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- Telling Lies
Telling Lies, the new game from Her Story creator Sam Barlow, is coming to PC and iOS soon. The Telling Lies release date brings Barlow’s latest project to Steam and the Apple App Store later this month on August 23.
Publisher Annapurna Interactive announced the Telling Lies release date on Twitter, accompanied by a short trailer in which the game’s live action characters initiate a countdown. As Her Story did, Telling Lies consists of live action clips that players use to uncover the game’s story. Announced at E3 2019, Telling Lies tasks players with digging through these clips — a cache of secretly recorded video conversations — in the interface of a virtual laptop. The Telling Lies cast consists of Logan Marshall-Green (Upgrade, Prometheus), Kerry Bishé (Scrubs, Halt and Catch Fire), Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Straight Outta Compton), and Angela Sarafyan (Westworld, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), who play David, Emma, Ava, and Max. Developers described these characters during the E3 reveal as “four private lives shattered by a terrible lie.”
Four private lives. One big lie. TELLING LIES by @mrsambarlow is coming to Steam and the App Store on August 23rd.
— Annapurna Interactive (@A_i) August 16, 2019
Telling Lies will apparently more than 10 hours of footage. The game’s non-linear nature makes it a sort of “open world” FMV game, and players will likely have to play it more than once to see everything. Her Story previously gained praise for its similar approach to storytelling, being extremely open ended while still subtly pushing players to discover the game’s secrets. Mark Brown, of popular game analysis YouTube channel Game Maker’s Toolkit, called Her Story the best detective game he’d ever played and his favorite game of 2015. He described the brilliance of the game’s design, which revolves around searching for videos with key terms in a database, like this:
“You’re essentially given nothing tangible in this game, […] but you will make deductions, and the only way to check if you’re correct is to type in some kind of search term to see if you get new clips and move the case forward. And when you do, it feels amazing. There’s nothing like it. No game comes as close to that ‘eureka’ moment.”
Her Story earned an 86 on Metacritic when it was released in 2015. Telling Lies seems aimed to recapture some of that success, but it could build on Her Story’s emotional elements by presenting FMV footage that is much more intimate — in multiple senses of the word. The video quality is clearer, cameras are closer to the actors’ faces, and the recordings are of private conversations, not static interviews. We’ll see if Barlow was able to capitalize on Telling Lies‘ potential when it releases next week.