Tuesday, October 09, 2018
11-11: Memories Retold is unique. There have been numerous games that have attempted to tell their stories through painterly visuals, but Aardman (yes, the Wallace & Gromit people) and DigixArt have fully embraced a dense oil/acrylic paint aesthetic that engulfs every frame. It almost looks like the game is alive, every brush stroke moving, sending your eyeballs spiralling in every direction.
Beneath the shimmering paintwork lies what looks to be a compelling World War I story, told through the lens of a fairly bog standard adventure with undemanding puzzles. During our hands on, we pick up with photographer Harry (voiced by Elijah Wood), before he's sent to the frontlines, where he encounters German engineer Kurt, whose job involves helping in the assembly of huge zeppelins for the war effort.
Eventually, both men find themselves amid the mud and blood of the trenches, Kurt looking for his lost son and Harry seeking adventure to impress his girlfriend who's waiting for him back in Canada. What follows is a sequence of events in which you play as both Harry and Kurt at various intervals, and then play as a cat chasing a pigeon, for some reason. It's all in our gameplay video below.
This leads to the two men meeting; a pivotal event that could change their both of their lives forever. While 11-11's set-up is fairly slow-paced, once you enter the trenches and go over the top, dodging bright yellow bullet streaks is quite a visceral experience, the dancing painterly style adding a kinetic quality to the action. While the tasks we have to perform during our brief hands-on are simplistic, however – involving flicking switches, turning dials, fetching things – we live in hope that the full game will have more complex puzzles to match its set-pieces.
Certain junctures also present you with the occasional binary decision, but again, these seem fairly clear cut. Why wouldn't you save an ally in jeopardy? Why would you shoot an unarmed man where he stands? I mean, you could, if you really wanted to, I suppose. 11-11: Memories Retold has potential to be something truly special. If the quality of the storytelling can match the captivating art style, and if a few interesting puzzles and distractions were to be peppered throughout the narrative, then it could even quite possibly transcend its inherent artistic beauty.
11-11: Memories Retold launches for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on 9th November.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 @ 10:51 AM