Life Is Strange (PC)
Tags: [review], [video games], [pc]
- Time to complete: ~12 Hrs
- Release Date: 2015
While Life is Strange may start out as a fairly innocent-seeming teenage student-y adventure game, it develops a harsh, gritty edge that some may find disturbing and unpleasant. Think Donnie Darko - if you thought little of DD, or hate teenagers (especially mid-00s teenage lingo), you're not likely to appreciate LiS either. If, however, you're up for some time-travelly teenage-angsty detectivey adventure with some decidedly uncomfortable themes and issues, Life is Strange deserves a strong recommendation. If you are after a David Cage-like game done competently, give it a go.
Strong characters, writing, and music score underpin a compelling and interesting episodic story-driven "choose your own adventure" game that does a good job of reminding you of your previous decisions regularly, giving a feeling that your choices really did matter... even if in the end, all stories converge on the same points. The ramp-up in intensity is fantastic, however the final episode feels like it goes off the rails a bit, and didn't have quite the level of attention that the previous episodes did. That the ultimate choice in the game resulted in a near 50/50 split in the players (and quite a lot of decent conversation on internet forums) is a testament to the craft put into the scenario to that point. Emotions will be had.
There's a definite artistic choice to make Life is Strange very filmic - or even more accurately, mini-series...ic. A lot of attention is given to scene direction, visuals, and tension points (especially as episode-ending cliffhangers). While I doubt I'd be watching a TV adaptation of it (just not really my thing), in game-form it works brilliantly. Certainly one of my favourite of the genre of 'Telltale-like's. Absolutely up there with Tales of Borderlands, although with a completely different tone.
I'm glad I played it even if only for the club music mix included at a party scene.