Life is Strange was one of those games that wasn’t on my radar at all until I heard someone talk about it. It’s a game about high school girls growing up and the relationship around them. Doesn’t sound like a game that would attract a 30 year old dude to play right? Except your character can control time.
I played the Walking Dead (Season one) and some of the decisions in that game was just impossible to make. I loved that gameplay, it’s a good break from the action based gameplay I’m used to. So the part that intrigued me the most with Life is Strange was the time travel aspect mixed with decision making. How can your decisions feel like they have any weight in the story if you can just rewind and do it differently? To me that’s a valid concern, why would I invest time in playing a game if my decisions ultimately doesn’t matter? But I was surprised to learn that it works. The game uses the butterfly ripple effect to add weight to your choices. What you do, or didn’t do yesterday, will affect the future of not just yourself, but also others around you. The immediate effect wasn’t that obvious and in the first chapter I didn’t notice. The story was like a reality TV show which was what hooked me, oddly. But later on, you will get to the point where you will either regret or be glad you made the choices you did. From there, you know just how important your choices are. It’s great in that the game changes the pace through making your immediate choices more important to long term choices. It’s great because I didn’t experience any repetitive feelings in my play through. Yes, there were parts that were slow but they didn’t impact my overall experience much.
The ending was such a great payoff. I liked the ending of my first choice (there are two and either is difficult to make). It was very emotional and I felt saddened by my decision but it was the call that I made. Afterwards, I replayed the last chapter to see the other ending. It was good, but I definitely prefer my first choice. It seemed that the developers spend longer on my first choice as that ending was longer. The title ‘Life is Strange’ is very fitting. No matter how hard we try or how much we learn, we can’t control every aspect of our lives. We often look back and think maybe I would’ve done that a little differently. Life is Strange offers us an experience of time powers and how we would use that to affect the future. Isn’t it strange that even with more power in our hands life will always be… life. Not everything will be within our control and sometimes we have to accept that and make the best of our situation. Awesome game, definitely one for people who like story over gameplay.
I liked this game and hope more developers and publishers are willing to take more risks investing their time on original gaming ideas.