Back in 2022, when Immortality launched on PC and Xbox, it single-handedly revived the dying genre of FMV games. Being on the Game Pass greatly helped it to reach a wider audience. Since then, it has made its way to Mac systems and most recently Androids and iPhones via Netflix. As for PlayStation, the wait has been long, but it’s finally here.
Immortality is a full-motion video (FMV) game that has received critical acclaim for its unique gameplay mechanics, stellar cast performances, and ability to raise the bar for the FMV genre of games. It was developed by Sam Barlow – the creator of Her Story and Telling Lies, and published by Half Mermaid Productions. It was released on 23rd Jan 2024 for PlayStation 5.
What Happened to Marissa Marcel
Immortality is a horror FMV game that revolves around finding footage from three never-released movies, behind-the-scenes interviews, casual on-set recordings, and talk show interviews with some of the stars. It revolves around Marissa Marcel, played by Manon Gage, a model-turned-actress who mysteriously disappeared. Before that, she starred in three unreleased films – Ambrosio, Minsky, and Two of Everything from the years 1968, 1970, and 1999.
The players are given one of the early clippings from these movies, and from there on, the players need to find more of these clippings by selecting a person or item of interest. Underneath it all also lies a secret footage the player reveals by manipulating the footage from the films which includes the TV interviews, rehearsals, etc. This makes the plot progression non-chronological with a broken narrative format. However, the synopsis of it all is chronological.
Overall, the plot and its motivations are highly engaging and do not shy away from delving into dark and mature themes. There are secrets within secrets within secrets, and it does not stop there. It keeps getting darker, creepier, and at times sexier. To cover of
What’s New on PlayStation
The game’s unique gameplay mechanics allow players to non-linearly piece together the three movies and – crucially – the events that happen between them. Players watch old video clips via a Moviola machine and use the analog sticks on their gamepad to rewind and fast-forward footage from three never-released movies, behind-the-scenes interviews, casual on-set recordings, and talk show interviews with some of the stars.
The idea is to seek out characters, animals, and even objects in the scene, then select them to be taken to another clip featuring that same person or thing you selected. As you watch certain scenes, you’ll hear an ominous whirring sound, and your controller will vibrate. When this happens, you can rewind over to the part where the disturbance occurred, and you’ll see an eerie apparition superimposed onto the image, as if another scene, shot from the same angle but ever so slightly different, is trying to force its way over the original footage.
These disturbances are further bolstered by DualSense controller haptics on PlayStation 5. The controller mic also features clippy and eerie audio which heightens its ominous moments. Such features make this version of the game, even more special than its previous releases.
Going in Circles
The game’s progression is non-linear and open-ended, which can cause some issues. The game doesn’t necessarily mark down your last viewed clip. As such, if you’ve already seen a lot, you’d have to recheck all the thumbnails to find it (outside of adding a “favorite” tag). However, the game’s unique gameplay mechanics and the way it pieces together the three movies, non-linearly. Things get a bit messy when the game comes to filtering already-watched clips, which feels quite a bit unintuitive. On top of that, the game has no tutorial. This makes finding new clips towards the end way trickier than should be.
Thankfully, if you manage to look past those issues, the game’s cast is stellar, with Manon Gage delivering a phenomenal performance as Marissa Marcel. The cast has done astonishingly well in terms of acting all-round with excellent pacing leading up to the story’s climax, and a script and production that perfectly captures the film genres and eras depicted.
Immortality on PS5 retains all of its exceptional features and adds more to it- thanks to the effective use of Dual Sense haptics and audio. Its unique gameplay mechanics allow players to non-linearly piece together the three movies and – crucially – the events that happen between them. The game’s eerie apparitions superimposed onto the image and the way it pieces together the three movies non-linearly make it a must-play for fans of FMV games and cinephiles alike. However, its lack of tutorial makes it quite a bit tedious as finding new clips at the end keeps getting trickier.
FINAL RATING: 85/100
Immortality (PS5)Immortality (PS5)
- Great Plot
- Stellar Cast
- Unique Non-Linear Progression
- Branched and Open-ended Narrative
- Dual Sense haptics and Audio support on PlayStation
- No Tutorial
- Gets Tedious at the end
- Unconventional Learning Curve