I’m watching an old police interview. I can’t see or hear the detective, but the woman answering the questions is right in front of me. She’s reserved and shy, but polite. I can tell she doesn’t want to be there.
Then I click on another video in the archive. It’s the same woman. The tape’s timecode tells me it’s a different day, but I don’t need to be told. She’s energetic now. Her short-sleeved shirt reveals a snake tattoo on her arm. It bobs up and down as she strums a guitar. With a smile, she sings an unnerving folk song about a jealous woman who drowns her sister.
This is the core experience of Her Story, a wonderful, brave video game unlike anything I’ve played before. The woman above has a dead husband, and she’s a suspect. As such, she’s also an unreliable narrator by default, so her story can change from video to video. My job is to wade through dozens of old, archived clips and decide what she may or may not have done. Her alibis, her body language, her reactions – they all contribute to a great, dense story that stayed in my mind days after I’d seen the end.