Friday, 16 November 2018 10:09

REVIEW: 11-11 Memories Retold (Xbox One)

Written by Brett Hale
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Video games based on real or fictionalized wars have been coming out of the woodwork for years. The likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield are the most popular in this genre however, they focus mostly on online multiplayer and are all about shooting. Now, there is a new war game in town and it's so different from games like Call Of Duty and Battlefield.

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The title is a big part of what this game is about. 11-11 or 11-11-1918 was the date of when the First World War ended. The story follows two people from two different sides, the first being a young photographer named Harry who’s Canadian, and Kurt, a German technician. The game begins on the same day for both characters that runs parallel to each other.

11th November 1916 is when the story begins. Both characters decide to join the war for their own reasons. Harry is asked if he’d like to join and capture moments of the war and on his return be classed as a hero, while Kurt’s reasons are more serious... he’s on a mission to find his son who is M.I.A.

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Eventually both Harry and Kurt cross paths and at first, communication is the biggest battle as neither speak the same language. But they soon somewhat understand each other enough to get along and help each other out.

Now I mentioned that you’ll play as both Harry and Kurt but there is a third character, a feline to be precise. Control of the cat is very minimal but still something to note.

The general gameplay is the same for both mostly, although Harry can capture photos, but both can and will have to interact with objects and speak to NPC. For the time both characters are together, you’ll have the choice to use your d-pad to control either as you move around the area. For those who played “A Way Out” will feel right at home with that specific moment of the game.

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11-11 Memories Retold is zero multiplayer, just a pure story about two very different people. Neither Harry or Kurt ever took a shot in the entire 6 hours it took me to complete the game, though there was a moment it could have happened. I’d like to note that the time I played only about 3 bullets ever got fired, it's less about that and more about the story that can be really emotional at times.

There are collectables to stay on the lookout for. These look like square pieces of paper, and if you manage to find all of them from each of the three parts of the story, you’ll earn a number of extra achievements/trophies. The fact Harry has a camera allows you to capture some impressive shots whilst in the war. There are moments where photos are required to be taken, while you can take random shots the game only allows you to take 16 per day as the game states back in the day of the war film wasn’t cheap.

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Something else interesting to know is not to forget to talk to NPC’s, sure they don’t say much but from those conversations you’ll be able to tell more things to your loved ones your writing letters to. As you send your letters, your given choices on what you want to write, and you can even include photos.

My only pet peeve, I wished the game had either a mini map or a waypoint as certain times when playing as Kurt, I sometimes lost my sense of direction and either of those options would have stopped this.

The gaming community can be pretty unforgiving, I saw this first-hand online prior to the release of this title. I just so happened to be playing when I saw gamers saying ‘it's so blurry’, ‘this game sucks’, ‘I ain’t buying this’ and they hadn’t even played the game. I’m here to tell you the visuals are like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

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Forget 4K and crisp clear images and open your mind to a wonderful artistic looking game and just play the game and enjoy the goddamn story! 11-11 Memories Retold is as if they painted a canvas and it came to life. The attention to detail is amazing, and you soon see more than you think a little after starting the story. My only comparison is Telltales Game of Thrones game and even that isn’t on the same level as 11-11 Memories Retold.

The colour pallet isn’t screaming with colour, and nor is it meant to. What the game shows really has you believing you’re watching an interactive painting that's telling a story about World War 1.

The music in this game will make you feel a variety of emotions (mostly sad) and the voice acting was very well done. Even though I don’t speak German (there are subtitles), there was a voice I recognised right away and that was the voice of Harry. I won’t give away who it is, that can be discovered when playing.

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I love most games Bandai Namco Entertainment publish and this is my 2018 game of the year from them. Developed by both Aardman Animations and Digixart. These developers you may never have heard of before, but you almost certainly would have seen work from Aardman Animations as they have done a lot of stop-motion clay animation & famously worked on Wallace & Gromit film along with many other films. This is their second game they have worked on, and I really hope they continue the magnificent work they do. Hopefully I haven’t left anything out, just know if you’re over the typical games about war, give 11-11 Memories Retold a go and you won’t be disappointed.



Additional Info

  • Review Score: 5.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Nov 9, 2018
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE
  • Developer: Digixart Entertainment / Aardman Animations
  • Publisher: Bandai Namco
  • Genre: Adventure