Once upon a time there comes a simple concept that is unique and very well executed.
I’ve had my eye on this title since it was first shown to the public. The FMV aspect is what really appealed to me the most – that and the $5 pre-order price tag.
Full review after the jump.
Her Story is the brain child of Silent Hill memories creator Sam Barlow. His new concept in “Her Story” borrows the real actor aspect of FMV adventure games. Common FMV games which come to mind are: Tender Loving Care, Phantasmagoria, Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within, and the Tex Murphy series.
So what truly separates this title to those FMV games of old? The fact that this is well executed with very little gameplay to speak of. There has been a murder that has taken place and the suspect is female and it is your job to seek the truth.
The real fun of “Her Story” is piecing together the whole scenario thought bits of the interrogation videos so I will try to keep this as spoiler free as possible.
The game starts you off on an old desktop computer where you must piece together bits of interrogation videos. You have access to a few readme files, a tile game, and a database of interrogation videos of the suspect in question. So you simple move you mouse pointer to the database search and type in keywords to narrow down videos where the suspect mentions those keywords. For example, if you type in Murder, video results will be displayed where the suspect mentions murder in one of her responses. The key is slowly piecing together bits of the story and figuring out more appropriate keywords to search for (A physical pen and paper will come in handy here).
The real satisfaction comes when the story finally clicks or at least you think you have a bit of it solved. There is quite a bit of video content to sift through so you will have your work cut out for you. After awhile you will be prompted to answer if you think you know what happened in the story or not. You can choose to spend more time going through videos or complete the game at this point.
The sound aspect of “Her Story” pretty much revolves around listening to the voice of actress Viva Seifert as she answers questions on video. She does quite a fantastic job of doing so with her British accent. Other than that there is the occasional generic music which lightly plays in the background as you continue to search via keywords on the computer and sounds of old light bulbs flickering in the background.
This being an FMV game of sorts there is not much to speak of here except the wonderful job of portraying the style of an old CRT monitor. You will see the curve of the CRT as well as the glare as you play this title. It really adds a sense of charm and nostalgia since it makes you feel like you really are playing on an old CRT set.
When it is all said in done what you have hear is a concept so simple, yet so brilliant you wonder why no one has thought of this before. Even for people who were not quite keen on FMV adventures back in the day may take a liking to this due to its brilliant implementation. I expect many games in the future to borrow elements from this title. So without further ado:
Go Play this Game!
Available on: PC, MAC, and IOS