In 1994 a British woman is interviewed seven times about her missing husband. This is her story.
You play an anonymous protagonist looking at an internal police computer. The terminal has been unlocked by a friend, you’ve been left alone, and it contains several hundred interview clips concerning a fictional 1994 murder case.
The challenge is basically to work out what’s going on. You search this database using keywords, and after watching a clip can annotate, tag and set aside the particularly interesting ones. The first few snippets offer up many avenues to explore, which is just as well because you come to this case cold – no idea who the victim was, who the woman being interviewed is, or any other details.
This opening half hour is perhaps Her Story’s smartest trick, because it lets the player fool themselves into thinking they are Columbo. Before I knew the name of the interviewee I’d exhaustively tracked down every reference to a local shop, made obsessive notes on her glasses, and come up with a (completely bogus) working theory of what happened and whodunnit. The shop and glasses are illustrative red herrings, by the way, because the whole point of Her Story is finding out what you need to find out.Her Story’s possible interactions are few and simple – anyone who’s ever used a computer could play. The complexity is in the mental challenge, as you grasp at the threads of this tangled web and begin to unweave them without ever being quite sure what’s at the centre. Her Story has a great narrative at the core, but what seriously elevates the game is an ingenious method of unravelling that narrative through pure interactivity. It’s not just that the story is fragmentary, and thus ambiguous, or that it contains well-hidden twists. It’s that you are the one assembling these fragments, and can go off in any direction your curiosity demands at any time.Her Story’s the type of game that had me playing along with a notebook – drawing lines connecting the protagonists, noting down new clues, and circling words then forgetting why. The user interface is perfect for what it’s trying to do: convince the player that they’re sitting at an older PC in a police station, looking through videos they shouldn’t be. The effect goes so far as to include artificial screen glare from the room’s strip lights, brief glimpses of your character’s face in the monitor, and easter eggs dotted around the desktop. Source; The Guardian