From time to time there is talk that video games are evil, propaganda of violence and the cause of various crimes, it has long been accepted to perceive with a certain degree of irony. On the other hand, if you look at what is happening in almost every game with an inexperienced eye, you will notice that this violence is really enough. Fights, murders, robberies and other antisocial acts, even if sometimes committed with the best intentions, were and are the focus of the vast majority of video games.
Not every developer can talk about the value of human life, the limits of the right to violence and such inconvenient topics. 11-11: Memories Retold, released by Bandai Namco Entertainment on the eve of the centenary of the end of world war I — just about it.
All went to the front
While in Europe in full blazing flames of war that have been ongoing for two years in Canada continues at a regular peaceful life for which the battle and the daily death of thousands of people beyond the ocean are only the dry lines in news reports. Harry, a young man, lives in Toronto and works as an assistant photographer. The war interested him much less than the daughter of the owner of the company, Julia.
One fine autumn day her father comes to a rather unusual visitor: a handsome soldier, festooned with medals, mayor Barrett, a real war hero. After a short photo shoot, he makes a tempting offer Harry-say, your skills photographer wasted in boredom and bliss of everyday life, but at the front there are always stories for such talent. In addition, this is a chance to become famous, and the girls love guys in uniform — Julia, melted by the sight of the major, will not lie. Apparently, Barrett hit the spot — and how much do you need a young man who knows about the war only from books and Newspapers?
Now Harry is a front-line photographer who goes to Europe for a “real war”, where he will certainly be able to show himself, and when he returns — Julia will look at him in the same way as at the major that day…
Germany, a military factory for the production of airships, which mainly employs Mature men – all young people in the army, as well as most of the sons of workers. By a happy coincidence, many of them serve in the same unit. But once the plant comes terrible news — 16 people from this group were missing after heavy fighting on the Western front.
If other fathers put up with the loss and began to hope for a miracle-suddenly someone survived, Kurt, one of the workers, whose son Max was among these fighters, unable to cope with the unknown. There is only one way to answer the question of whether Max is alive or died the death of the brave — to go to the service, trying to find his son in the depths of war.
Kurt leaves his wife and little daughter at home, enlists in the army and after a while becomes an ordinary military engineer on the Western front. He is here for the sole purpose of finding his son and returning home to his family, or, if fate is so cruel, at least finding his grave and knowing for sure that his son is no longer alive. Service for Kurt-only a tool to achieve the goal, and the war for the “faterland”, Patriotic appeals and heroism remain worthless words…
Two people who are different from each other, each with their own aspirations and desires, among which there was no place for dreams of dozens of enemies killed and heroic deeds, are drawn into the cycle of the great war, which will bring them together. Will they be able to save themselves and return home?
The decision of the fate of Kurt and Harry on the conscience of the player. It is he who will control both characters, and often switch between them at any time, which is necessary for further passage. 11-11: Memories Retold is a classic adventure game. Gameplay is uncomplicated and is a large part of the journey through the locations, interspersed with the implementation of simple tasks and solving simple puzzles. Open the passage, pushing the box, find the keys to unlock the door — nothing special at first glance. But not everything is so simple – thanks to the imagination of developers with the help of simple techniques can quite revive the game, making it something more than the usual linear adventure.
For example, Harry always has a camera at hand, which can be used for its intended purpose at any time. Photography is allowed to do anything, but some objects are highlighted separately-their pictures can be used to reveal the plot. However, nothing prevents “click” the world as you like, not forgetting, however, about the daily limit of 16 frames. Oddly enough, almost any photo turns out to be extremely successful — they can be viewed at any time in the menu. These same photo Harry sends Julia, and what kind of photo to send in a letter, you can also choose. The girl’s answers, by the way, vary depending on the card sent.
Kurt can do without a camera, but he also likes to write letters. The more he communicates with others and travels to locations, the more he has to news for loved ones. To lie to her or write to her the harsh truth, reassure the family or to prepare them for the worst — to select player.
The rest of the gameplay, as already mentioned, nothing remarkable is not and may be interested only in finding notes hidden in secluded places. Each fully assembled record (and they can be of two or more parts) provides access to a photo or picture with a description of various aspects of the First world — from propaganda to equipment and weapons.
In the rest-banal running from point to point, conversations with comrades in arms and minimal interaction with the environment. However, the game is almost not spoils — it’s not about this: here in the first place the story of two ordinary people caught up in the war
There is always a choice
One of the key tools for presenting the story is an original visual style that imitates the drawing with oil paints. However, you can see everything yourself. But keep in mind that the screenshots are hardly able to convey the beauty of what is happening — in the dynamics it looks much prettier. Do not disappoint and music-it perfectly emphasizes the state of the main characters and at the right time creates the necessary atmosphere for a particular scene. A peaceful town away from the war or the horror of a gas attack, a quiet farm with a pastoral landscape, or front-line everyday life is flooded with water the trenches — the effect of presence is always on top, despite the rather weak schedule.
The game is very similar to the movie, but the movie is still interactive. There is an opportunity to influence key events, making a choice for Kurt or Harry. However, sometimes this variability is only an illusion, but in fact the plot will change only a couple of phrases or actions.
The story itself, if we continue the analogy with cinema, to match not modern blockbusters with a bunch of special effects or artsy Arthouse, and paintings of the middle of the last century. Simple statement, measured speech of the main characters, some naivety and, maybe, even fabulousness of the events — sometimes it begins to irritate, the closer to the ending, the more. I want to see a little more realism in the actions and motives of the characters. But the last Chapter puts everything in its place-despite the predictability, the ending is very dramatic. Here, the player will have to make the most important choice, which determines the fate of the main characters and their loved ones. It turned out very much – for the final scene can be forgiven 11-11: Memories Retold all defects.
Most recently, on November 11, in Paris were held commemorative events on the occasion of the centenary of the end of the First world war. Europe still remembers such long-standing events, despite the years that have passed. And 11-11: Memories Retold, of course, is designed specifically for the Western public, and for us this topic is not so important — although Russia took part in the First world war, we are closer to another Great war. Nevertheless, this does not prevent to enjoy the passage and empathize with the main characters.