Telling Lies

released on Aug 23, 2019

Four private lives. One big lie. Search through secretly recorded video conversations to discover the truth. The successor to the acclaimed Her Story.


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(Reviewed after playing the entire "Sam Barlow Trilogy" as I call it: Her Story, Telling Lies, & Immortality)
Bigger in scope than Her Story and better for it. Telling Lies is another FMV game by Sam Barlow. This time we get more characters, a more complicated storyline and way more themes and undertones while still maintaining that signature Barlow style. Just like I said in my Her Story review (here) I found these games best enjoyed over Discord with friends, so that we could share our theories and react to the various discoveries together.
The main draw this time is that most video clips are of some sort of video call where you can only see one side at a time. This puts significantly heavier emphasis on the acting chops and character depth and luckily, Telling Lies triumphs in both these regards. David Smith is such a fascinating character; he's so hard to love yet somehow even harder to hate. The other characters here are memorable as well, but Logan Marshall-Green brings David to life in a way that only gets topped by certain actors and actresses in Immortality. Water is life.
My main problem with all of Barlow's games (though especially noticeable with this one, I feel) is how you end up running out of interesting clips to find and instead have to dredge through negligible search results until you find something juicy again. This always occurs in the final hours right before you hit the credits, and at that point you're already hooked into the story so it's not that big of a deal. Still, it does make me wonder if the self-paced nature of these games can be more detrimental than beneficial. Luckily Immortality was affected the least by this, from my experience.
Anyway, play this game. Play all of Sam Barlow's games, honestly. They're super unique and well-executed and I wish more people talked about them.

Great performances and fun story, but a goddamn slog to "play"

This review contains spoilers

Does really cool things with story telling and pulls off the fmw rather well. Story is engaging and by just throwing you in you want to find out more. I feel that it doesn't all come together as interesting as it suggests and ends rather abruptly. I wish the game didn't just end when you find enough clues for an ending or however it was decided. Wish there was more interaction with putting pieces of the puzzle together and a goal of solving the mysteries.

I just don't know if this concept works as well when the majority of clips are 70% the person staring silently at the camera.

Better production qualities than Her Story but much less snappy and felt a little tired at points in a way Her Story never did.

Conceito interessante, mas não ficou tão envolvente.