Article by Matt S.
One of the core features of 11-11 Memories Retold is the photography that one of the two characters takes from the battlefield. Designed to replicate the look and feel of the photographs that made it back from the real World War 1, this feature is a particularly haunting element of the game.
World War 1 was notable for some unique conditions. Trench warfare is such an iconic visual from the war, and yet trench warfare was also up there with the most inhumane living and working conditions imaginable. The mud, the water, the cold, the poor quality (and often uncooked) rations, and the never-ending boredom were all hallmarks of live in the trenches, and therefore the life of a soldier in World War 1.
In most video games, trenches are romanticised. They’re turned into levels. The width of the trenches is widened and neatened (so characters and enemies could enjoy greater mobility around them), and the actual conditions of trench life never gets in the way; you’re never going to get stuck in the mud, or risk getting trench foot, for example.
But in 11-11 Memories Retold, the trenches are far more accurately depicted. They’re tight, enclosed, ugly, and uncomfortable looking places, and the other soldiers that you’ll come across in them look absolutely miserable. The camp “bar” – really just an enclosed room with some tables to drink out – is the extent of the comforts in these spaces, and sadly, it actually does start to look a bit like an oasis.
Here’s some examples of photos that I took from the first chapter of 11-11 Memories Retold. Have a look at these, and have a look at some of the real photos from the war, and see just how accurately the tone and aesthetic of World War 1 is depicted through this game (and feature).
– Matt S.
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