Steam Powered: Telling Lies

The first Steam Powered I wrote in the early days of this little blog was about a game called Her Story, which I still love and highly recommend.

So when I found out that the creator, Sam Barlow released his newest game I was so excited. However, after playing it, Telling Lies left a bad taste in my mouth.

So, what went wrong?

Telling Lies is an FMV game like Her Story in which you play as a whistleblower. You have only a few hours to review video footage and piece the story together clip by clip. To navigate the footage you search using keywords.

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As you progress through the game, by paying attention to the one-sided conversations the story becomes clearer. I will not reveal it here but it is filled with lies, betrayal and hidden motives as the title suggests.

Now the story itself is fine, you might figure out some of the twists but there will be at least a few that will catch you off guard.

For me what really soured this otherwise decent game was the ending. In case what I have written up to this point sounds good to you and you are thinking of playing it, do not read further. I will try to be vague but vague spoilers are still spoilers.

Normally when you complete a game you feel satisfied but honestly, I felt really let down. You get a clip of one of the characters talking about what they did after the events and a report. That’s it. Apparently, it depends on which character you focused on or something?

To me it felt like the punch of the ending was softened on top of just being told, yeah the game is over. No satisfaction, no sense of accomplishment, nothing.

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What makes this even more infuriating to me is the fact that Her Story nailed it. Because you don’t find out who you are playing as until the end, it feels like a massive payoff. With the crime solved as well as the mystery of your identity, it’s so satisfying.

I know this sounds bitter, that’s because I am. I’m one of those gamers who comes to final judgement on the game due in part to the ending. For me, it’s a very important element since you spend multiple hours playing, I think it’s only fair the ending needs to be satisfying although not necessarily happy.

In fairness, this is a relatively short game but I still feel somewhat cheated.

Sorry for the bitterness, I expected more but was rather let down. Maybe you will have a more enjoyable time with Telling Lies then I did.

Frankly, in my opinion, if you are looking for a great FMV game just play Her Story instead. It’s a better experience and since it is an older game it’s often rather cheap on Steam.

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