first game to really dissect the zeitgeist of our generation; social media.

PhotobucketThe narrative crux of the game will rest on a corporation called MemorEyes, whose eerily catchy tagline ‘Don’t worry, we won’t forget you’ deal primarily in the production and implanting of neurochips in the back of peoples’ skulls, which allows them not only to tap into their myriad social networks at a mere thought, but to share real memories over them too. Inevitably, such power leads to corruption, and the player-character is a former operative whose speciality is removing or re-writing memories via a hack of their implants. Granted, it’s a much more centralised and immediate future than Mass Effect (which in case you didn’t know takes place in the far-future, where humanity is the mistrusted, brutish newcomer in the galactic community) which makes it both more believable and less ambitious. However, it has the potential to be that rare breed; a dramatic narrative that extrapolates contemporary fears and possibilities into a new setting, and allows us to run amok in it.

It might sound similar to the trans-humanism dichotomy at the heart of Deus EX (also a fantastic game) and with a similar protagonist; whereas the EA Montreal developed, stealthy RPG cast you as a Adam Jensen, a left-for-dead security guard augmented against his will (in order to keep him alive), Remember Me’s protagonist starts the game with her memories forcibly wiped and thus compelled to ask herself many of the same questions as Jensen; What is it to be human? What is my own identity? Who is the master of my destiny?

They’re important questions to ask, and to be asked. For one, if it keeps proving quite so much fun, I’m more than willing to try and answer them.