Following on from Ben’s pick yesterday, it’s now Phil’s’s turn to choose his best of Rezzed 2015 – and he’s chosen Sam Barlow’s crime-fiction, Her Story.
|Release date:||June 2015|
|PEGI rating:||Not listed|
|Platforms:||iOS, Mac, PC|
|More information:||Official website|
What with all the repetitive first-person shooters (FPSs) and action games these days, you’d be forgiven for wanting a slightly different experience. Events such as Rezzed and the attending developers are usually looking to provide such alternatives, with retro-style gaming and unique twists to how stories are presented and told in video game form.
I enjoy taking a break from the big titles every now and again because there’s only so many times you can find yourself being attacked by an eagle in Far Cry 4 before wanting to play something focused entirely on storytelling.
Throughout my three days at Rezzed 2015 last month I thought long and hard about what my favourite title would be; and while there were plenty of amazing games to try out there was one in particular that stood out in my mind. This one could be classed as more of a casual crime adventure due to its design but it feels much more personal than that.
Her Story uses a non-linear storytelling method which makes up its core gameplay: you are given access to a police database full of live action footage and the freedom to browse and watch in any order. The clips themselves are sometimes barely a minute long and feature the segmented pieces of several police video interviews with a British woman about her missing husband.
Giving any further details about the content could spoil the story so instead we’ll concentrate on how the experience is delivered. The main feature is a search box allowing queries to be entered into the database which returns relevant video clips. Watching these, which aren’t in sequence, will potentially reveal clues or new information which you can then search for to find the relevant videos used to piece together the story.
The dialogue is entirely one-way with our interviewee responding to unknown questions. Some clips feature content that is simply small talk with others forming part of tougher conversations had as the interviews have progressed. Going back to an earlier point, it’s this one-way conversation that makes it feel rather personal as learn more about her life and the more recent incident she has potentially been involved in.
With his latest project, Sam Barlow is looking to tell the types of stories that are neglected in mainstream gaming.
Her Story is the work of Sam Barlow, designer of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories – praised for not only being terrifying but also for its masterful storytelling. With his latest project he is looking to tell the types of stories that are neglected in mainstream gaming and only after a few minutes of play, I was hooked. In fact I had to stop myself from continuing so I didn’t spoil anything for myself or get too engrossed before needing to move out of the way for someone to have a go.
If like me you can’t wait to get your hands on a copy then head over to the official website to pre-order Her Story. The game has already been greenlit over on Steam and is due for release later this year; and while you’re waiting, why take a look at the interview we did with Sam at Rezzed last month.