Life Is Strange Review
Life is Strange is an interactive episodic point and click story that most of you may be familiar with if you’ve played any of the TellTale games. Every action or decision you make will have consequences which will affect how you can interact with people and/or objects further in this amazing story. This game in its entirely has been available to me since it launched, and my only regret is not having played it sooner! It certainly made a nice change from my usual ‘shooty shooty kill’ games of choice!
The Graphics – I personally found the graphics to be gorgeous. You won’t find any ‘next-gen’ graphics here but there is a calm detailed softness to it which I found easy on the eye. Life is Strange has it’s own soft yet vibrant style to it and an effective depth of field so you always know where the focus of the story is.
Setting & Relatability – Almost all of us at some point in our lives have been in a situation where you’re in a room with other people for whatever reason, be it work, or in this case a school or college. Life is Strange is set in the prestegous Blackwell Academy and as a shy 18 year old Max you will have to contend with the usual suspects from the stuck up rich kid to the quiet and withdrawn girl who just wants to be left in peace all the while attending your photography class and unravelling the mysteries of yourself and the town of Arcadia Bay.
The Ability To Take Back What You Said/Did – You know in the exact way that you can’t in real life! Everybody at some point in their lives have had a conversation with someone and regretted saying certain things, maybe you touched a nerve, or even admitted something you shouldn’t have! In Life is Strange you can rewind your previous conversation or two (there is a limit to how far back you can go) or actions and retry. You can even talk to someone to find out a critical piece of information, only to rewind and use that information to your advantage. For example very early on in the game you have the option to talk to someone who is in with the rich crowd and discover her mother is ill afterwards simply rewind and talk to her again only this time you can now ask after her ill mother. Now she is more friendly towards you and appreciates your concern. This is but a tiny example of what you can do and is not a spoiler as it is not a critical part of the story line. In later episodes you gain more power and abilities expanding on your ‘rewind’.
Cast & Characters – Everybody you meet in this game is memorable and unique as well as recognisable. You meet someone in the game and you can instantly think of someone you know or have met in real life that mirrors them. There are people you love and people you hate in Life is Strange, and even people you may or may not wrongly misjudge.
Music And Sounds – The music and general ambient instrumentation in Life is Strange is amazing. If acoustic music isn’t your thing thats fine and its completely non offensive and adds to the game. This is sometimes broken up by ocasional background punk music but these times are relevent to certain characters in the game who are more rebellious than others. I am certainly on the lookout for a full soundtrack for this one!
Graphics – I’ve already mentioned how much I love the graphics in this game however there were a few flaws along the way. I found the further I got in the story the more issues popped up with them. The later episodes to me felt like the engine was struggling with how fast it loaded in the textures. In some occasions it was glaringly apparent during interactive cutscenes where the camera was focussing on someones face only for it to be very blurry for a few moments before the facial details finally popped in. I couldn’t really complain too much as the game didn’t come to a halt in any way to load so it was a small price to pay in keeping the game flowing smoothly. Luckilly these were very few and far between and did not detract anything from the game for me personally.
I love this game and its definitely one I would play again as there are more than enough different choices to tweak the game to be different. Its loosely linear so theres no risk of not knowing what to do or where you should be going but enough give so you can take your time and explore each area. Life is Strange is very relaxing and very enjoyable so please give it a go if you can, be nice or be mean its your choice!
Life is Strange was developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Square Enix. It was released on Xbox One and Steam in January 2015 Worldwide (Episode 1) and fully available in October 2015 Worldwide (Episode 5). Games are scored on their individual merits and our rating system is explained here.
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