You all remember Her Story, right? The video-clip detective game that launched a thousand FMVs, none of which were quite as good as Her Story? Developer Sam Barlow followed up with Telling Lies, which is another video-clip detective game that is probably not quite as good as Her Story – though it is much more polished.
Like in Her Story, you’re rifling through video files on a computer, though, where Her Story was clips of police interviews, this is like, surveillance conducted by the NSA on a clandestine operation into the possible terrorist activity of what is basically a bunch of hippies talking a big game. Nevertheless, a bomb did go off, so you need to figure out what lead up to that. Each video you find is only one half of a conversation, so if you find one where a camgirl is talking about her Halloween costume, you might find the other half by searching the files for “Halloween” or “vampire” or whatever.
Telling Lies catches on the same snag as Her Story, which is that if you stumble on the right conversations or key search terms early on, you can basically figure out the whole thing in 10 minutes. But I’d argue that the real draw for Telling Lies is in the performances anyway.
The main character (whose name I won’t tell you, because that is both a spoiler and a useful search term) is played by Logan Marshall-Green, who has been in big Hollywood films and everything, and is actually really good. I spent most of my playthrough looking at the conversations between him and a) his wife (played by Kerry Bishé) and b) his favourite cam girl (played by Angela Sarafyan), and less with the eco-activist he accidentally fell in love with (Alexandra Shipp).
It’s a small cast and they’re quite intense performances – only one person on screen at a time, putting in their own pauses where the other person is supposedly speaking. The more I think about it, the more impressed I should have been with their efforts at the time. Good work, actors.