I'm going to be kind of a dick here and say that Facade is not, in fact, the great revolution in videogame history that Ernest Adams and Chris Crawford say it is. It's very cool, definitely worth checking out, and I would have made a donation to the cause if my PayPal account hadn't freaked out on me...but I've got to ask - has Ernest Adams played Half-Life 2?
The facial expressions in Facade are a step up from Half-Life 2, but I don't know if it's a huge step, and they get more leeway since they're further from the brink of the uncanny valley. There's a lot of emotion on the faces in both games. Also, in both games, the characters react to what you do, and what you manipulate in the room. (Anyone want to do a Facade mod for Source?)
Of course, it's not just about the facial expressions - it's also about the natural language parsing - which didn't really blow me away. Most of the time it seemed like the characters didn't know what the hell I was talking about, unless I took pains to put some key-word in.
Of course, it's not just about the natural language parsing, it's also about the story/world/characters that the Facade guys chose to work with: ordinary people having an ordinary domestic dispute. No aliens or laser guns or secret agents here. I'm reminded of the comics of Adrian Tomine: no superheroes, just ordinary people. In other words - boring. What makes both Adrian Tomine and Facade interesting is that you don't expect to see such boring people in genres that are normally all about flash and spectacle. It subverts your expectations.
Ok, done being a dick now. Facade really is worth checking out, and it points to a future where we might actually get some different kinds of stories in our videogames, ones that aren't necessarily all about violence. And maybe even the games that *are* all about violence will get a better balance between violence and emotional drama: more *War of the Worlds*, less *The Rock*.