During recent years we’ve seen the success of Telltale Games, especially after the first season of The Walking Dead, creating episodic adventures heavily based on decision making. I really enjoyed that game (as you can see here in the blog), but the second season was a bit a letdown. I felt like the choices weren’t relevant and the story wasn’t as good as first season (I find Lee and Clementine as main characters and their journey hard to beat).
This January Square Enix released “Life is Strange”, an episodic adventure developed by French company DontNod. Their previous title was Remember Me, a game that it’s in my “PS+ Vault” and had a mixed reception. I was intrigued about it, but I took a “wait and see” approach. First impressions about the game seemed to be really positive, but I decided to wait a bit more (a little offer past July, short before Episode 4 came out) to buy it. Thanks to this, I didn’t have to wait two months between episodes, but I missed all the conversation about choices in forum posts like this. I tried to play them on a weekly basis at most.
Before I started playing I really knew very little about the game, so everything was new for me. What I’ve found is a great adventure, with an interesting story, good and relevant choices, some nice puzzles using a very story related game mechanic (more later on this) and technically more solid than Telltale’s games (3D environments with complete camera and movement freedom, decent framerate, not big bugs). The story follows Max, a student at Blackwell Academy in Arcadia Bay (Northwest coast of United States). Everything changes after a nightmare where she sees Arcadia Bay destroyed by a tornado and the discovery (after a scene we will show later here) that something has changed after that.
This is the first part, with moments from the first three episodes. Around September, when last episode comes, I’ll upload the second part with the moments of the other two (I just finished fourth one, both touching and intense). Hope the closing of the game (or season?) is as good as all the chapters until now, really recommendable game. Obviously, big spoilers if you haven’t play it.
Episode 1 – To All of You & Revelation
I love this moment. After the nightmare, Max finishes the class and goes down the alley. Then a song starts playing (Syd Matters – “To All of You”). It’s like the everything is OK moment just before everything starts.
Episode 1 – Ending (Obstacles)
The ending of the first episode features another beautiful Syd Matters’ song (“Obstacles”). Episode, with Max and Chloe together, closes in a similar way of its opening, with Max at the lighthouse and the vision of the tornado destroying the city. After that, she reveals to Chloe what happened in the bathroom and then, the music starts playing…
Episode 2 – Kate Kate Marsch’s Fate
During Episode 2 you learn more about the harassment that Kate Marsch suffers because a video someone recorded and shared after she was dosed in a party. Depending of your choices, Kate will see you with different eyes. In my case, I think I made one thing wrong and other right. At the end, you’ll have a conversation with her in one of the hardest moments of the game. Depending of those factors, story will differ, here you can see what happened during my playthrough.
Episode 3 – Ending (Consequences)
The end part of this episode has some surprises. First, you travel in time and revive a certain critical moment of Max and, specially, Chloe’s life. I’ve edited the video a bit, cutting the part where Max tries to hide something to change the fate with a trial/error mechanic. After she succeded, story returns to current time, but with changes. Some are good, others…