There's a moment in movies where a restless, investigative protagonist falls down a proverbial rabbit hole and unveils a startling truth, reframing everything they thought they knew. The allure of Immortality, much like other games from Sam Barlow and Half Mermaid, is that it casts the player in this exciting role and builds to its ultimate unveiling. It's borderline impenetrable at times, as both the basic A to B plot and its greater themes are much more opaque than the team's prior puzzles. And yet, it's not really worse off for it. Despite--and sometimes because of--the dizzying effect of falling down the rabbit hole, Immortality becomes another standout narrative. It's similar to its predecessors, Telling Lies and Her Story, in some key ways, but more thought-provoking, too, and certainly more unnerving than you'll be prepared for.
Writing this review has proven difficult because virtually all of the game feels like a spoiler. I can allude to things, such as the game being scarier than I would've guessed, but I can't really tell you why. I can vaguely mention the story's dramatic turns, but given the scattered timeline, you may not see certain moments yourself until long after I did. I can at least explain how this game works, because if it's the first time you’re experiencing a game from this small team, it's going to feel completely alien.
In the early hours, Immortality's plot will likely feel elusive.
Playing Immortality is like operating an old-fashioned Moviola machine, once used by editors in filmmaking but now repurposed to let you scrub through hours and hours of vintage live-action movies in an attempt to solve a mystery: What happened to Marissa Marcel? As a fictional 17-year-old actor making her movie debut in late '60s Hollywood, Marissa was primed to be the Next Big Thing, but over the next 31 years, she would only be cast in three movies, and none of them ever saw release.
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