“Buddy” vulnerability narrated in a very engaging experience
Here They Lie is an extremely immersive game, developed by Tangentlemen Games, in collaboration with Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony in 2016. Playable on PlayStation and PlayStation VR.
It’s a coming to life nightmare in a monochromatic scenography where sinister creatures lurk in every shadow.
You have to solve a mystery, but above all, you must prepare yourself to make a decision between life or death and regret or remorse.
WHEN THE ATMOSPHERE ENVELOPS YOU TO THE POINT OF MAKING YOU FEEL BAD
“An immersive experience transports the viewer into a different real or imagined world, allowing them to manipulate and interact with their surroundings. Immersive experiences create unforgettable and engaging worlds by combining visuals, sound and technology.”
These words perfectly capture the essence of “Here They Lie”.
The VR experience optimized for “Here They Lie” traps the viewer, making him experience what our protagonist feels, in whose shoes we also find ourselves unwillingly, due to the extremely disturbing content.
The first thing you see is a woman dressed in yellow who is talking to you in a very confidential way.
Suddenly, you find yourself on a spooky, deserted subway train.
In the subway station, you receive a first phone call. A man that calls you “Buddy” in a friendly mood, talks to you like everything is normal, asking if you’re back in town.
The woman in yellow reappears and, following her, you cross the subway and, along the way, inside a bathroom, you can finally observe your appearance: a middle-aged man in a tweed suit.
When you arrive in town, you find a ghostly city abandoned on the surface. As you go, you keep getting calls from what seems to be a friend and finding mysterious tickets.
A wise warning screen appears after about 20 minutes of gameplay. If you disregard the advice, you may pay the price.
DESCENT INTO THE MEMORY MAZE
As soon as you start getting into the slums, a strange creature unleashes a powerful attack on your face, so, after a blinding flash, you find yourself disoriented and frightened, wandering in the alleys.
During this roaming, armed only with a flashlight, you continue to receive your phone calls, but also, you begin to have weird visions.
After a new meeting with the woman in yellow, where you have other memories, the very scary heart of the game begins.
I don’t want to give you spoilers or something, so I try to give you a generic idea of the atmosphere and the state of mind in which you can find yourself.
The first thing you have to know is that you’re not alone anymore, but this “company” doesn’t make you feel very comfortable.
Even if you’re surrounded by voices and buzzes and other sounds, your sense of disorientation grows steadily.
You can try to socialize, but the only things you receive as a response are psychotic reactions, including violent assaults from which you can only flee because you lack the skills or resources to defend yourself.
So, you resolutely pursue your journey, because you crave to reach your woman so much, but also, you want to understand what really happened to you and why you keep seeing pretty odd things that remind you of things you’ve already experienced.
YOU HAVE TO KNOW
After all, there are a few things to consider.
The first, and most important, is to heed the warnings that appear on the screen from time to time, wisely and suggest taking a break, assuming you’re playing the VR version.
Also, keep in mind that “Here They Lie” is primarily a visual narrative, aesthetic and experiential game.
What does it imply? It means you shouldn’t expect a lot of action, nor should you expect any kind of interaction.
As a walking simulator, Here They Lie’s gameplay is limited, especially when considering its orientation toward the VR peripheral.
But we will also see some stealth sequences, where peeking around a corner can save our lives, thanks to the power of virtual reality.
It must simply be lived. Tasted. Feared. Understood in depth.