Friday, 3 July 2015

Life is Strange Review (Written + Video)

Rewind: Life is Strange ep 1-3

It's a little funny the series is called Rewind and the community choice for this month ends up being Life is Strange. This is a game where, like a Telltale game, choices matter. Don't Nod even do a better job of it than the episodic giants at times.

The game follows Max (Maxine) a young photogrpahy student who left her home town of Arcadia Bay to learn in the big city. She returns after her favourite teacher goes to teach back at her old home. This is where it gets interesting, after an altercation in the girls bathrooms, she discovers she can reverse time, meaning you can change your mind and replay conversations based on what you've learned about someone, either to go for that collectible or to progress in the story quicker.

Episode one in itself is rather slow going, that's fine though as the story is only just starting. Some actions however have permenent conotations for the game and can often end up changing peoples opinions about you as you go along your journey. This can sometimes have such a negative effect that the game takes more interesting twists.

There is a few puzzles inside the mechanics too, in episode one, you have to get Victoria to move out of the way. There is only one way to solve the puzzle, so you have to keep rewinding tome and see how things chain together. This is different from other episodic games and gives it an original concept.

This epsisode can also only end one way as to develop the story and give you a better understanding of Max. It also contains collectibles in the form of optional photos, in which you sometimes just have to explore, talk to people to win them over or interact with different world onjects to unlock them.

Max's second adventure is all about relationships and how to do with multiple people. The outcast (and old best friend) and the bullied pupil are in direct contrast to each other. You can either try and help both or focus on one person, this contrast leads up to a fantasic finale, which I'll let you discover on your own and can have two seperate endings. So, think on how you approach different situations. Episode two is a little darker in tone and often leads you down paths that you'd not normally take in games in general.

Episode three will test you, with a puzzle that could drive you insane the first few attempts you have at it and a richer storyline than its predecessors it is by far the best of the three.

It centres more closely on the relationship between Chloe (the best friend) and her "Stepdouche" David. Not only that we get to see her family in such great detail, we almost sympathise with both her mum and her at the same time. The tragedy that left Chloe the way she is is explored in a more indepth detail too.

We also gain a new power. We can delve into the past via photographs. I won't spoil how we discover this or what memory it is, but it leads in to a life changing mistake that leaves you absolutely speechless. The collectibles are slightly more challenging and go over two chapters a couple of times to complete them. But that's okay too because Don't Nod are evolving the game to include something for everyone.

Keep an eye on how you react again, there are a few irreversible decisions which may haunt you in episode four. This is another great feature that we first saw at the end of episode two, it is used well in episode three but not overused as to take away from the fun of the previous two episodes.

Don't get me wrong, there are a few improvements that can be made, but Don't Nod are doing brilliantly at introducing something new every episode.

Overal 8/10
Gameplay 8/0
Sound 7/10
Replayability 9/10


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