Home Game Reviews Telling Lies: Original Interactive Deception

Telling Lies: Original Interactive Deception

Telling Lies Interactive Game Review

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Telling Lies - Front Picture
Telling Lies - Front Picture

Title: Telling Lies
Developer: Sam Barlow, Half Mermaid, Furious Bee Limited
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Released: August 23, 2019
Platforms Available: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, iOS
Platform Reviewed: PlayStation 5

A Unique Interactive Drama

I have to say that a relatively unique project by the Her Story designer of the horror film Silent Hill: Shattered Memories has captured the attention of fans of suspenseful stories and adventure games just by its design. It was a modern take on an interactive movie and game composed mainly of featurettes. In a few days, author Sam Barlow will follow it up with another similar project. The spiritual successor is an interactive drama called Telling Lies.

Uncovering Classified Content

In the game’s plot, players take on the role of an unnamed character who receives a hot commodity in the form of an unknown laptop. It is stuffed with classified content from the US National Security Agency (NSA) database. It contains private footage and video correspondence collected over two years by the four protagonists. These four hitherto purely private lives are linked by a big lie and a shocking event, the uncovering of which will depend on the players. The goal is to explore the stolen private recordings in detail and discover the truth, motivated by curiosity alone. For example, thanks to the mysteriousness of the author, we still need to figure out what event is supposed to connect the characters’ lives.

Innovative Gameplay Mechanics

In terms of gameplay, players will search the video database using keywords and according to what was said in a given video segment. Each player will be able to find their own system within this; for this reason, the game will be non-linear, and everyone will be able to discover something a little different. It is worth mentioning that, according to the author, the user interface of the database search is inspired by reality. Sam Barlow has unlearned the essential characteristics of the system. Still, according to his own words, he decided to make the form of the database and its browsing “sexier” and thus bring the experience closer to the players. He says this is to avoid making it look “cheap” like the original.

Compared to the title mentioned above Her Story, it is worth mentioning what the author has gone further in cooperation with Annapurna Interactive.

Cast and Realistic Performances

First, a quartet of established actors will take care of the deeper immersion in the story. These are Logan Marshall-Green (who starred in Spider-Man: Homecoming, for example), Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Apocalypse), Kerry Bishé (Narcos series) and Angela Sarafyan (Westworld). Another attraction is definitely the story, which you’ll each have to uncover on your own.

Non-Linear Narrative Exploration

Last but not least, it’s worth mentioning that thanks to the more significant number of actors and videos, the game takes up to five times more time compared to other titles by the author. Whether this automatically means a better experience, you must find out for yourself.

In the end, however, the game earns a 70% rating from us.

Most spoilers must be avoided because most of the game’s content is story and mystery.

Where to Buy Telling Lies

  1. Steam (PC, Mac): Available for $19.99 (currently on sale for $4.99). You can purchase the game directly from the Steam Store)
  2. GOG (PC, Mac): The game is priced at $19.99 (currently on sale for $4.99). Purchase it from GOG.com
  3. Epic Games Store (PC): Available for $19.99. You can buy it from the Epic Games Store
  4. PlayStation Store (PS4): The game is priced at $19.99. Check it out on the PlayStation Store
  5. Xbox Store (Xbox One): The game is available for $19.99. You can find it on the Xbox.com
  6. Apple App Store (iOS): Available for $6.99. Purchase it from the App Store

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