Life Is Strange is an episodic story based game developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Square Enix and Feral Interactive. It’s a beautiful game and was well received, available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It consists of five episodes (each with their own chapters) that complete the plot line.
During it’s release, Life is Strange received great reviews on the character development and the controversial and taboo topics involved in the storyline. It won the BAFTA games award for Best Story and rightly so, as it’s a story that is sure to knock your socks off and leave you breathless. The episodes were released periodically throughout 2015, building anticipation for the audience and players already endorsed.
The game is set in the fictional town of Arcadia Bay, Oregon and is told from a third person perspective from an eighteen year old girl, Maxine (Max) Caulfield. Max left Arcadia Bay as a kid to live in Seattle, but returned to Blackwell Academy purely for the infamous photography lecturer- Mark Jefferson.
The plot is as follows: During a photography class with her Lecturer, Mr Jefferson, Max Caulfield experiences a vision of a storm and a lighthouse which she believes to be real. In this vision, she follows a doe up to the lighthouse and watches as a Tornado nearly sweeps the entire town of Arcadia Bay away. Whilst using the bathroom to regain herself, Max witnesses something which practically destroys her, due to it involving her childhood best friend, Chloe Price. In a single motion, Max manages to rewind time to stop the event from happening which alters destiny and the course of time, which is believed to be the cause for the storm she saw in her vision.
From her ordeal with Chloe, Max and Chloe become closer and bond as best friends again. However, Max struggles with the drama at Blackwell Academy as mysterious things occur at the school and in the nearby dorms- including the rebellious threats from school mate Nathan Prescott, who seems troubled and dangerous; and the quiet and virtuous Kate Marsh suffering from school bullies. Having the power to change the course of time and be responsible for everything, Max has to make everything perfect whilst trying to link a few suspicious things together. For example, Chloe’s aggressive step dad David, who puts surveillance on everything. And the missing girl, Rachel Amber, whose posters are plastered up everywhere in Arcadia Bay. You play as Max and uncover these mysteries while discovering a few things about her yourself.
First of all, Wow. Not only is the game refreshing and different, it’s like playing a film. That is exactly what it is like. You are guiding the story a long and the decisions you make allow you to face consequences that would be the same in real life. You meet complex characters that are hard to love at first, but then so loveable you just can’t stop thinking about them. Some characters are hard to let go, no matter how hard you try.
The town itself is beautiful and the school has a twisted 90210 vibe that is just perfect for the game. The story is brilliantly crafted and focuses on subjects that need to be bought to the attention of the public, with plot twists in the right places and shocks to no end.
If there’s one thing you’re going to take away with you from this game, it’s that anything can happen.