LIFE IS STRANGE
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on November 4, 2015
I did it! I managed to play and finish every episode of Dontnod Entertainmentís epic tale: Life is Strange. Although I am very proud and had tremendous amounts of fun, I am not ashamed to admit that there were some tears involved. But again, I had a lot of fun, because itís an amazing story and a great game to play. Well, I say game, but that doesn't quite do it justice; itís actually an experience!
Life is Strange has been released in five separate episodes, over a period of ten months. In the first episode everything starts off in a classroom where Max Caulfield, the protagonist of the story, wakes up from what at first seems to be a daydream. Pretty soon though, Max discovers that she has an amazing ability; she can rewind time. This not only really changes her life, but also has a major impact on the world around her. I heard myself think: Am I really able to control time in this game? Excellent!
Max is basically a good girl and a little bit of a geek. Sheís attending a high school filled with the typical teenager stereotypes and all the drama that comes with it. One of the first people we meet is Victoria, a bitchy girl who seems to only be able to think about herself. But, just sometimes, she does seem to like Max and can even be called nice. Is this just my imagination, or is she playing some cruel teenage trick on me?
Apart from Victoria, we meet a lot of other characters during this game; a mean guy called Nathan, various other classmates, a couple of teachers Maxís best friend: Chloe. Every one of these characters can either help or thwart you on your journey. Mostly, this helping or thwarting depends of decisions you make earlier on in the game. And believe me, there are some tricky and particularly hard choices to make during the course of this game. I canít really give you an example of these choices, because if you havenít played the game yet, that would REALLY spoil your fun.
I must say, Dontnod has definitely made a great looking game. I like the environments and the way the characters are built. And although Life is Strange doesnít utilize the intricate facial capture techniques, employed by some of the bigger AAA titles out there, this is a minor detail, which pales in comparison to everything this game has to offer. I so enjoyed this game, except for the few moments when the good people at Dontnod decided to end an episode with a HUGE cliffhanger. These are the moments you realize that this game is indeed releases in episodes, and the next episode is still so very long away!
Every single one of the five episodes is absolutely awesome! In every episode, thereís some thrilling or plot-twisting event which makes this game really interesting and keeps you perched on the edge of your seat. Max and her best friend Chloe are easy to like, mainly because theyíre best friends, even if theyíre each otherís opposites. Max tends to think about the consequences of her actions, while Chloe is the brave, impulsive bad-ass punk-rock girl. And although she is bad-ass, her heartís in the right place.
Because Max is studying photography, her camera and taking photos are a big deal over the course of this game. You can use photos to go back in time and change history. And as a bit of a side mission / collectable thingy, you can try to make photos of preselected places or events. In the beginning I paid attention to this, but after a while I kind of forgot about it, because the story had me so enthralled that nothing else mattered. But still, it is a nice feature and something I will definitely try to keep up during a second play-through. Also, Iím very curious to see would have happened if I had chose differently and the influence it has on the overall story line.
So yes, I really enjoyed Life is Strange and Iím sure you will to. If you like a thrilling, plot twisting, story driven game about a group of teenagers, you should definitely try this one. And, as a bonus, if you havenít already played this game and really want to get started, youíre in luck! Because, unlike me, after finishing an episode, you wonít have to wait for the distant release of a new one. You can just crack on and discover why exactly Maxís life is strange!