I think we all have some topics that for some reason catches our attention in a special way. Some love the pirate themes, others like post apocalyptic worlds, Roy’s more about futuristic dystopias with robots and myself… I’m all about time travel. I just love the concept itself, it makes my imagination race thinking of mind bending paradoxes and the like.
When I heard that there was time manipulation invoved in Life is strange, I knew I had to try it.
Life is strange is an adventure game very in the likes of the telltale games such as the walking dead or the wolf among us. In this game you’ll be in the skin of Max Caulfield, a student in an art school that one day she’s granted the power to go back in time and therefore change some events, like at the start of the game, when you’ll prevent a murder from happening.
With that enters the player choice. Shall you use your powers to protect the school nerd from getting a ball to the face? Will you warn the girl who’s always giving you hell that if she doesn’t move she’s gonna get covered in paint? Obviously the choices during the whole game won’t be so vanal, and they sure get quite deep as the game progresses. I’m not kidding, as an anecdote I could mention that the game made me actually stop and think for several minutes during one specific choice in chapter 4.
Why do the choices get so tough to make then? Because Life is strange will make you care about its characters, it’ll make you love them, despise them or anything in between.
Unlike other story driven adventure games, Life is strange does feature some failure states but those are only present on some puzzle sections. They mostly play around the time manipulation mechanic when you’ll be trying to pull a certain answer from a character for example. They never get too complex but they offer some variety through the playtime.
The graphics of this game have a very distinctive art style. They didn’t go for photorrealism but for a comic-style that accentuates further how the developers must have been inspired by the telltale games. It’s eye-catching nonetheless and the character models are detailed enough to be able to represent their emotions in a convincing way which is important.
On the sound department, the game’s soundtrack is a mix of original and licensed tracks among the latter, the soundtrack mostly relies on alternative rock and folk. And all in all, I found it quite great.
Things I liked
- Great plot: Like I said in the introduction, time travel is my jam and this game reflects that aspect great. It doesn’t invent anything new but the topic is treated thoughtfully and with care and the story is better because of it.
- Emotional: I don’t want to get too spoily but the game will make you grow bonds with its characters and then stuff will happen to them and you’ll feel for them. I laughed, I cried (true story) and I loved it all.
- Lengthy: Every chapter takes about 2 hours to complete which is more than in most games of this kind and not once you’ll feel like they added filler to achieve those number. You’ll be hooked.
Things I didn’t
- Time manipulation mechanic: Maybe it was me sucking at the game but sometimes I had a hard time rewinding to the specific spots that I intended. On some occasions I was rewinding too slowly so when I tried to make it go quicker ended up rewinding too far back and getting confused because of it.
Who’d like this?
If I could, I’d climb a mountain and from the top of it I’d shout the world to play this game. That’s how much I loved it.
Of course, not everyone will understand that. If you don’t enjoy story driven games like this maybe not even this can change your mind.
<This review is based on the ps4 version of life is strange but the game is also available on ps3 and other platforms>