Immortality: An FMV Masterpiece

Sam Barlow has a unique way of creating FMV games. Rather than present information to you in a traditional linear format, the entire Story is searchable from the get-go, with vignettes uncovered based on how you play.

The Story of Immortality is Barlow’s best, which isn’t surprising, seeing the additional screenwriting talent he brought in. Allan Scott, Amelia Gray, and Barry Gifford all assisted in writing the Story of Marissa Marcel’s forgotten career.

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Marissa Marcel starred in three films. Ambrosio, Minsky, Two of Everything. Marissa's existence is long forgotten, and none of these films were released. All three films' footage has been found and uploaded to an unknown software so you may put together what happened to Marissa.

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The acting and period sets do wonders for realism, even if the occasional wig choice will give you pause. And the game shines the further you fall down its rabbit hole. Once you uncover each layer, every decision Barlow and his team make seems deliberate.

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Half the enjoyment is discovering each film's plot. Ambrosio is based on The Monk. Hitchcock's demanding nature inspires the director. Marissa portrays his Muse in the 1970s criminal thriller Minsky. And Two of Everything is a late-90s sexual thriller about a pop diva and her body double.

THE FILMS OF IMMORTALITY HOLD UP WELL

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Immortality's spontaneous storytelling is its magic trick. Barlow's previous two games were flawed. Scenes had exposition dumps. Since you might find any scene out of order, you could learn big revelations early. Without context, the revelations rarely made sense.

INTERACTIVE CINEMA

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Using this mechanic prevents late-game spoilers. I stumbled into a hidden game mechanic at what felt like the game's intended timing. After finding this mechanic, the story improves.

Immortality's Story's gloomy, unnerving nature will have you on edge for six hours. Roll credits before unlocking each film. You've seen enough of Marissa's Story and can finish Immortality, therefore the game ends. After finishing the game, you feel incomplete but final.

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