Review: Her Story

In my best John Cleese voice: “And now for something, completley different”

Release Date: June 2015
Platforms: PC
Genre: Investigation/Crime

I actually stopped playing Xbox One for a while recently. I was burnt out, in need of something fresh. There was FIFA, there were several high-budget first person shooters, there were a few sandbox crime games, and hundreds upon hundreds of remakes, HD remasters… I just wasn’t bothered. I needed something new.

Then along came Her Story.

I’d heard it mentioned on a podcast, or spotted it on a website. It cost £4.69 on Steam, and that was it. Mine to keep forever. No in-app purchases, no daylight robbery DLC. It was just there, waiting to be played.

Click on “Start Game”, and you’re presented with this:

Now I hope I’m not spoiling anything, but you can actually click on the 2 readme files. They’re really helpful, and give you an idea of what the hell you’re doing here.

So, there’s been a murder, and you’ve been granted access to a series of taped video interviews in order to search for clues. The interviews are broken down into tiny chunks, meaning you have to search the clips using keywords. You can store clips in a “favourites” bar, and tag keywords to clips to make them easier to pull back up later.

This may sound a little tedious.  It really isn’t.  The writing for this game, and the way the content is delivered, will hook you in and hold you there.  Tapping in keyword after keyword, hell-bent on unravelling Her Story’s many secrets,  I was up until 3am one night, scribbling notes on a notepad.  Things to remember, things to check out, things that might just hold the key to breaking this wide open.  The only light in the room came from my monitor, and the game’s subtle soundtrack came through my headphones and filled my mind.   The presentation (think early 90s screen, and VHS quality video) suit it down to the ground.  EVERYTHING  that has been presented to you here has been thought about, down to the tiniest detail.

I’d not been this wrapped up like this by a single game in a long, long time.

The mechanics I’ve described are the only thing you need during the entire game. It’s great not to have to learn what a dozen different buttons do. You can’t die, you can’t “lose”. The world is not at stake. You are just here to find out the truth, digging through ancient records and resurrecting something that was been laid buried for years.

Her Story is the breath of fresh air I’ve been crying out for. It took me 2 nights to finish, which isn’t that long in the scheme of things (I was hammering it hard though haha!)… I do feel that the story pacing is perfect and it only cost me £4.69. I’m just praying for a sequel.

You can go back in, when you’ve finished it, and try and hunt down any clips you missed the first time around (that’s quite addictive in itself, as you end up second-guessing your own playstyle)

final

So yes, this will undoubtedly be in my Game of the Year post come Christmas, and I recommend all Steam users pick this up and give it a go. I’ve done my best not to spoil anything, but please… have a notepad ready. And let me know what you think, of Her Story.

Graphics: The video quality and screen effects are PERFECT! – 10
Sound: Very little music, but brilliant voice acting draws you in. – 9
Gameplay: You’ll be clicking away like a madman, but its simple stuff – 9
Lifespan: Very short, and you’ll be begging for a sequel – 6

overallnine

This would have got Load/Error’s first 10, but it simply isn’t long enough!

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