Her Story - Another Schlitty Review

I played this back closer to when it came out but never had actually completed it until yesterday. Was a weirder, or at least weirder than normal, time in the gaming community a year ago so it got heralded and ripped apart both more than it should have. Both sides of that coin painted an unfair image of the small but capable game. But I think it fits it’s niche just fine. Nothing really screenshot worthy so not gonna dress this one up like I did for my Hand of Fate review. Original Steam review can be found here.

Her Story

An average story with a unique delivery.

I’m a sucker for a “FMV” game so Her Story already had an edge with me to begin with. But I considered giving this a thumbs down as it was a bit short, the story is very quickly predictable (which shortens the experience further), and it fits a niche not the masses. Also, for me, the final player’s character twist fell flat. The game’s delivery of this so-so story saves it though. It isn’t revolutionary or anything in my eyes. It’s just simple, but done right. It works. Your character you play is interfacing with an old computer system searching through snippets of police interviews about a disappearance/murder. You type in a word, results pop up. Through theses short video snippets (4sec ~ 2mins a piece) a story is divulged and you deduce or note more words to search to yield more results until the end. Unfortunately the end is obvious for a large amount of time before you get to activate the end but its still interesting enough.

I originally played this on GOG and put in about an hour of searching words. I more or less figured I figured it out. I took a break but never returned to the game to confirm my suspicions. That first play experience I had busted out a pencil and paper and methodically listed each and every word I wanted to search next and I was very into the experience. Yet it somehow still never called back out to me. It just doesn’t have that “it” factor to it. When I got it on Steam a year later and went for round 2 I took another approach. I just went off the top of my head prioritizing what I felt was thee most important term to search for next. This very much expedited the process and I was done before I knew it. I will applaud the game’s database though, as I feel like both my experiences were unique paths to the same stuff. Then after having been done, out of curiosity, I used a guide to get every video and achievement. Not usually my style to achievement hunt or use a guide but my “FMV” weakness was the reason I played the game. And I wanted to see them all! This still hardly had me reach 3hrs of playtime.

My rambling story aside, simply put; The FMV quirk works if you like that sort of thing. That’s why you would buy this game. The interface and delivery works for enjoying a tale in a new way. And despite being predictable the story is indeed actually interesting. It could’ve used a lot more nuance and mystery. A lot. You kind of figure everything out, outside the game. I almost feel like you miss out on truly figuring out or discovering anything for yourself within the game. There’s no detective work to be applied save for two visual cues that made for satisfying results. For the most part the story just kind of unravels itself when you search for every dumb word spoken. You’re pretty much along for the ride more than getting as sense of discovery or satisfaction from detective work. An opportunity or two was definitely missed somewhere in there.

It also most definitely came out at a time that earned it much undeserved criticism AND praise. Both paint an unfair and unrealistic picture. It is most definitely NOT a top 100 game. It is most definitely NOT a bottom 100 game. The only lists it belongs on is one of FMV games and it falls somewhere in the middle on that. Its a one sitting experience that is by all means worth some loose change on sale. If FMV and interactive stories is your thing or a thing you can enjoy. Otherwise it would be common sense and wise to move along to the next thing.

Yeah, unfortunately it was caught in the crossfire & it’s true worth would sit somewhere in the middle. Great review! Makes me want to keep an eye out for it. Also this was the game where the main actress won the GDC award for her work on the Witcher3 to the confusion of everyone. Apparently the envelope was incorrectly printed: