Explore Max’s world and change time as you fight to stop disaster and tragedy coming to Arcadia
Life is Strange is a five part episodic series set to revolutionise story based and consequence games, developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Square Enix for both the 360 and the Xbox One. It’s very similar in terms of gameplay to games like Telltale’s the Walking Dead, but there is a slight difference, don’t like the decisions you make? You have the ability to rewind time after seeing the consequences of your actions and change any choices that didn’t quite work out as you had hoped.
The game pulls you in straight away and starts with Max struggling through a Tornado, as the landscape crumbles around her and the sky is lit up as the storm gets closer to her home town. As she reaches the lighthouse, she awakes to find herself sitting at her desk, shaken she believes it was just a very realistic dream and continues to listen to her lecture. She is a gifted photography student who doesn’t quite believe in herself despite high praise from others, especially her teacher Mr Jefferson.
After class, Max stumbles to the bathroom to compose herself and wash her face, feeling like she looks awful. When she’s in there, a Butterfly flies in the window and lands on a Bucket, never missing a photo opportunity she takes a photo of it but is disturbed by Nathan, a rich kid whose parents practically own the town. He’s quite frantic pacing back and forth, muttering to himself, building himself up when another girl walks in. It soon gets heated and he pulls out a gun and shoots her. Horrified, Max steps back as she watches the girl fall lifelessly to the floor and as she puts her hand out time begins to rewind in front of her eyes and she’s sat at her desk again.
Confused and not believing it was real she listens to the events going on around her, when the students and teachers repeat what she has already heard, she desperately thinks of a plan to save the girls life.
Her school is very much like the set of mean girls, with all the classic stereotypes thrown in for good measure. Max isn’t overly popular and gets picked on, especially by Victoria and her friends. She likes to zone out listening to her music and takes photo. The game does a good job of making sure you connect with the main character and her troubles.
It’s interesting that when a choice you have made doesn’t pan out, rewinding can save it although you are still unaware of what the consequences are further down the line. Rewinding time can also bring up new dialogue options, now you pretty much know what people are going to ask you and can answer accordingly. There are a lot of photo opportunities for you to find, from taking a picture of a Squirrel to a drawing in dust on a car window.
Life is Strange is also very interactive, highlighting an object gives you several options, look, use, read etc and there are light puzzles to solve to progress in the story.
Overall this game is up there with the other greats in the genre, with very likeable and relatable characters and a fascinating story. The rewind feature is a good addition to change any mistakes you made, definitely worth a purchase.