11-11 Memories Retold: A beautiful painting comes to life in this story told by the French DigixArt and the British Aardman Animations studios. Memories Retold is an adventure game set during the World War that tells the story of two men who joined the ranks of this warfare for different and very special reasons, the young Canadian photographer Henry and the German technician Kurt, showing two sides of this conflict in a way you’ve never seen before.Take control of both and watch their paths cross in the most unexpected ways in this heart touching narrative.
What is Good?
- Visuals: Memories Retold has an impressive art style present in all its 3D elements, characters and scenarios that will drown you in. From the moment you first start the game until the moment that you finish it you will be hypnotized by beauty. Don’t expect to see anything similar to the recently released titles: the developers choose a painting style (Impressionism, if I’m not wrong) that flirts with your imagination, with beautiful effects. The art emphasizes in your surroundings, leaving distant elements blurry so you need to be closer to see it clearly. And the painting undergoes changing and transforming as you move, generating beautiful visual effects. It’s incredible how they managed to use this style of painting in a 3D world with majesty!
- Sound: During your adventure, you will listen to great compositions, but I’d like to highlight the outstanding acting from voice actors in English,German and French as well. The sound effects lack some punch (especially regarding the explosions – remember we are at war in here), but it doesn’t diminish the overall sound quality.
- Characters: 11-11 Memories Retold has a great cast of characters. You play the game living the story of both Henry and Kurt, but there are some very interesting NPCs in each one’s life that you will quickly feel attached to. And it’s remarkable how they managed to explore the life of characters in a conflict so complex and so vast as the WWI.
- Gameplay – two sides of the war: The gameplay is rather simple. You walk with your characters, interacting with NPCs and the scenarios, and solving small and nothing complicated puzzles. At the beginning of each section (like chapters in a book), you have to choose whose side of the story you are going to see first: Kurt ‘s or Henry’s. Since one’s side is concluded, the game changes the perspective to the other character (and usually, the other side of the war). It’s great to develop empathy for both sides,showing both sides did pretty ugly stuff to each other. It’s worth adding that I respect everyone’s opinion and convictions about the story, but it was a goodway to see ‘good and evil’ isn’t always clear when we talk about war: I think about it more as ‘evil and eviler’ when you see how many innocents had their lives consumed by this conflict. War never changes…
- Gameplay – photographs: Henry has a camera you can use to take pictures of people and points of interest in his side of the story. These pictures also have importance during the gameplay, so it’s nice to explore your surroundings and register interesting things you run into. A nice touch to the gameplay.
- What if: The game presents many moments where you must choose an option or path. I love games in which your choices have an impact on the development and conclusion of the story.If you like it too and keep wondering what would change in the story if you choose path B instead of path A, I strongly suggest you play it again and change your options! I’ve personally witnessed four different endings and there’s still more to uncover, granting a good replay value to the game.
- Game Pace: Without spoiling any surprises, your adventure is divided into three parts, one before the characters enter the conflict, presenting their lives and motivations. It extends until they join the ranks. The second part covers most of their time during the conflict and their individual searches. They final extends until the end of the war with the armistice signed at 11:00 Nov’ 11, 1918 (yes, a little bit of history class for you in this review), where the title of the game came from. The development of the story was very slow during part 1,but things got more and more interesting from the end of part 1 until the end of the game. I must say that I don’t play many adventures or walking simulators because they tend to make me sleepy. But the story in this one became so engaging that I didn’t face this problem.
What is Bad?
- Visual bugs: Sometimes my characters had some visual glitches that were kind of funny. Two of the best I’ve seen were when a character was holding a gun and the gun was visible above his hand or when another character was walking hands-free, but his hand was in a horizontal position like if he was holding something. Few bugs that didn’t compromise the experience and may be patched soon.
- Collision detection: My only complaint about the gameis how sometimes I got stuck in a place, apparently not touching anything, but there was a box or a ladder that didn’t want me to go. Nothing you won’t be able to handle.
11-11 Memories Retold [Score: 82/100] 11-11 Memories Retold presents a very touching story wrapped by impressive art, both in its graphics and sound. The narrative and possibility for multiple endings is something that adds an immense value to a title of this genre. I cannot praise DigixArt and Aardman enough for the experience they created in this game. If you like a good adventure game or is searching for a good story to dive into, go ahead. Henry and Kurt have a lot to tell you in this story.
With a history of gaming that goes from his old man’s Atari 2600 to his Xbox One, Rafael or RAF687, our Brazilian editor, has a love for games as old as he can remember. He has already spent countless hours in many consoles (Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and Xbox 360) and is always ready for more (as long as his wife is asleep). Raf has been writing for LifeisXbox since 2017, with a passion for games of almost all genres – though we know he has a special place in his heart for RPGs, racing games and anything that includes pixel art. Writing about games has always been a childhood dream to Raf, dream that he has fulfilled reviewing games for you here. You can drop him a message at Twitter, Facebook or Xbox Live at any time.