A collaboration between the creators of Wallace & Gromit and Tekken on a video game set in the trenches of World War I, and that looks like a moving watercolour painting, is one of the more unusual projects we've written about this year.
11-11: Memories Retold was initially announced in April with some concept art (which you can see at the bottom of this story), but we now have the first trailer (below), proper screenshots and short making-of video with voice actors Elijah Wood and Sebastian Koch.
From the trailer, the game 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. It's creators say it's about "trying to preserve their humanity for their loved ones" during the horrors of wae – so we're 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.
While the creators haven't revealed the plot of the game, we know that Wood voices Harry, a "Canadian-American photographer who joins WWI only to discover the realities of war on the frontline" and Koch will 'will embody a pacifist who is driven by duty."
11-11: Memories Retold behind-the-scenes
11-11: Memories Retold screenshots
11-11: Memories Retold concept art