Kim’s Corner: Video Game Review – Life is Strange (4/5)
For those who enjoyed: Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us.
Life is Strange, published by Square Enix (the publishers of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts) and developed by Dontnod Entertainment (developers of Remember Me), is a five episode adventure game that is all about the choices you make. Every single choice the player makes in the game has an effect on events that happen later on in the game.
The game starts off with Max Caulfield, a shy 18-year-old photography student, waking up in the midst of a storm and finding her way through to get to a lighthouse.
She wakes up from her “dream” in the middle of her photography class. After class, she goes to the bathroom and sees Nathan Prescott, the son of the most influential and rich family in town, come into the women’s bathroom, so she goes and hides from him. Then following in comes Chloe Price, Max’s old childhood friend that she doesn’t recognize right away because they haven’t seen each other or spoken in 5 years. Nathan ends up shooting Chloe in the bathroom and Max runs out and puts her hand out. Time rewinds and she’s back in her photography class. As she sits there very confused, trying to figure everything out, she realizes everything in class is happening again.She runs to the bathroom after class, this time to try to save Chloe from being shot.
Max learns how to use her new power responsibly and tries to figure out how or why this is happening to her. She also has premonitions of a storm hitting her hometown, Arcadia Bay, and tries to find out what happened to Rachel Amber, a student from her school who mysteriously disappears. She also does some self discovery of her own as the game goes on.
Her power can rewind a little longer than the last 30 seconds. This may not seem like a long time but in this game, every second counts. Max can manipulate situations to her benefit, preventing something from happening, and changing what happens next.
Despite the story being focused on Max’s time travel powers that seem supernaturalistic, the story and characters are relatable and make you feel emotionally invested in the game. The game also focuses on her friendship with Chloe.
The artistic style of the game draws you in, along with the atmosphere and the soundtrack. Time travel can be used to help Max change the outcome of an unfortunate event in order to help her get past certain parts of the game. While the actual plot of the game may not seem as in-depth other games, it is nonetheless very interesting.
Since you, the player, are making all of these decisions for Max, her development within the story forces you to look inward, and you begin to see some of yourself within her, which gives her a realistic touch.
Life is Strange is a game full of psychological twists and turns, giving it just the right amount of suspense. So if you need a break from a game that you are stuck on or bored with and you’d like to try something completely new that’s more on the relaxing side, this will be a game to try out.