Life Is Strange has the look and feel of a TellTale Games production, but the added bonus of getting to reverse time to change your decisions a quick and easy way.
Trigger Warning(s): Attempted Date Rape story
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story
For 5 years a young girl named Max has left her hometown for Seattle, leaving her best friend Chloe without any contact. That is until she returned for a prestigious arts high school which only has senior year students. This leads the two to reconnecting but under the most peculiar circumstances. For Chloe has changed a lot over 5 years, and so has her life. In fact, her life nearly ended the day Max would have got the opportunity to see her old best friend, but then Max discovers she has time traveling powers. Thus leading to a story in which you primarily use your time traveling to make decisions, or change lives, all the while a mystery plays in the background about a girl gone missing. One who seemingly was too popular to just go poof without sign, signal, or warning.
Any opportunity to play a female character is a good one, especially with them not being an option but the mandatory choice. What makes this game especially good though is the ability to rewind most of your decisions, and keep the memory of the information you are given if you make the wrong decisions. Something only done 2-3 times through my play through, but hopefully, future episodes will use this as Max begins to look for Chloe’s friend.
Leading to perhaps the biggest thing I liked about the game: It felt like every little thing you looked into, and many of the decisions you made, you didn’t have to wait until the next episode to see their effects. For little things like opening cabinets, or looking into files, this all revealed things which made it seemingly affect the story. Making the rewind feature always tempting to use for it actually felt there could be major consequences, not just in the long run, but in the next scene.
To be quite honest, this game does feel and look like a complete TellTale Game rip off. To the point, the only thing which is original about this is the story. Otherwise, everything else looks like SquareEnix saw how well TellTale was doing and decided to cash in on the episodic formula, just to see if there was a real market for it vs. it just being something TellTale could do.
Overall: Worth Buying
Honestly, I’d imagine if TellTale Games had the funds to make a graphically better original IP, with better decision mechanics, this would be it. For, outside of quick action events, pretty much everything you expect from a TellTale game is here. You have decisions which are difficult to choose between, though Life Is Strange doesn’t impose a time limit; there are moments where, like the first season of The Walking Dead, you are forced to look for things, and talking to people you don’t have to seems to matter; and then there is the quick rewind feature which truly is a blessing. Especially since so many of your decisions feel like they could change things in the long run, and either stop someone from being harassed, or hit, or maybe help in this missing person’s investigation. Making for a game which, at 2 hours and 23 minutes long, is much more longer, and I should note expansive, than what we have seen from TellTale, and really is, without question, Worth Buying.