Telling Lies Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
6.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Summary: An investigative thriller game with non-linear storytelling, Telling Lies revolves around a cache of secretly recorded video conversations. Starring Logan Marshall-Green, Alexandra Shipp, Kerry Bishé, Angela Sarafyan and directed by Sam Barlow, creator of Her Story and Silent Hill: ShatteredAn investigative thriller game with non-linear storytelling, Telling Lies revolves around a cache of secretly recorded video conversations. Starring Logan Marshall-Green, Alexandra Shipp, Kerry Bishé, Angela Sarafyan and directed by Sam Barlow, creator of Her Story and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Apr 29, 2020
    90
    Telling Lies delivers one of the strongest stories I’ve experienced on the Nintendo Switch in quite some time in one of the most original and compelling ways. Though the end credits have since rolled, I’m left still pondering on the game’s memorable cast of characters and the tangled web of secrets I managed to uncover through careful analysis and lots and lots of scribbled notes. I’ve never been one for FMV in video games but after sampling the efforts of Sam Barlow I might just have become a real believer in its use in the medium.
  2. Apr 28, 2020
    80
    On paper, searching a large database of phone-filmed video clips doesn't sound too exciting, but Telling Lies offers an exhilarating few hours of detective work thanks to clever construction, strong performances and exceptional polish. Given that the game takes place almost entirely in windows on a virtual desktop computer screen (and would therefore seem 'at home' on PC), it survives the transition to Switch entirely intact. While there's not much incentive to reopen the investigation once it reaches its climax, uncovering Telling Lies' web of relationships and intrigue is a case definitely worth taking on.
  3. Apr 30, 2020
    80
    Telling Lies offers a great narrative where we control an intriguing videogame from the first second. Although there are aspects that can be improved, the overall experience of the title is positive. It is one of the Nintendo Switch FMVs that must be played by lovers of good stories.
  4. May 12, 2020
    80
    As for Telling Lies itself, it's an outstanding story and one that's told in a novel way. What makes the game especially memorable is the individual acting performances and how the actors are able to convey a range of emotions. There was nothing over-the-top or anything that made me want to mock the dialogue. Everything is well-written with strong performances to match. I missed the original PC release, but I'm glad I got to experience the Telling Lies story on Switch.
  5. May 19, 2020
    80
    Telling Lies is not like most other games and while many could have easily ruled out games that make use of Full Motion Video, this work does a remarkable job at it. Thanks to its plot, a great actors' performance and good implementation of a touch-screen control system, Telling Lies will reward those players who will invest the necessary time and concentration to follow the game's plot.
  6. May 14, 2020
    78
    When compared to other games, Telling Lies is a massive accomplishment, bringing unheard of levels of talent. But when compared to movies or TV, the performances and production design feel a little bit lacking. I’ll certainly be playing future Barlow games — the ideas are too cool to ignore. But in the future, I’d be keen to see him try his hand at something campier, or maybe let a more experienced director handle the actors. Sam Barlow presents Command and Conquer: Red Alert? Yes, please!
  7. 70
    Telling Lies is a strong piece of art, with excellent acting, believable dialogue, thoughtful themes, and layer upon layer of mystery to uncover. However, whether it's actually fun to play will depend on the individual and how strongly they connect with the characters and world over several hours of footage. Some players will just get bored.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 7
  2. Negative: 5 out of 7
  1. Dec 14, 2020
    8
    This review also contains INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW YOU CAN PLAY ANY IN-GAME VIDEO FROM THE START OF CLIP instead of halfway through, something youThis review also contains INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW YOU CAN PLAY ANY IN-GAME VIDEO FROM THE START OF CLIP instead of halfway through, something you will want to do many times and an option that the game itself does not provide. IT IS NOT CHEATING and if anything makes the game more enjoyable. Read on to get a mini review but more importantly a handy hint.

    A few years ago I read about a game called 'Her Story' where you sifted through police interrogation videos to piece together a story and solve a murder. So I downloaded it onto my not gaming laptop. This was the first PC game I had downloaded since Rollercoaster tycoon in 2003. Anyway I plugged the laptop into the TV and my wife and I payed it through and really enjoyed it. So when I read that 'Her Story' creator Sam Barlow had made another game featuring FMV I didn't hesitate to download it and this time I didn't have to check the old laptop specs because it was available on the switch! Straight away I was drawn into the challenge of finding clues in the five videos available to me at the start. These clues are in the form of words that I can enter into a database to search the dialogue of other videos and start my journey down the rabbit hole of murder and deceit.
    And all if this is great however there was one feature or lack thereof that became obvious very early on. There are a lot of videos to watch and a lot of those videos are well over 5 minutes. Oddly you are not given the option to start the video from the start, instead you only have the option to start it from wherever the word you searched for appears in the clip. There is a rewind/fast forward feature however they are very slow. HOWEVER.... I have discovered a glich that lets you jump to the start of any clip with the press of a few buttons. If you are thinking of playing the game read on, you will be glad you did.

