HER STORY REVIEW

Her Story has you trawling an archive of police interview footage to unravel a murder that only gets stranger the more you watch. It makes for a puzzling—and utterly fascinating—montage that won’t be the same for any two players. The fractured structure comprises hundreds of pieces of FMV which you cross reference for clues (and make your own logical leaps) in order to unpick what happened to the game’s leading lady, who’s also the only character you see on screen.

TRAILER:

Her Story brings us back in the 90’s in the terms of video inter sequences that today becomes CGI scenes between gameplay.When you remember adventures and crime scene investigations kind of games you had some  better or worse acting.Her Story  stars Viva Seifert, actress and one half of the band Joe Gideon and the Shark.And she did a great job.For relatively low-budget game like this, acting is on very hig level.

Her Story is a true-crime-style mystery. You uncover fictitious police interviews and piece together the truth behind a crime — essentially a “fly on the wall” kind of scenario, in which your greatest power is that of observation. Clarity is your goal, but at best it’s the kind of after-the-fact sort seen in a rear-view mirror.The game’s aesthetic exists somewhere between simple and purposefully low-rent. Everything is made to feel old, fuzzy and ultimately clouded — Her Story is a search for truth, but leaves you to wonder whose truth that is. It’s simple, effective and brilliantly frustrating.

At its core, Her Story is about a woman and her missing husband. The year is 1994, and she’s brought in for a series of interviews regarding the incident and her involvement. But these interviews are available only in pieces — short clips lasting anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes, containing only her responses to unheard questions — and are only accessible by searching specific words or phrases in a simulated database.

Much of the gameplay time is spent sitting behind virtual desktop.All of it look very retro,whic was the intention of the authors.You can see old Windows 98 background,you move mouse pointer through folders where you watch some footage that serves you as a leads to evidences.You can see in the picture below,how the neon lights reflects on you in game monitor.Much attention has been payed to the little details.

Despite its focus on listening to someone else’s words,Her Story is very much about personal victory. My cleverness was rewarded with new content. The story unfolds entirely at your discretion, and it doesn’t always paint a cohesive narrative. A simple database tracker helped me figure out how many videos I’d uncovered, and how many I had left to go, through different colored tiles. That left me to piece together the story as best I could, filling in the gaps with context and intuition. It also guarantees that each experience will be different; with more than 200 videos to find, it’s hard to imagine that many people will watch the narrative unfold exactly how I did.

Her Story feels like something else entirely. That’s not because it isn’t engaging, entertaining or even fun — it’s all those things, many times over. But it’s less about player agency and more intent on your ability to listen. The potential for failure is one of your own making; there’s an “end” to the game, of course, but how mentally satisfied you are with the experience is on your sleuthing ability.

About Sam Barlow – the developer of the game

Sam Barlow is a UK-based writer and video game director. After early flirtations with self-published interactive fiction, most notably the cult text game Aisle in 1999, Barlow had a short lived career on the East Coast of America in the business intelligence industry. There he worked for Microstrategy, the company founded by visionary entrenpreneur Michael Saylor. Whilst there, Barlow enjoyed exploring the “found stories” secreted away within the collosal consumer databases of its clients, something that gave him a taste for non-linear digital narratives that has informed Her Story. After the dot com crash, Barlow returned to the UK where he decided to find a more stable employment — and joined the videogame industry.

At Climax Studios, continuing to bang the drum for interactive narrative, Barlow eventually got his hands on a property that allowed him to bring to life some of his longheld ideas: Silent Hill. With 2009’s Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Barlow and the team at Climax broke new ground in subject matter and technique, pulling players into the moving and cathartic story of Harry and Cheryl Mason. The game received many critical raves and continues to be held up as a shining example of the kinds of stories only games can tell.

After Shattered Memories Barlow spent several years working on an ambitious, big budget epic that was cancelled mid-development as the industry wobbled ahead of the transition to the new generation of consoles. In 2014, Barlow left Climax and set up as an independent in order to tell the types of stories that are neglected in the mainstream games industry.

  • developer:Sam Barlow
  • publisher:in-House
  • date of release:24.june 2015

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