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Sam Barlow’s brand of experimental, nonlinear, and exploratory storytelling isn’t a novel concept as he’d previously released Her Story and Telling Lies to varying degrees of critical acclaim.
Like those games, Immortality is a spectacularly layered mystery where a player’s journey and how they happen upon the game’s many revelations should be unique to them. By piecing together Marissa’s three unreleased films, players can unravel the circumstances surrounding her vanishing.
It won’t be for everybody, and Immortality’s gameplay loop of scrubbing through footage using key items as touchstones is certainly unique. But it’s still a powerhouse narrative underpinned by some spectacular performances, particularly the many award-nominated performances from Manon Gage.
In his review, James scored Immortality a 9.5 out of 10 stating: “Immortality ambitiously succeeds at evolving the formats introduced in Her Story and Telling Lies to offer some of Sam Barlow’s best work yet and one of gaming’s most well-justified open-world experiences. Bolstered by some fantastic performances and a compelling mystery to uncover, it’s engrossing and engaging from beginning to end. While it might assume some prior knowledge in telling its underlying story, Immortality is an experience that’s not to be missed and one that I’ll never stop thinking about. It is truly fantastic and well worth your time.”
What Immortality Meant To Us
“What can I say about Immortality that I haven’t already espoused incessantly on the podcast or literally anywhere else? Immortality is something that neither a film nor a game could achieve – a truly unique open world to explore and mystery to uncover that’s supported by strong performances and even stronger direction.
Immortality asks one question of its player – what happened to Marissa Marcel – and then gives them an untethered insight into a world that recontextualises everything we know about the greatest stories we’ve been told. It’s great, then, that Sam Barlow’s immaculately directed follow-up to Her Story and Telling Lies is just as great a story in and of itself and one of my highlights for 2022.”
“Immortality is Sam Barlow’s magnum opus. I spent countless hours feeling so intimately connected to Marissa Marcel through the voyeuristic lens of the editing bay, captivated by the mystery of her disappearance and determined to find answers. It takes an incredible genius to engineer such a masterfully layered experience through simple gameplay mechanics.
Though my role was limited to scrubbing through archival footage, I was hypnotised by the sublime performances of the main cast, who filmed three distinct features, each beautifully shot and produced, for the purpose of the game. When the final credits rolled, I had endured a rewarding but poignant and deeply thought-provoking emotional rollercoaster that left me in awe.”
As it stands on Metacritic, Cult of the Lamb is currently sitting at an 88 based on 14 critic reviews.