My Memory of Us
There have been a few really touching war stories told in games in recent years. Most notably Ubisoft’s Valiant Hearts was a strangely compelling tale from WWI. My Memory of Us hopes to educate us about German concentration camps in German-occupied Poland during WWII. In an interesting twist it is going to do so in a completely non-violent way. Choosing to celebrate the hopeful demeanor and heroism of the prisoners rather than show the bloodshed. It will be a 2.5D sidescroller composed mainly of puzzles. Some More Detail
Shrouded by a fantasy veil the game follows the journey of a boy and girl separated from their families when an evil king and robot army take over the world. Collectibles will give the player insight into the true experiences of those who lived it.
Like so much of the truth about war, the game is all about things worse than death. Jakub Jabłoński, the creative director said: “There’s no cheap ending. We don’t kill these characters, but I think that people will cry because of what happens to them. It’s a bit worse than dying, especially for friends”. Clearly it’s not cheery stuff but find me something poignant and real that is.
The visuals are clearly reminiscent of Schindler’s List. Displaying black and white pictures almost in its entirety, the only colour you’ll see is a shock of red on the girl’s clothing. Although we only have a handful of screenshots it’s a beautiful and haunting visual that I hope follows through the rest of the game.
A Project Close to their Hearts
Many of those who are developing the game have family stories of what went on. Jakub Jabłoński never met his grandfather as he was imprisoned at a concentration camp. His crime was printing anti-Nazi leaflets. In the finished game the player will have to help do the same.
I have to admit this is a game that has me on tenterhooks to play it. Despite its grim tone I found Valiant Hearts to be a necessary part of my gaming. My Polish grandparents were involved in WWII as well so it will be nice to get some insight.
The two characters aren’t just random prisoners of war. They are two of Poland’s greatest heroes. Irena Sendler saved 2,500 children during the war. Janusz Korczak was a pivotal leader in an orphanage. I could give you more detail but I think it’s probably better for you to discover what happened for you via the game.
Jabłoński says these heroes “need to be remembered, through one of the most powerful mediums, which are games.” My Memory of Us currently has no release date announced. I will leave you with some more screenshots.