Life is Strange is an episodic graphical point and click adventure that is played through the third person perspective. The game shares a lot of similarities with games developed by Telltale games. You play as an 18 year old girl named Maxine who has just returned to her home town to study photography. The game starts off in a classroom and everything appears to be normal, but then you discover that Maxine isn’t quite your average teenager.
!Spoilers! Shortly after you begin playing you discover the Maxine has the power to rewind time. This ability throws a unique twist to the game. For those who have played any of the games developed by Telltale Games ( The walking dead, Wolf among us etc.), you will be familiar with how this game works. You play the game through a third person camera angle. As you walk around the environment you can interact with people and objects. Human interactions often have multiple conversation choices, allowing you to choose how certain events play out by picking which response or action you want. Some of these actions have an impact on how the rest of the games play out. Which makes you put some thought into your decisions before making them. This is where the rewind time ability comes in to play. You get asked a question, the first time around you won’t know the answer, but once you hear the answer you can rewind and answer the question correctly. This is a really cool feature as often you make a decision and regret it. Now you can just rewind time to make sure everything plays out the way you want.
It’s really easy to get sidetracked from your main objective when you are wondering around. The visuals are unusual and quite artistic. The colours are warm with nice shadow and lighting effects. The school you start off in is full of life. Every corner there seems to be a person or object the catches your attention. The levels are designed well enough that you nearly always make it to your objective without trying, provided you play for long enough. It doesn’t take long for you to get completely sucked into this game. The characters and environments seem so real that you can’t help but feel like you are part of it all.
The story for the first episode is more of a foundation for the next 4 episodes. Maxine has rewound time from the future after a huge tornado hits the town. She now has 4 days to try and do something to save the people of the town. She has no idea what has happened and what she can do about it. At first she is having trouble just getting to grips with her power. As the story progresses we will likely see a more structured plan come together as Maxine learns to use her power to prevent the disaster. Along with the main objective of saving the town, you must also deal with your daily life of being an 18 year old student who isn’t particularly popular. This side of the story was quite enjoyable as you can rewind time to make sure conversations and events go perfectly. Getting bullied isn’t so bad when you can rewind time to make sure your revenge goes exactly the way you want.
The first episode was enjoyable and built up a lot for the next episode. As expected the wait for the next episode is going to be tough. It was very unexpected that another developer was able to come along with their first game and match, if not outdo the experience we get from Telltale games. If this game wasn’t in your radar then I highly suggest you at least check out the demo. Life is Strange is going to be a big hitter this year!