It is being described as one of the best mysteries of 2019.
The more that developers and creators of games continue to push the boundaries of what games actually are, the less viable the argument becomes that games can't be considered an art form.
Sure, we all love shooting games and platformers and beat 'em ups and the basic building blocks of gaming with better graphics, but Sam Barlow has once again blurred the lines between games and cinema with his new project, Telling Lies.
In it, we play someone who has retrieved a stolen hard drive, filled with video calls between four main characters, and attempt to unravel the connections between them, and ultimately the one major lie that somehow destroyed their lives as they knew them.
Developed by Annapurna (best known for their movie output such as Zero Dark Thirty, Her, and Booksmart), the primary protagonists are played by Logan Marshall-Greene (Prometheus), Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Apocalypse), Kerry Bishé (Argo), and Angela Sarafyan (Westworld), they deliver intimate performances that must be intensely viewed by the player to uncover clues from key words that they use throughout.
The Guardian said that "Telling Lies requires a deliberateness from its players that turns us from viewers to active plot participants. It’s a game that doesn’t hold your hand, and ultimately it’s down to you to decide the truth – another secret of a good mystery done well", while IGN stated that "Sharp writing, believable acting and a twisting plot make Telling Lies an essential detective game."
By tapping into a genre that is absolutely huge right now, and then allowing the player to become the detective themselves to figure out the mystery on their own, it is no wonder that it has already proved to be such a huge talking point after just a few hours of release.
Telling Lies is available to play on PC and iOS as of Friday 23 August.
Clip via Annapurna Interactive