Life is Strange - Season One
If you have the patience to overlook a few pacing issues and dodgy lip syncs, Life is Strange offers up a mature, nuanced story which centres on female friendship (and maybe romance) and the effect our actions have on others.
Dontnod Entertainment's first effort at cracking the choice-driven episodic format in a video game almost results in a near-perfect experience, which is shocking when you consider how well they've grasped the concept, created a solid structure for each episode, distributed a variety of subplots across five episodes and executed the series at the same — or even higher — level that a veteran developer like Telltale Games has done for many, many years.
Life Is Strange is an impressive mixture of great writing, great voice acting, and interactive storytelling that'll pull on your heart strings like it's going out of style.
The game doesn't quite live up to other similar games in the genre, but it's worth the time and energy to check out if you're a fan of these type of games.
By cobbling together cliches, Dontnod have somehow created an earnest supernatural teen drama with clunky-ass dialogue but a real sense of love behind it. I actually like the weird distance between the game and reality, likely also due to the writers' disconnect from their subject material. The cliches are played with such heart that I can't get mad. After hitting the episode's Magnolia-esque ending, I'm genuinely excited to see where the story goes from here.
Life Is Strange is an ambitious story that doesn't shy away from difficult and controversial topics, and it allows the player to become attached to its vibrant characters. Due to excellent voice performances, a mysterious, sleepy little town that has plenty of intrigue and secrets, the added benefit of some exploration, and the undeniably appealing rewind feature, the game has a unique and extremely absorbing feel. The characters seem real and interesting, the individual stories tend to be remembered long after experiencing them, and the continual decision-making keeps us thinking.
Life is Strange is an endearing adventure title where time folds naturally around two good friends trying to uncover a dark mystery.
Life Is Strange is an imperfect video game and the actual mechanics of playing it, including the time rewind, can become annoying of frustrating, especially when the development team tries to borrow from another genre. But the game makes it easy to create a connection with Max and to care about her choices and trials, a rare feat, and that means any fan of narrative-driven experiences should try it out to see how he deals with the feelings of the protagonist and the impact they have on Arcadia Bay.
I remember finishing the game, and for the whole week, all I could think about was how amazing this game actually was. I had been through a lull-period with gaming this year, but Life is Strange, truly re-invigorated what I love about gaming in 2015. A passionate tale, about great characters, with great gameplay. It’s seriously, a must play.
Life Is Strange is a masterpiece. One of the best story-driven games I have ever played, and one that gave me real emotions in an unprecedented fashion.