11-11 Memories Retold Review DEALS
As of writing it’s been over 100 years since that fateful day at 11:00 AM on November 11th 1918 where the guns fell silent on the western front and the bloodshed of the first world war ended. Which then set in motion a sequence of events which then caused the second world war but we aren’t here for a history lesson, we are here to have a look at 11-11 Memories Retold which is been made by Digixart and by Cheese Enthusiasts Aardman Animations. An adventure game that looks at the human side of the conflict.
The story sets off on November 11th, 1916 where we follow the stories of a young Canadian photographer Harry Lambert (played by former football hooligan and ring destroyer, Elijah Wood) who leaves Canada to the western front to make a name for himself and cover the war. Where also at the same time and a German technician Kurt Waldner (played by homeland star Sebastian Koch) is told that his son who is fighting on the front is MIA and enlists to try and find him and bring him home. Which then flows from there to battles in Vimy, the Somme and Passchendaele, and dealing with different aspects of the war from the trenches, the home front, POW, and more.
From both sides of the conflict which certainly gives it a balance to the story and at certain points of the story both characters meet up which brings up memories of trying to converse with locals on a foreign holiday as everyone would be speaking natively (bar narration, and helpful subtitles) so when both Harry and Kurt meet for the first time it comes across as deliberately awkward as both can’t understand each other and also should be trying to kill each other.
After that and then making formal introductions start to become friends and pick up pets in the form of pets in a stray cat and a bird which help in gameplay (more on that later). Soon Kurt gets more and more desperate to find out the fate of his son going as far as to desecrating graves of fallen German soldiers at the Somme to get to the bottom of this while back home his daughter is quite sick and later in the war staving. Also, there are plenty of choices to be made in terms of writing back home for both characters where Harry can send photos back home and Kurt can write back home to his family updating his progress and depending on what you write back or send varies the responses – Although there isn’t much of a consequence to this in terms of the story progression.
There are also other critical characters in the form of Major Barrett who starts of as a confident man but as the story develops it’s more a façade as the war is taking its toll on the Major which leads to one questionable decision where during which serves as the main plot point later where while interrogating prisoners and forcing poor harry to take a rather tasteless photo threatening the POW with a gun and seemingly killed off screen which turns out to be Kurt’s son, after all which is discovered later in the game and Kurt apoplectic with Harry taking the photo. And rushes of to the front to extract revenge which then afterwards depending on choices right at the end of the game on the fateful day of 11/11/1918, where the ending Tron 600 happens and that’s the game there and then.
Safe to come out – spoiler free from now
The story is engaging and balanced in the case it doesn’t big up one side or the other. Harry and Kurt are good characters with decent arcs with good performances from both Wood and Koch, but somewhat naivety in the case of Harry who just seems to be along for the ride much like a tourist with a camera taking photos of POW’s being threatened with execution. and yet doesn’t detriment the strength of the story and keeps being engaging till the very end.
Now in most games it’s the gameplay that does the driving while the story does the direction. But in adventure games it’s the over way around with an occasional reach around by the gameplay. So, the gameplay is rather simplistic some fetch quests, stealth sections, photography and simple puzzles. Not very difficult but at least engaging unlike more recent adventure games (*cough* David Cage).
Referring a bit previously as well, as well as playing as Kurt and Harry you also play as pets as well in the form of a bird and the cat which manly comes into play at some points to progress the game or to find collectables as well. Other than that movement is okay, does its job and gameplay does well enough to compliment the story.
Now we come to the graphics which has gone for water painting visuals, characters and objects looks rough at the edges and blurred as well to look like the end of a paint stroke. Now while it may not look as smooth and as realistic as Kratos’s muscles – it does work well looks very pleasant.
Though the was one particular time where it did let itself down, where at one moment where you look across No Mans Land at the Somme where its war-torn but also covered in Poppies which is a defining symbol of the war here in Britain, and because of the lack of detail it looked more like red flowers in the short distance and in the long distance someone spilling jam. I’m not saying it looks bad but could have had a little more detail added to be much clearer and help the story greatly. The art style and graphics gets the thumbs up from me and the score is good as well and does complement the game greatly and technically was good though interacting with objects could be better rather than a song and dance to interact with them on a few occasions, but no major game breaking bugs or glitches to report.
In short 11-11 Memories Retold is a very good narrative experience keeping true to the horrors of war at that time but also keeps it tasteful as well which is a good balance to achieve. Which will help the younger generation gain a bit of perspective. and with a great art style and soundtrack to boot. As a game it’s quite simplistic and easy and with a playtime of 6 hours it won’t take long to get through. Maybe a bit more detail with the art style could have benefited the story greatly and maybe and maybe hit home more, overall does top off 100 years since armistice day well.
11-11 Memories Retold Review
11-11 Memories retold is a moving narrative experience of the 1st World War, as a game it’s engaging but simplistic and easy.
- Great story
- Good art style
- Very good soundtrack
- Simplistic and easy gameplay
- Short play time
- Lacking little details