Community Review: Her Story

A disclaimer: it's extremely difficult to talk about Her Story without using spoilers. Almost impossible in fact, but I'm going to try.

So if you've come in here and you haven't played Her Story, be wary, but feel relatively safe. I'm gonna keep this simple and keep as spoiler free as possible.

Her Story is somewhat of an investigation game. It's a game about searching video footage, finding key words and piecing together a strangely compelling murder mystery. It's also much more than that.

It's a game that's constantly surprising you. Constantly pulling the rug out from underneath you. Constantly redefining what's going on. Constantly toying with your expectations.

Her Story is unique. It's played from an interesting perspective. The idea being that you're sitting at a computer (an old one with a custom OS) and navigating that in order to investigate old video footage and put it all together. The fiction doesn't quite hang together perfectly, but that vibe? That feeling? It's dense and tangible. It's a game about using a computer to solve a mystery and as you sit there at your own computer you are drawn into this world. Her Story is 'immersive'.

And it's all extremely well put together. The writing is (for the most part) believable. The central performance is about as good as could be expected. The production values feel a little low, but for the most part that makes it work.

I thoroughly recommend it. I haven't finished playing through yet, but I'm enjoying every second of this unique, interactive experience.


Comments

    Great game. Unique experience. Cool twist. Leaves you unsure of what really did happen even when watching it all in chronological order. Totally worth the $5.

    Also I recommend playing it properly, but if you're just about done with it, search for 'BLANK'. It will show you the first 5 vids in chronological order because they're all tagged as BLANK. Delete the tag after watching each vid and search again. It'll then show you the next 5, etc.

      Oh, that's a brilliant idea. I ended up using the random command till I hit new videos. Took a while, but I got there in the end.

        I only did it after getting about 85% of the vids normally and understanding what was happening. I wanted to see the rest in case I missed anything critical and also watch them in order to make sure I understood it correctly. Interestingly enough I think I saw the last clip about 25% of the way through. @janexo

          I actually got to the last clips near the start, when I went chasing certain names. So the murder details were the big mystery for me.

          It was getting the lie detector clips (come on, yes and no? I was hoping for more!) that I couldn't work out, as well as really random ones I'd missed here and there.

        I had a better solution. All videos had the tag "BLANK" So if you searched for blank you'll get the first 5 videos. If you removed the tag from those videos and searched again, you'll get the next 5. And so on.

        You'll also get to watch the interviews in chronological order.

          That's exactly what I did and tried to explain but probably didn't put into words properly.

    One of the most unique gaming experiences I've ever had. I sit people down and watch how they get to certain reveals. It's fascinating.
    I've been Batman a ton in games, but this is the only game that has come close to making me feel like a detective.

    Edit: It's also awesome to see a community review I can offer feedback on!

    Edit 2: Very important to mention. It's a great game to introduce to non-gamers as well. Thoroughly worth the cost based on that alone.

    Last edited 06/07/15 11:40 am

    The actress did an excellent job, and I had that song in my head for awhile afterwards.

    What are the system requirements? I'm really keen to get onto it but i have the worst luck with pc games

      Very minimal. If you are running Vista though, you will need an appropriate codec pack to run it. The creator recommends this one.
      http://media.download.hr/codecs/K-Lite_Codec_Pack_1120_Basic.exe

      My 2012 laptop with Intel graphics has run it fine. But you could get away with playing it on pretty much anything from 2005 onwards. The hardest thing it needs to do is process some 640x480 videos.

    Excellent game, I wish there was 100% clarity on the ending but I guess that's part of the charm.

    I found a reddit thread where the guy had documented what he thought was going on in each timeline, very cool.

    MAJOR hats off to the actress, writers and whoever mapped out the videos in a manner that drip feeds you nuggets of information without blowing the whole thing open... very very well done.

      It's intentionally left open for interpretation I think. I mean, you can read it in multiple ways including that she really did have a twin, she's got a split personality, it was all made up, etc. Quite clever how it's done like that.

        MAJOR Spoiler.... DON'T CLICK !!!!!

        The guys theory I read about pretty much said things like:
        - Eve coming in first but acting as Hannah
        - Both had a couple of interviews as themselves but a few more switched (i.e. bruise on the right/left and tea with/without sugar
        - Reckons that Eve killed Hannah before that last interview
        I found the last interview when she was wearing white was where half the gold was dropped and she was almost "spilling the beans". So I guess if she did off her sister then she could talk about it because they'd never find her.

        Last edited 06/07/15 1:42 pm

          Yeah I thought some of those too because you don't see if she has a tattoo in the first clip because she's intentionally shown with long sleeves - so you don't know who it is at the time. Heck, for all we know, that could be a fake temporary tattoo anyway!

          Though the fact that she did have a bruise which magically healed indicates that it's different people. However, it could just be makeup to throw people off. I noticed the tea/coffee too, again could be intentional to throw detectives off. Or inconsistent stories on their behalf.

          I did not think of the last point. Wow, that's possible too. She did say that she hated her sister. But it was more Hannah hating Eve, not the other way round. It was implied that there was hate from both though.

          It's so awesome that the game, albeit being really short, can lead to so many discussions and theories.

          Oh and the very last clip says that these are just stories and nothing more so you really don't know what to believe.

            Click me again !!!
            Yep, I kind of wish there was clarification when you unlocked all of the stories. Maybe it would cut to some modern day sit down between Hannah/Eve and You coming clean about some stuff... but at the same time it didn't need to so it's ok. I would personally just have liked a nice ending to it :)

    I'm a huge fan of the game and everyone should have a go.

    It was fun discussing it with @sughly!

    Cool concept for a cool game. I wouldn't mind more games in a similar style.

      It's actually a very easy game to make. I imagine someone can/will do one using YouTube and a website.

      (calling it now!)

        Yeah easy technically. And all the files are just MOV files or something in the folder on your PC (so you can use that to see all the videos in order). But not so easy to spread all the clues out so expertly, I'd wager, or to get such a great actress.

        Yeah my brother makes games and I want to pitch him some ideas about something half like this and half like phoenix wright. So you'd watch a set of videos in a similar style but it's upto the player to call BS on facts. I'd probably make it in 5-6 stages (10 videos for stage 1, 20 for stage 2 etc).

    The spoiler free review I'd written for Facebook:
    "Her Story" is an brilliant example of how the video game medium can be used to create an interactive artwork. It's non-linear cinema; there's a singular story to be discovered, not affected, and yet each player will end up viewing the scenes in a different order, driven by their individual curiosity, resulting in a unique personal arc of thought and theory, reveals and resolutions. It's so simple in execution, so very clever in design. It's a murder mystery, where the questions of why and how and what become so much more compelling than the who. A women was interviewed about her missing husband, over the course of a couple of weeks. You are watching recordings of these old interviews. The gamey twist is that the interviews are broken into a hundred short clips, out of order, and retrievable only by searching for the words within. Search for "murder" and you'll watch the clips in which she says the word "murder". From there it's a case of following a breadcrumb trail of questions down a rabbit hole ("She mentioned February, what else does she says about February?") as the full picture resolves in your mind. The result is complex and unexpected, full of fun twists and mysteries that kept me absolutely hooked. And in the end... well, it's still been stuck in my head, with more wonderful questions swirling around, for a couple of days now. Fantastic! It costs only $6 and I'd recommend it even to people who would never usually play a video game.

    Went out and bought a new notepad to keep with me while I play. Haven't had to do that in ages.

Join the discussion!