Life Is Strange
Game review on PlayStation 4
Callum Corcut / Thu 26th Nov 2015
286 views / 14 bites
Despite being an adolescent adventure set in the golden age of key teenage vocabulary such as "hella" and "cray", this point-and-click journey steers well clear of groan inducing clich?s typical of the young adult genre.
Instead developer Dontnod Entertainment provide players with an immersive story driven experience that exceeds in grasping your interest and never letting go.
This game follows the journey of Max Caulfield, an intelligent yet terribly introverted photography student who has returned to her home town in order to attend the prestigious Blackwell Academy. Oh yes, and she can also rewind time.
The story revolves around the relationship between Max and her estranged childhood friend Chloe Price. Together these two wonderfully complex characters must reignite their friendship and delve into a much deeper, darker truth that is lurking beneath the surface of the quiet town Arcadia bay.
Dontnod tug at the heartstrings of its players by approaching delicate subjects such as depression, suicide and assault with an impressive amount of maturity. It is a remarkable emotional roller coaster that encapsulates how modern storytelling can be done.
Time travel is the fundamental gameplay mechanic that allows players to essentially rewind time in order to make different choices or to solve certain puzzles. It is a cool gimmick that adds hours of replay value.
This interesting feature allows the player to have fun in conversations and play out a few scenarios before deciding which one to go with. This also makes every choice carry more weight as the game blatantly questions whether it is the right thing to do or not during key moments in the story.
This feature is supported by free mobility throughout most environments as well as a dialogue wheel similar to Dragon Age and Mass Effect. The ability to walk through different areas and simply listen to Max comment on certain people or items deliver a level of finesse that shows that this really is a living breathing world.
One of the main problems with this title is its lip-syncing. Watching the protagonist flap her lips wildly is quite noticeable at first but in extended play you'll come to see it's not that big of an issue.
The art style itself is quite charming and generally up to the same standard as other point-and-click titles such as those done by Telltale Games.
The cast of Life Is Strange predominantly provide memorable performances that deliver the perfect amount of realism in certain cinematic moments. The most noteworthy performance is by Ashley Burch who has subsequently received a Golden Joystick award for her portrayal of Chloe Price.
The rest of the cast are commendable besides some of the silly teenage lingo that they often have to relay. Its bearable for the most part but "are you cereal?" is seriously eye rolling.
The game also includes a number of underground indie songs that fit perfectly with the flow and mood of Max's personality.
VERDICT Overall Life is Strange manages to tell a compelling story that is supported by three dimensional characters (Even the big stupid jocks aren't really big stupid jocks) and a captivating game mechanic that never wears out its fun. If you are interested in seeing how far a game can emotionally test you then Life is Strange is for you.
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