At the end of the last month, the final episode of the most significant this year’s adventure - Life Is Strange - hit the stores. Today, GameSpace is ready to tell you about our impressions. Be careful, our Life Is Strange review is based on all five episodes and may contain some spoilers.
Life Is Strange review
So, Life Is Strange continues the popular trend of episodic adventure games that look like an interactive movie and push you to make hard decisions. You’re playing a role of Max - young art academy student who loves photography and popular culture. Max is meek, gentle and not very popular. She looks like an average teen - she isn’t attentive during classes, wears hipster-style clothes, makes selfies and argues with the fellow students. Everything changes when Max finds out about her superpowers - she can rewind time. And the first rewind helps our heroine prevent a murder of her best friend - Chloe - and starts a series of strange and frightening events.
Life Is Strange review: Plot
The plot of Life Is Strange consists of various lines and genres, including science fiction and detective story, but we should emphasize that first of all it is a teen drama. If you are OK with putting yourself in an emotional and naive girl’s shoes, then this game is for you. If you don’t like this kind of problems and don’t want to think about “what if I had told something else” then please do not start this game and do not hate it after.
Life Is Strange review: Characters
From the other side, Max’s ability to get back in time is the thing that changes everything and distinguish Life Is Strange from similar games. You can always rewind and change the phrases you’ve told or the things you’ve done. You can make everything right. Or at least try. Note that the major part of your choices may influence the plot, so choose wisely.
Life Is Strange review
The second thing that makes Life Is Strange unique is an open world. The game leads us through the main story, but there’re lots of side quests, secondary heroes and funny things to do besides. As you remember, Max likes taking photos, so you can stop and take a shot of the beautiful sunset or a little bird. You can become a guardian angel for your classmate who always gets in trouble, water a plant or play guitar sitting in your room and text to the geek boy who is obviously in love with you. Life Is Strange is a bit more than just a quest, so we advise you to walkthrough it slowly to enjoy the world and not only the main storyline.
Life Is Strange review: Everything about the world
Moreover, the world around you is perfect. Arcadia Bay - a small town in which the storyline unfolds - is very quiet and peaceful place with beautiful landscapes and rich locations. It is full of various and sometimes banal things like a snack-bar where both police officers and drug dealers have their dinner, dormitory full of offensive graffiti and geek posters, typical American college and typical American cottages. Also, the game world is full of references to the music, books and movies, which are popular among teens. You may not find them all, but still they make Life Is Strange very nice. Especially, if you like geeks and hipsters.
And one more thing that is worth the separate paragraph in our Life Is Strange review is the soundtrack. Pop and alternative hits are so beautiful and fit so nice here, that you will plunge into the life of Max and will enjoy it for sure. Some of the tracks may even become your favorite ones.
Life Is Strange review: Detective
And while the open world and atmosphere of Life Is Strange is completely awesome, the main detective line is a bit plain. Well, of course, the game tries to convince us that we’re seeking for clues and make assumptions. In fact, it leads us to pieces of evidence and suspects, so your detective abilities do not matter anything. The developers will show you some wrong suspects and then will give you the right one. All you need to do is complete some puzzles and see what happens next.
Life Is Strange review: Puzzles
By the way, all puzzles in the game are rather simple. The game’s mechanic based on the time rewind is cool, and you will use it in various ways, but still - the puzzles are pretty easy. Life Is Strange is not that kind of games when you’re exploring one location for several hours and then google the hints. However, the puzzles differ from one episode to another, so do not worry, the game won’t be boring. And do not forget about the side missions - they make Life Is Strange rich and colorful. The only a bit annoying thing is the gameplay: to interact with an object, you should come close to it, click the mouse button and then move the mouse cursor to the action you want to perform. A bit strange and not user-friendly.
Life Is Strange review
Getting back to the main storyline, it is worth to mention that while Max is twisting time and is creating the alternative realities, the plot of the game becomes more and more unexpected. Almost each episode has a wow-effect, and it increases closer to the end. While the first episodes only introduce us to the Max’s powers and Arcadia Bay residents, the following ones are very dynamic. However, the final episode is a bit too involute and so less emotional. And the finale… Well, as you may already have guessed, you will have to make the last hard choice between a bad ending and… a bad ending. No happy ends for you, kids. Life is really strange.
Life Is Strange review: In conclusion
With Life Is Strange, the episodic adventures are coming to the next level, allowing us explore more and decide more. Beautiful atmosphere of this game enriched with the perfect music and colorful locations is awesome, while some gamers may not like the tricky gameplay, teen problems and average graphics. But we’re sure that no one will be able to forget this game. 9 of 10 points from GameSpace.