Chris’s Top 10 Videogames of 2015: #5
Life is Strange
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Publisher: Square Enix
PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
It would be a crime to say too much about Life is Strange so I will keep things brief. You play Max Caulfield who is a high school student struggling to find her identity, confidence and self esteem in a world of jocks, bullies and super rich egomaniacs. During a seemingly normal day at school you discover that you have the ability to rewind time and change the course of history. A chance encounter with your childhood best friend sends Max down a dangerous road where every decision can change the outcome of the future.
Along with the fantastic story, voice acting and atmosphere in the game, the makers have really captured what it is like to be a confused teenager. You deal with the day to day pressures of fitting in which is incorporated into an intelligent, thoughtful and often moving story. Although some of the characters appear to be one dimensional they are brought to life through multilayered and well written dialogue and not everything is always as it seems.
The game plays out very much in the style of the Telltale games such as The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, where every decision you make can have a different outcome in how people see you and how it affects the people around you. As with Until Dawn, the butterfly effect is very much a part of the game and you are made aware of potentially life changing decisions. These decisions are not easy and I often found myself rewinding time and even then questioning whether I’d made the right choice.
The game is clever enough to reference movies and TV such as Donnie Darko, The Dead Zone, Back to the Future and even Quantum Leap, seemingly in an attempt to prevent critics saying the story has been ripped off from other sources.
The graphics aren’t anything particularly special but the game does have its own distinctive style, whilst the musical choices throughout are superb and really capture the tone and atmosphere.
Life is Strange is without doubt one of the best graphic adventures I have ever played! The writing, characters, story and voice acting are some of the best I’ve experienced. I felt a real attachment to the characters in the game and will remember them for a long time to come.
Review by Chris (co-host of 60 Minutes With and The Same Coin)