The last few weeks I have been playing Life is Strange over on Twitch. I had never finished the game before. I did know the choice the game boiled down into, but everything else past Chapter Two was a mystery. And the only reason I didn’t finish playing it the first time was because I was also playing Dragon Age: Inquisition for the first time and that just is my all-time favorite game. But I wanted to give this game a chance and decided streaming it on Twitch would be the perfect solution. I am going to be playing the prequel “Life is Strange: Before the Storm” next on Twitch. So I’ll get into that game later once I’ve finished that game.
Life is Strange is that elite high school indie game created by Dontnod Entertainment and has won multiple awards since it’s release in 2015. You start out the game with Max Caulfield walking in the forest towards a lighthouse during a storm. Then snapped back to reality in her high school (Blackwell Academy) where she is sitting in her photography class with Mr. Jefferson. A photographer she has long admired the work of. Afterwards she goes to the bathroom to learn she can reverse time after a girl was shot, who later turns out to be her childhood best friend, Chloe Price.
You then are faced with making decisions that will have a butterfly effect on the reminder of game from turning in the student with the gun to littler things like allowing someone to take your pictures. You can always reverse your decisions but they do effect other elements of the game though they don’t change the very ending of the game. That is only decided by one choice, but it is your choice to make.
Throughout, the game you have to reverse time to get the right answers or solve obstacles that prevent you from moving forward. The only “game overs” or points that force you to go back in time are any time you have to keep Chloe alive. It’s like the universe just wants her to die non-stop. Probably to get back at the fact you prevented her death in the very beginning of the game.
Keeping Chloe alive and exploring your time reversing powers, are not the only story in the game. There’s also a sub-plot about a missing girl named Rachel Amber, who was best friends with Chloe after Max moved away when they were 14 years old. And you slowly learn that things aren’t what they appear to be in Arcadia Bay. Students are being drugged and then having their picture taken. No spoilers on who is doing this but I totally called it when I first played the game. Which made me a little sad, because it was too predictable in my opinion. I mean it was staring you straight in the face and hinted at with every turn of the game. But the game was still extremely enjoyable.
The game has amazing indie music and you have the option to take photos around the level. If you don’t get the photo before advancing, you can’t go back to get them. Some are really easy to find while others require that you get in the perfect position at the right time to get the picture. And to figure out what photos you need to complete your album is looking at your journal to get a silhouette of the subject you are looking for. But again, they are super easy to miss. They aren’t needed to complete the game, but considering you are playing a photographing high school student on a retro camera it makes you really want to get those photographs as you play.
Have you played Life is Strange? If so, what was your opinion.
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