Hello and welcome to Jay’s Game Reviews! Today I will be reviewing Bandai Namco’s artistic story game “11-11 Memories Retold”.
11-11 is a story driven game taking place during the last couple years of World War I. The story follows Harry, a Canadian photographer on the Allies side; and Kurt a German father searching for his son on the Axis side. Both characters join the war for different reasons and both have very interesting stories that the player will follow. The player alternates between the two stories and follows along triggering events to progress each; while collecting items that add historical articles in the form of collectibles. Let’s take a look at some pros and cons for 11-11 and see where the game shines.
- Obviously in a story driven game on top should be the story. This game really pulls the player in and immerses them into the plight of the characters. The player can really feel the stress and sadness of these two men as they strive to survive the rigors of combat and reunite with those they love. These are very emotional and touching stories that the player can really get lost in, and that is a great thing indeed!
Voice Acting. The voice acting in this game is top notch, and there’s a good reason why. With voice actors such as Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sin City) and Sebastian Koch (Bridge of Spies, Homeland) 11-11 really holds its own here! Both actors are able to bring the emotion into their voice that helps the player to better understand what the character is going through. In any video game, or cartoon this is a huge make or break point for me. It is so important that the actors help the viewer/player understand the emotions through their voice work.
- Art style. The unique art style of this game I think is what initially pulled me in. I saw some screen shots and it looked like Bob Ross made the game! Well; maybe not Bob, more of a Rembrandt mixed with some Van Gogh and very different for a video game. Something new and fresh for an art style really gives this game a fresh feel for me, and this style looks like a painting come to life.
History telling collectibles. One of the cool features of this game is in it’s collectible items. The player collects a few matching items and then they are able to read a brief excerpt from a document from the War. These documents give historical relevance to the events happening in the game at the time of their collection. For instance, the player might be at a railway station and the collectible is an article talking about trains in World War I.
- Graphical issues. There are some moments in this game (notably when playing cards in the mini games) when the graphics get blocky and do not render correctly. This hurts player immersion and really takes away from such an otherwise beautiful game.
- Broken AI. There are moments when NPC’s will walk into a wall and just keep trying to move forward for (presumably) eternity. While not game breaking, this too is immersion breaking for the player.
- Unclear objectives. This one I did find annoying. The player will be tasked with speaking with someone, but there is no way to know who you should speak too. If you are a completionist like me, you will want to talk to everyone that you can. With know way of knowing which NPC will progress the story I found myself accidentally talking to them before searching for collectibles and speaking to everyone else, thus loosing the opportunity to do so. Along with this is a moment when Harry was in the trenches and was tasked with obtaining a flask but the game would not let me complete it.
When everything is said and done, 11-11 Memories Retold is a beautiful look at a violent and horrible time in our world’s history. This game offers a new perspective at both sides of the conflict highlighting the personal stories of two soldiers and their reasons for being in the middle of such a traumatizing experience. War is an ugly thing, but this game is able to find a diamond in the rough.
I scored this game 92 out of 100
Check out my first impressions video below: