Review: Life is Strange (complete game)
Life is Strange is a story-driven, episodic, adventure game from the developers at Dontnod. The game revolves around an 18 year old photography student named Maxine Caulfield. After a vision of a tornado that destroys the town she discovers that she has the ability to reverse time. She uses these new powers to save the life of her childhood friend, Chloe. The two try and figure out what happened to a local girl who’s gone missing.
By the end of episode one I was intrigued by the story and wanted to know what was up with Max’s time reversing powers. By the end of episode two I was hooked and had to find out how this story is going to end. This really was one of the best stories that I’ve played all year. The story is slow-paced but that was done on purpose, to get you to get to know the main characters and side characters better so if a choice comes up that might end badly for someone you have to really think about it. But thanks to the reverse time mechanic you can go back and make a different choice and see how that turns out then decide which one you want to stick with. Sometimes that can makes the decision even harder when you find out that both choices may not be favorable.
The art in the game is pretty damn good too. The characters and setting looks great. Most photographs in the game have this heavy bleed watercolor look (don’t know if that the technical word for it) and I really liked it. The music in the game wasn’t something I’d listen to but it was defiantly something a hipster like Max would, so it was all good; but, the punk rocker, Chloe’s choice in music didn’t match when you turn on her stereo and they dance on the bed.
Not for things I didn’t like so much about the game. There were a couple times when I knew that a situation could turn out a certain way through a tree of dialogue options. The problem was, I was constantly rewinding so I could get the outcome I desired. If there was no rewinding then I would have just rolled with it but I could and spent way too much time on a conversation. My biggest problem is something that I’ve been seeing on a lot of other reviews. The rest of this paragraph is spoilers for the end of the game please skip ahead if you don’t want to know. You have been warned. Seriously. Stop reading. The final outcome of the game as nothing to do with any choice you have made up until this point. It doesn’t matter if Kate lived or died, or if you saved Alyssa every episode, or if your planet died. Now that doesn’t deter from that choice you have to make. They do a really nice job with the lead up, highlighting all the major points of Max and Chloe’s friendship from the previous episodes. When that choice came up it wasn’t much of a surprise cause I had guessed it earlier in the episode, but that didn’t make it any easier. I thought about it for a while. I walked around my apartment for a few minutes thinking about it.
I really enjoyed this game and am looking forward to playing it again with different choices to see how much it changes the story. This game also does make me want to look at Dontnod’s next game Vampyr and check out their previous game Remember Me. I absolutely recommend this game for anyone who likes a good story. I would not recommend it for people who have sensitivity to bullying and suicide and drugs usage.