11-11: Memories Retold feels more like a Wilfred Owen poem than a Battlefield shooter.
The depiction of the First World War in computer games is usually confined to strategy-based overviews or ‘realistic’ first-person shooters, but 11-11: Memories Retold wants to tell a story that’s a lot more human.
To do this, it has a painterly style that suits stories of sacrifice and loss. We only have a few details about the game so far and some concept art, but the art style and the creators behind it are enough to have us hoping for a game that aspires for the depth of Journey’s End or All Quiet on the Western Front.
The visual style – which you can see here in these concept artworks – has been created by Aardman. While best known for a surreal take on the everyday – a world away from the horrors of the Trenches – Aardman has a skill for bringing out the humanity in characters and making us love them, something that could be used for devastating effect in a war story. The immediate comparison here would be Blackadder Goes Forth, whose absurd-but-still-very-real characters moved from comedy to genuine pathos is the show’s final moments as they go ‘over the top’ to their deaths.
“With this project we want to produce an emotionally rich experience with a distinctive visual identity that reflects the sentiment of this narrative,” says Aardman co-founder David Sproxton. “11-11: Memories Retold is truly an exciting step for us as it marks the first time that Aardman has collaborated on a game of this scale and we’re delighted to see this come to life.”
For the game, Aardman is working with French development studio DigixArt – creator of the ambitious and highly considered Lost in Harmony – and Bandai Namco, the long-running publisher of such games as, er, Pac-Man and Tekken.