Immortality - They Among Us

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Here we are, another interactive video game. A lot of these are out there, and playing my fair share of them, I'd say the only factor that is categorized as gameplay is just lane switching. Not Sam Barlow's game, though. You choose what scenes you usually interact with, and try to uncover mysteries using whatever is provided in front of you. I played Her Story, and it was a pretty good.

What makes this different are the talents that's handling the screenwriting, credited for Queen's Gambit and Mr. Robot, here is a game that really goes full Lynchian, dragging you into a void that piques your curiosity and the insanity that dwells in it.

I miss games that go all in on its ambition to evoke uncomfortable feelings, because that's what playing through the story felt like. It was uncomfortable not because of bad writing or plot lines, but the overall ethos is strangely bizarre enough that I left the game pretty spellbound, just like the Cannes Film Festival moviegoers.

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Hollywood is a place that is obsessed with itself, so much so that the inhabitants within get sucked into its world, and cannot easily move on from it. Seems like the case for Marissa Marcel, an up-and-coming actress who wants to take a shot at Tinseltown to stardom. However, more and more becomes unraveled around her past footage from making two films, neither of which got out. So, ah, what happened?

Spooky stuff happened, there's so much going on underneath the mystery. At first, I saw the movie things, and I thought it was just a fancy Lyncheon thriller with a twist. There was obviously a lot more going on, as Sam has grown transitioning from a game designer to this, an auteur mixed between the two.

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This is a video game post, but I am going to adjust my rhetoric a bit with things people say when they're obsessed with movies. Here's where this one goes nuts, one of the cast is the guy from the film, The Room. You know, the bad movie everybody made fun of. And he plays into the role of a director pretty well, almost like there's some wacky node to that notorious film.

In fact, all of this feels like a B-movie you're watching, until it reveals all the nebulous secrets underneath, and ah, jokes are out of the window from here on out. The game reveals more of itself and the hidden distortions inside to show that it's two kind of story we've been following this whole time. Two very different stories that are also intersected with one another.


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Sam Barlow's first game, Her Story, would have me scrounging footage to look for clues. There's no objective indicator, and all the player got was bits of written dialogue outside, and other small hints. It was a very brilliant minimalistic design as the player has the tools needed to find out about the main character's story. It was a mystery game, same as this.

Gameplay is mostly similar, except for the part where you're unwinding footage via film reels. Allowing you to adjust how fast and slow you'd want to go. There are music queues and a distortion noise, letting you know that there's something inside the footage. The flip side story behind them all. Like a puzzle game, the only pieces of them were found from the actor's way of expressing themselves or other odd elements. Entirely up to you to figure out, because the game doesn't easily clue you in where and how.

I like this part as it states there's so much going on, even right after you feel like you're done with the game's story once the necessary bits of information and secrets all become unraveled. The experience overall is a bit visceral, grotesque and something out of the Twilight Zone. If Lynch directed a Twilight Zone episode.

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With amazing writing and some of the most deceptive performances, if you're a film snob, you'll definitely have a good time trying to unravel everything inside this. There are footage I skipped, since there was so much to trudge through, and I felt like it would be easier if I unwinded them to find out the hidden ones of seeing these through myself, they felt like extra stuff without much purpose.

I don't know if it'll be possible to recommend this one, since not everybody plays interactive dramas much. But I can assure you, you're in for a hell of a ride. Even if you're not super into movies and you like puzzles, because there's plenty to seep through. Also, it's available on Game Pass. Even if the film lets you know you have figured everything out, you kind of haven't. That's the aura of mysticism it has around it. And it's really cool to see storytellers using the interactive media for that.

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