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The studio behind Wallace and Gromit is making a WWI-themed video game

11-11: Memories Retold will feature paintings, not clay

Aardman Animation Limited, the studio behind beloved stop-motion clay animation characters such as the Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, is working on a video game. Called 11-11: Memories Retold, the World War I-themed narrative adventure will be created with the help of French game developer DigixArt in collaboration with Bandai Namco Entertainment America.

The teaser trailer, which was released today, shows off the game’s unique, painterly art style. Conspicuously absent is anything to do with clay or traditional stop-motion animation.

“Engaging audiences with compelling stories through animation is at the heart of what we are trying to do at Aardman,” said founder Dave Sproxton in a press release. “With this project we want to produce an emotionally rich experience with distinctive visual character to help you understand what war is all about.”

The trailer features the classic poem In Flanders Fields, by John McRae. McCrae, who was a soldier in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, wrote the poem to celebrate the death of a close friend in the Second Battle of Ypres, one of WWI’s bloodiest and most tragic engagements.

Flanders Fields was the site of not one but three massive engagements during WWI. This photo, taken in 1919, shows the land utterly devastated nearly a year after the end of the conflict.
William Lester King/Library of Congress

In Flanders Fields would become one of the most popular poems to come out of WWI, and was used in many fundraising drives to support troops in the later years of the war. Today people still wear red poppies on their breast throughout Canada each Nov. 11 to celebrate Remembrance Day.

This is not Aardman’s first attempt at a war film. Chicken Run, a comedy about birds escaping from a farm that was released in 2000, is a thinly veiled spoof of The Great Escape, the 1963 classic starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough. It also references the famous Colditz Cock, a glider secretly built by Allied prisoners held in Colditz Castle during World War II. Aardman’s most recent film, Early Man, is in theaters now.

11-11 is expected to arrive on Windows PC via Steam, as well as on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. No release date has been announced.

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