    How to instantly jump to start of any video...

    I can't find this anywhere else so at risk of looking like a fool I will disclose a little trick that I found while playing Telling Lies on the Switch that lets you watch any video from it's start. Here it goes...

    Once you select the video from the search results you get the option to start the video at the time the matching word showers in the clip. Select any matching word or starting point and as the screen fades to black to load the video press and hold the left trigger (rewind button) until the video appears, normally about 2 seconds. Then once the video appears briefly release the trigger (half a second) and then press and hold it again for about 2 seconds. Now when you release the trigger and press play (A button) it will start from the beginning. This works on all videos regardless of length or search word starting point.
    There's an hour of your life back. You're welcome.
    Expand
  2. May 27, 2020
    6
    An interesting concept with a generally high-quality implementation, but the lack of any kind of satisfying ending is very disappointing.An interesting concept with a generally high-quality implementation, but the lack of any kind of satisfying ending is very disappointing. After you've pulled enough videos you'll have a fair idea of what happened, but that doesn't get you anything. There's no payoff.

    The "Karen" character who's doing this research is likely going to prison for it, and her accomplice who got her the illegal database copy will probably be arrested, too. So there must be some deeply important motivation at work, but there doesn't actually seem to be any. The stories you uncover aren't compelling enough in themselves to make the effort worthwhile.

    You're done playing whenever you're no longer finding any new videos that are interesting. There's also an apparent time limit for the research, but that's more of a mechanism for triggering the credits than it is for marking the end of the game. You can keep playing after that.

    Here are two hints on the user interface (Switch) that will make it easier to play.
    1. If you hold the ZL trigger down while launching a video, and keep it held until it quits buzzing, the video will be positioned at the start and can be played simply by pressing A.
    2. You can easily view your bookmarked videos in chronological order in the Bookmarks tab, so it's worthwhile bookmarking every video.
    Expand
  3. Oct 20, 2020
    4
    Not a game. Pointless. No instructions and nothing like the store description.
  4. Jun 15, 2020
    3
    I am a fan of interactive fiction, so I was curious to try this out. I really liked the initial premise that you are an investigator who hasI am a fan of interactive fiction, so I was curious to try this out. I really liked the initial premise that you are an investigator who has found a database of video clips to search through to develop the storyline. This allows for a very user-driven story exposition, which is super cool. In theory. But sadly, I put it down after an hour or so, for two reasons.

    First, the mechanics of having (mostly) one side of a video call and then needing to try and guess to find the matching other side ... is just super awkward. It also means sitting through long spells of just watching someone's expression. I got bored. They should have either had the calls two-sided, or at least had a way to pair the two sides of a conversation.

    Second, the premise of the story is some snarky dude in romantic/sexual relations with three attractive women at once, and it just feels like a joke out of a Silicon Valley episode. This felt like some stereotype of what bro tech types want in interactive fiction, or in life. It just felt laughably stereotypical and it became hard for me to watch after a while.
    Expand
  5. Jul 31, 2020
    2
    Was expecting more quality along the lines of Her Story (although the story of Her Story wasn't good, the interactivity was there). Here, it'sWas expecting more quality along the lines of Her Story (although the story of Her Story wasn't good, the interactivity was there). Here, it's mostly long one-sided rambling with extended footage and it quickly becomes boring and tedious to sift through. Not recommended on Switch or PC. Expand
  6. Apr 24, 2021
    2
    Too expensive for what you get, and if you're expecting "Her Story 2," this isn't it, it isn't even close. Part of what made Her Story workToo expensive for what you get, and if you're expecting "Her Story 2," this isn't it, it isn't even close. Part of what made Her Story work was the micro-viewing sessions, which are replaced with longer, more tedious one-sided delivery that seems to be basically ignorant of what makes a game fun - this is more a slog than fun. Don't recommend. Expand
  7. Sep 9, 2020
    0
    Not a game. Pointless. No instructions and nothing like the store description.