Im not one for being totally current and with it, so today I finally got around to playing “Life is Strange” a game I’ve been meaning to play since 2015.
Absolutely wonderful, i really loved everything about it, with some caveats that I’ll mention first, so I can get on with the gushing praise.
Firstly, the subject matter is not totally my cup of tea, you play a teenage girl hipster, with a emo friend, and the language therefore is excruciating, so full of one liners and “cool” expressions, that its extremely obvious that the scriptwriters, not only have never been anywhere near these type of kids, but actually have “made up stuff” that they think kids might say. like the Blue haired emo keeps saying “hella” as in “thats a hella cool thing…” or ” I got a hella fucking headache”… I know its supposed to be “hell of a” but is hella even a thing? Maybe Im the old one? There lots of this.. and it grates.
But the pretty ordinary story of bullying and teenage depression/suicide, drugs in a poor, run down nowhere town, is quite convincing, and the one single weird “game play thing” being that the protagonist “Max” can rewind time, which helps in most of the puzzle section. This works well and is actually extremely cool in one or two cases.
Graphically it’s just gorgeous, not super realistic characters, but the lighting and colour and depth of field is fantastic, and very filmic.
And thats the whole point of Life is Strange, its a REAL, PROPER and very successful interactive story. We just make choices for the characters, there almost no “computer game” physics, you get to choose where to walk about in a few places, but on the whole it’s about branching storylines and a story that can vary quite considerably. At the end of episode 2 a girl throws herself of the roof of the school and I failed to save her. I replayed this section to see if I could, and I could, which was nice. The protagonists ability to “turn back time” help in situations where you accidentally shoot your friend while playing with a gun, but big story line changes are mostly about your decisions.
The end of each episode gives you a run down of the decisions you made with percentage “score”. On the whole basing a good score on “being a good person” ethically.
the music i lovely, not my cup of tea again (me being electronic noise repetitive beats and maybe mumbled effected vocals) with very American Hipster coffee bar indie rock, but it works, and the extended ambient cutscenes force you to sit back and listen and watch.
Its not a very hands on, button masher of a game, so might be deemed boring to the… well… to the target group. But maybe the target groups isn’t really the “cool kids” depicted in the game but us parents of the same, re remember the retro clothes of the “alternative 80’s” we were there when grunge popped up from Seattle and are “with it” enough to know that smoking dope and blue hair isn’t the end of the world for our kids, but are concerned enough to engage in the issues that our kids have to face, like internet bullying, spiking of drinks, putting embarrassing videos on YouTube, and uncertain futures and incomes. etc