Interactive storytelling when done right is an immersive experience that makes you feel things. There are several games that excel in doing just that: Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, What Remains of Edith Finch, and The Unfinished Swan are perfect examples. So just how does Stories Untold stack up against these narrative masterpieces?
Stories Untold Review – Puzzling Situations
Stories Untold is broken into four chapters. The first chapter, “The House Abandon,” kicks things off invoking old school text adventure gaming. You arrive at your family vacation home to kick back and relax when things start to go horribly wrong. Using text prompts to move about and investigate the house brought me back to library sessions spent switching floppy discs in elementary school. That nostalgia hit makes this first chapter the one that resonated with me the most of all four chapters.
We encounter newer puzzle systems in the following two chapters. In “The Lab Conduct” we slip into the role of a researcher performing tests on an unknown subject. Instructions fed to you from researchers in another lab need to be carefully followed. Thankfully there’s a computer in our room with reference manuals. I really enjoyed this chapter. Tuning the equipment was just a lot of fun, as was the story segment.
Stories Untold Review – Under Observation
Moving into Stories Untold‘s “The Station Process” I was riding a high. The previous chapters tickled my brain in just the right way. Then I found myself locked in a small monitoring station and instantly flashed back to John Carpenter’s classic, The Thing. Wind howled outside the window and radio communications with my co-workers crackled as we worked together to push through incoming transmissions. Dialing the right frequencies and converting codes from the microfiche was a lot like running the experiments in the previous chapter. The only aspect of this chapter that drove me up the wall was the Morse code puzzle. I found it a little difficult to decipher the short beeps from the long ones. And since it took me a while, I had a headache by the time I solved the riddle. I’d recommend not wearing earbuds for this chapter.
Everything comes to a head in the final chapter. “The Last Session” does a serviceable job rolling my previous experiences into a cohesive yet predictable end. It may not have been a stunning revelation, however it was a satisfying one. All in all not a bad way to spend about three hours on a Saturday afternoon. Stories Untold is a great journey to take part in and one I’m glad to have taken.
Stories Untold review code provided by publisher. Version 1.00 reviewed on a launch PlayStation 4 console. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy here.