Often, the line between fact and fiction is easy to identify -- when audiences leave a theater, they know that what they saw wasn't real. Immortality throws the rules of what's real and what isn't in the player's face, blending the harsh realities of filmmaking with the morbid curiosities only video games can convince players to interact with. What begins as a fun restoration project becomes a deep, unsettling mystery that refuses to let you go. It's enough just to watch footage that's cleverly and brilliantly acted onscreen, making you forget you're playing a game at times. But it's something entirely different when you find yourself frantically scrubbing through clip after clip, enthralled with Marissa, watching her take center stage not just as an actress but as a person. As you click on faces and objects, taking you from one clip to the next, you learn just enough to want to take another step into the abyss. It never even occurs to you that just as Marissa is now trapped within a series of little moments, you, the player, become just as ensnared in the details – in her life.
This game is disgusting. It's crude. It'll make you roll your eyes and recoil at some of Marissa's trials and struggles. But it's also heartwarming. You'll laugh at Marissa's antics. You'll feel her triumph. You'll sympathize with the unspoken pains that only someone's face can convey. And, somewhere along the line, fear will creep in. What happened to Marissa? Where is she? Is she even alive? Everyone becomes a suspect. The context behind some scenes or clips may change as you drive down this unknown, dark path, and even though you seem to hold all the power as a lone detective sorting through clips, you'll discover that you aren't as capable as you may think you are. Video games rarely have so many layers, stories within stories with the depth to match. This isn't just a run-of-the-mill game players will put down and discard. This is an experience that's very likely to linger beyond the end credits. This is art in its purest, most distilled form. Not a moment is wasted. Everything has a meaning. Every little question has an answer, and while you probably won't always like what you see, you'll continue because you must. The mystery is just too enticing. Immortality couldn't be a more appropriate title for this experience, and if you let it, it'll definitely live up to its name.