Her Story - Analysis
Quite recently, we offered you the review for Missing: An Interactive Thriller . A game of skill and logic whose game system was based on insight and speed of reflexes, while the scenes (recorded with real actors) were happening according to our performance. It is interesting to quote that recent title just because here, without being able to avoid it, the system with real videos reminds us of it ... until we hit play on Steam.
Simmon is dead. Poor Simmon! And the game's title, "Her Story" hides much more than we think. Indeed, at all times we will have a woman on the screen . But let's not rush, and leave this for the gameplay section, which we repeat, will not leave anyone indifferent. In this title, history is everything . A story that can last us an hour and a half, or two, or more . It depends on what we need to guide our own research. A murder, a violent and curious past in equal parts, endless stories from the past of characters that become more and more clear with each passing moment. We could say that they are taking shape, as we join the dots and we learn more and more about them, their relationship, their qualities ... Without a doubt, a game full of psychology and with a solid and very powerful plot background. Sometimes, by the way, and as a sinister wink, the silhouette of the murdered is drawn as an interference on the screen. What would a Barlow game be without the sinister component.
It's funny when you go into Her Story: we adopt the role of the true investigator. Let's see how it is played. Did anyone go to the movies recently to see "Eliminated"? That horror movie in which we see everything through the computer screen the protagonist. Although she has a Macbook the modern sea. In Her Story, already focused on the game, we will see ourselves in a similar environment. We operate a 4: 3 screen of a PC (let's say that it emulates in some way the Windows 95 system in appearance and resources). Maybe whoever reads this, the aspect of the aforementioned version of the Microsoft operating system sounds Chinese, but it is enough to go through one of the websites in which W95 is emulated (it is scary to stop to think that this was done by a computer and now carried out by a simple browser) and see the undeniable resemblance.
We have several tools. Its handling, by the way, totally emulates a "Virtual Machine"; for the unfamiliar, a version of an operating system that works on a basic PC that has another. The keyboard works the same, the mouse becomes that of that computer, and we have various programs. Attention because, having said this, said practically everything. Indeed, we are going to have as the only playable environment a computer, in which we can see the videos of police interrogations of a young woman, who is presented to us in various facets. We don't hear questions, only answers. We have to put together the development, establish a temporary succession of cuts ... This program is the main one, and the way to discover new videos is through tags (keywords, which link to new cuts).
There is a chat , which will also guide us virtually with suggestions, asking us questions. There is even a trash can, some simple game we can try, a couple of Readme files ... rather "Readme". And here we come to the only (and yet more hurtful) Her Story handicap . It is not something that affects everyone, but the title comes entirely in English . And yes, we are going to have to look for words in English, understand dialogues that can go from simple to something more advanced ... in general, thanks to the subtitles (also in English, as we say, it totally lacks translation) we can guide ourselves better than just listening . But why fool us: in such a tremendously technical and conscientious game, it is a terrible loss that the players less made in the language of Shakespeare cannot enjoy this risky bet in all its dimensions.
We cannot call it a "horror" game; But it does play with restlessness , with the discomfort of a past that reveals itself in stages, with more shadows than lights. A story so twisted that it gets to touch the feelings . The fact of receiving everything in a scattered way and having to put it in order, will even force us to take note as if we were a real detective. Yes, whoever wrote this was seen for hours writing on sheets of paper an outline, possible search keywords, names and relationships. This rupture of the “fourth wall”, which had been more common in a dungeon game without a map, in which we pointed to where we had turned, makes us for a moment dive into the paper, analyze the movements and tone of voice of the girl. In turn, to add that feeling of instability, the low-quality videos show images of someone who acts credibly. A situation that could be real. Isn't that more scary than an apparition in the middle of a hallway? Maybe it's not an easy scare. But the feeling is. And in Her Story, it does.
The sound section of this game is almost as concise as the graphic . Above all, its function is to set and guide. The amount of music is negligible. Background sounds, pianos that mix the sentimental with the disturbing. The woman's voice will fully occupy our sense of hearing. And luckily, the acting is excellent. We are going to be very involved in the plot. And graphically ... the recreation of an old operating system is quite good, with interesting winks, and the videos are played with a quality of police recording of the nineties in a simple video program to the extreme.