Immortality is one of those rare games that will haunt you until the end of time. You go in expecting one thing, and it turns into something completely different by the end. I knew before I played it would be good – it’s developed by Sam Barlow’s studio, how could it not be?! – but I still never expected it to be as haunting as it is. The FMV game first launched in August 2023 for PC and Xbox, and it’s now available to an entirely different audience via its Mac version.
Barlow has experience in FMV games (Her Story, Telling Lies) and horror (Silent Hill: Shattered Memories) but until now has not combined the two. On its surface, Immortality doesn’t seem like it would fit in the horror genre. It takes some digging to get there, but when you do, it’ll blow you away. The game has players piecing together clips of Marissa Marcel, trying to uncover what happened to her after she disappeared. You can read my very vague review here; I wanted to keep as much of the mystery alive as I could!
Here’s a trailer from a few months back:
The gameplay mechanics for Immortality are just as innovative as its narrative. In prior FMV games by Barlow, players would have to type in or click terms to search. Here, all it takes is the click of a button on an object or a person in a filmed scene, and it will jump to something relevant. It can jump from film to film, or to a behind the scenes shot, resulting in some unexpected connections.
In a press release, Barlow states, “The reception for Immortality has been incredible and is a testament to the considerable talent and effort from our teams in front and behind the cameras and computers. It has been a pleasure to take Marissa Marcel’s story on the awards circuit she never got to see herself. We know that Mac gamers have been impatient to dive into her work and are excited to finally let them in.”
Developed and published by Half Mermaid, Immortality is available for iOS/Android via Netflix, PC/Mac via Steam/GOG, and Xbox Series.
What an oddly limited distribution. I have an iPad but not Netflix, a Switch and a PlayStation, and I’m still not able to play.