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It's crucial to slow down, take a breath, and watch everything, even when I want to rush through to find another clue. On the other hand, Telling Lies provides subtle reminders of the dangerous reality of rifling through stolen, encrypted files, and the level of secrecy required by that act. That tension helps the game crackle with life and urgency.
The question of whether Telling Lies is voyeuristic or not doesn’t necessarily have a bearing on the quality of the game — I do, in fact, think it’s good and enjoyed it. But the idea that it isn’t voyeuristic is some laugh.
Telling Lies is a flawless piece of work. This is Sam Barlow perfecting what he was able to achieve with Her Story and bolstering it with a bigger story and being supported by four powerhouse performances. Telling Lies offered me five incredible hours and everyone should experience this masterpiece with their own eyes.
Telling Lies is an absolute masterpiece. It offers some brilliant writing and acting that drive us to passionately discover all of its secrets through its very simple but effective mechanics.
Review in French | Read full review
Telling Lies feels like it's about four times as big as Sam Barlow's previous game Her Story, and it shows. You feel it not just in the four characters you're sifting through footage of, but in the variety of its videos too: from FaceTime calls to hidden cameras capturing secretive meetings. In Her Story, it was famously easy to go down a rabbit hole of sorts on your own intuition; in Telling Lies, that tendency is mechanized in smart, intuitive ways. When it comes to good interactive mysteries, Telling Lies is among the best you can get.
I can't stress enough how much Telling Lies might not be for you. Most of it is literally spent watching people talk to a screen, to the point where the puzzle angle, no matter how impressive it might be, might wear down its welcome in minutes. For everyone else, especially avid followers of character-driven art forms, these are performances you can really sink your teeth into while you try to make sense of it all.
Excellent acting from actors like Angela Sarafyan (Westworld) and Logan Marshall-Green (The Invitation) brings depth and realism to the characters and their stories
Telling Lies is a game defined by the individual's own terms and parameters, rewarding the wide spectrum of curiosity of anyone willing to put the time and thought into its mysteries.
Telling Lies won’t be for everyone and you get out of the game what you are willing to put into it. Having said that, it may just be the most original game you’ll play this year and the performances alone are worth sticking around for.
And while I can appreciate this new art form, this story wasn't quite as dramatic as I had hoped for, or at least the sequence in which I saw the events wasn't as satisfying. It's not as long as I thought it might be. With the pluses and minuses here, I see this as an evolving new medium but not one that has yet reached its highest form.
Sam Barlow's BAFTA-snaffling Her Story was a fabulously tight and taut whodunwhat as you pieced together the tale of a mysterious young woman from a jumbled collection of police interview clips.
Telling Lies may borrow its core mechanic from Her Story, but shifting from monologues to two-sided conversations brilliantly expands the investigative gameplay, and a pivot from murder mystery to political thriller gives director Sam Barlow a much richer set of ideas to explore. A few storytelling hiccups and awkward edges do little to detract from a thought-provoking look at the modern surveillance state—delivered not through soapbox lecture but by forcing you, unsettlingly, to participate.
On paper, searching a large database of phone-filmed video clips doesn't sound too exciting, but Telling Lies offers an exhilarating few hours of detective work thanks to clever construction, strong performances and exceptional polish. Given that the game takes place almost entirely in windows on a virtual desktop computer screen (and would therefore seem 'at home' on PC), it survives the transition to Switch entirely intact. While there's not much incentive to reopen the investigation once it reaches its climax, uncovering Telling Lies' web of relationships and intrigue is a case definitely worth taking on.
Telling Lies on the Nintendo Switch brings a new life to the world of story-based games that make use of an FMV presentation. With its compelling plot and simple but capturing gameplay, a very good performance by its actors and a sharp use of the Nintendo Switch touch screen, Telling Lies will be more than enjoyed by players who will gladly keep a close focus on long video scenes to follow the story and make necessary choices based on what they just watched and heard.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Telling Lies is a brave endeavor at attempting to redefine interactive entertainment and remains a recommended title if you’re looking for something experimental focused on an intriguing narrative.
