A Strange Review


Joaquin Holcomb, Writer

On January 30, 2015, the first episode of Life is Strange was released. And with the game’s 7th anniversary coming up I thought I’d write a review about it. Did I mention it’s one of my favorite games of all time? Also, minor spoiler warning for the first episode.

The game has a thunderous start with our protagonist, Max Caufield, waking up in a raging storm. She seeks shelter at the top of a hill next to a lighthouse and sees a huge tornado big enough to wipe out her entire town, Arcadia Bay. She wakes up from this nightmare near the end of her photography class. Once the class ends, she goes to the bathroom where she is joined by Nathan Prescott. Obviously freaked out max hides and we finally meet Chloe Price, Max’s childhood best friend, as she walks in soon after Nathan. Chloe and Nathan start to argue, and it escalates until Nathan pulls out a gun and shoots Chloe. Max comes out of hiding and holds out her hand. Strangely She’s back in her photography class minutes before Chloe is shot. Realizing this Max knows she can save Chloe and hurry’s back to the bathroom. This time before Chole is shot Max pulls the fire alarm and saves Chloe’s life. Max then leaves the school and meets up with her nerdy guy friend Warren, and they are soon greeted by an angry Nathan and Warren gets the crap beaten out of him while Max Runs off with Chloe in her truck. They go back to Chloes house, where Max meets Chloe’s “charming” stepdad, and they leave to go hang out by the lighthouse. While they’re there Max has another storm vision and finds out that the huge tornado will hit at the end of the week. Chloe wakes her up as it starts to snow and that is only the start of their adventure together.

There’s a lot about this game that’s good and one of those things is its plot. The Problem that the main characters are trying to solve and while it does kinda forget the big tornado by the end of episode three it does a good job of making you want to come back and play to see what happens to the characters.

Another thing that the game does well is the art style. While the lighting effects or the character animations aren’t anything to run home about, the art style of the game is beautiful. The entire game is like one giant animated oil painting, making the game a literal work of art. And it wasn’t easy for the developers to implement that into the game either, it took them years to get it right and it paid off as the style really makes the game stand out from any other.

The game might have a great art style and plot, but where the game really shines is the characters and how well they mesh together. The most prominent being Max and Chloe, you can really feel like these two were childhood friends. The way they interact with each other and their dialogue together really makes you feel and care about these characters relationship with each other. Even the side characters interaction with Max are interesting and makes you want more from that side character. Characters from Max, to Kate, to Warren, down to the most insignificant character like Alyssa. You get invested in each and every one of these characters and by the end you’re just wanting more of this beautiful world with these wonderful characters.

The last things to talk about is the gameplay mechanics and the dialogue. While the game isn’t anything special when it comes to gameplay seeing as how you can only walk around the environment and interact with certain things. The game does do something very interesting and unique. It allows the player to rewind time, but only at minor events, bigger events you aren’t able to rewind. It’s a very interesting mechanic because it allows you to hear every bit of dialogue with a character while in other games dialogue would be cut off if you said the wrong thing. It adds a refreshing new layer to the game and really helps it stand out. My only gripe with the game is that at times the voice acting can be so so at best, and sometimes there are cuts in the dialogue where you can clearly tell that the editors stitched two recordings together and it can be really jarring at times and really break your emersion in the game.

Despite my gripes I still love this game. The characters, the atmosphere, the plot, the voice acting, the unique and interesting time control mechanic, it’s a breath of fresh air. This is one of my favorite games of all time and I highly recommend anyone play this if you’re looking for something to play. I think people who don’t like video games will enjoy this. So what are you waiting for, go play it!