Why it matters: Those of certain age may remember a time when ‘interactive movie’ video games were mostly, for want of a better word, crap. But 2015’s ‘Her Story’ showed that the genre was capable of better things than the likes of Night Trap. A “spiritual successor” to Sam Barlow’s hit, called ‘Telling Lies,’ is on the way, and it stars actors from film and TV.
Like Her Story, which involves players trawling through fictional police interviews with a missing man’s wife to determine what happened, Telling Lies combines live-action video sequences with gameplay elements, requiring players to put the pieces together. Few plot details have been revealed, but Barlow did say it was a “political thriller with 3-4 key characters.”
“Imagine Steve McQueen’s ‘Shame’ mashed up with ‘The Conversation,’” he said. “I’m viewing it in a sculptural way […] I’m looking at what happens when you throw a player at it, who can attack it from any number of angles.”
Barlow and studio Annapurna Interactive have revealed that Telling Lies will feature Logan Marshall-Green, who starred in the excellent Upgrade (and Prometheus), in the role of David. There’s also X:Men: Apocalypse’s Alexandra Shipp (Storm) as Ava, Kerry Bishé from Halt and Catch Fire playing Emma, and Angela Sarafyan, who Westworld fans will know as Clementine, in the role of Max.
For those who’ve seen Bird Box—and hopefully didn’t partake in any blindfold challenges—you might recognize Vivien Lyra Blair, who was ‘Girl’ in the Netflix original.
"Telling Lies is the latest addition to the Annapurna Interactive family, which currently includes What Remains of Edith Finch, Gorogoa, Florence, Donut County, Gone Home (Nintendo Switch/iOS) and Ashen. Upcoming titles include Due Process, Journey (PC), Kentucky Route Zero TV Edition, Outer Wilds, The Pathless, Sayonara Wild Hearts and Wattam,” wrote Annapurna Interactive.
Filming on Telling Lies is scheduled to wrap this week, but it might still be a while before the finished game arrives. With a larger budget and scope than Her Story, it could be one of this year's big hits.