As it is, Telling Lies’ compelling narrative and phenomenal acting will be enough to spur you on. Searching and scrubbing through videos can be a chore, but it’s worth it, if just for that one tiny piece of information you’ve been waiting to find.
It's a compelling mechanic that leads to easy immersion. Anyone who's used a simple video editor will feel at home scrubbing back and forth through digital videos, and jumping between clips. The Switch's touch screen makes this even more intuitive than it would be using a mouse.
A good story, told in a way that makes us think we're doing the heavy lifting --when in reality it's designer Sam Barlow who's doing all the work behind the scenes.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Thankfully, the in-depth and engrossing story, the strong execution of the actors, and the sheer uniqueness outweigh these negatives. It appears that the genre has much more to offer, and Telling Lies exemplifies it greatly.
Whether you call it an interactive movie game or desktop thriller, Telling Lies is a gratifying and authentic-feeling fly-on-the-wall experience. For the most part. Exceptional performances and an intriguing, topical story are undercut by a jarring gameplay choice that forces you out of the game when you least want it.
Telling Lies expands on the concept Sam Barlow created with Her Story, with a web of intriguing characters and mysteries, but the more overblown aspects of its plot detract from the personal drama.
Telling Lies is one of the best experiences to make use of FMV on PS4, telling a fascinating narrative that'll have you guessing what revelation will come your way next. What's more, the star-studded cast of characters does an excellent job of bringing the script to life, but it is held back by a perplexing rewind function. Had it been implemented better, the game would be on the cusp of greatness. Although, in its current state, Telling Lies is still a very safe recommendation for fans of the genre.
Some people will absolutely love Telling Lies. The type of person who can watch five minutes of a movie and then has to watch the entire thing will surely be absorbed into this game's mystifying world. However, for other people, sifting through hours of footage and being forced to jigsaw a narrative out of it will just feel like a chore, even if the characters are well depicted. It's up to you to decide which category you're most likely to fall under.
Telling Lies makes great innovative tweaks to its gameplay formula, and offers a high-quality live-action adventure, but it completely fumbles merging these two elements together. A word of advice would be to try your hand at the puzzle and discovery for a while, and then eventually just watch the clips outside the game to enjoy the narrative.
Definitely a unique gaming experience, as it takes you in an exciting investigation journey with only a search bar and breath-taking acting skills leaving you on-edge for more evidence.
Review in Arabic | Read full review
At the end of the day, Telling Lies is good concept that stumbles a bit in its execution. It would have worked better if there was an actual mystery to solve like in Her Story. Instead of piecing together an elaborate puzzle, we’re left sifting through the drama of a few people.
You’re going to want a pen and a pad nearby to keep track of your characters, the threads and the keywords you’ll want to search for, and some questionable design decisions hold the game back from being an all-out classic of the genre – with the shocks and twists of Her Story towering over Telling Lies’ endgame – but it’s still well worth exploring if you’re looking for an interactive mystery to untangle.
Telling Lies is almost the perfect metaphor for real-life: inane bollocks for the most part, with some really interesting things happening every so often to stop you from falling asleep.
Her Story is a tough act to follow, and unfortunately, Telling Lies does not hit the same emotional highs that Barlow's previous game did. Opting to use the same barebones video player both does not make sense for this storyline and introduces an annoyance that players are forced to deal with. The story is still intriguing, but not to a binge-worthy degree. Telling Lies is worth playing for Her Story fans, but can't quite hit those same high notes despite its best efforts.
Telling Lies has an interesting story but is let down by a lack of direction and a clunky UI design. Even interesting characters can save the game, and a watered-down epilogue which is supposed to entice repeated playthroughs just leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
There are two things in Telling Lies encouraging you to continue searching and watching all videos: great performance of actors and finding the truth. However, some weird gameplay mechanisms and story's plot holes keep annoying you from start to finish. And when the game finally ends, you probably start asking some serious questions about the whole story and the logic behind it
Review in Persian | Read full review
Telling Lies is a weak interactive film in screencast format that tries to become relevant at the expense of the left-wing agenda. The keyword search system still looks fresh and together with the player's imagination should have created the magic of immersion, but the lack of convenient rewind system, ability to conduct an investigation and match several videos finished off an interesting concept.
Review in Russian | Read full review