Life is Strange 4/5 (PC)
Life is Strange follows Maxine Caulfield, a 12th grade student at Blackwell Academy in the fictional town of Arcadia Bay, Oregon. Max having newly learned of her ability to reverse time must take on the responsibility of saving her town from an impending tornado, all the while traversing the many troubles of a high school loaner.
To say Max is your typical teenager, in your typical school would be an all out lie. Max is attending Blackwell Academy which is basically a school for the arts. This setting really brings out one of the more annoying things about Life is Strange, the slang. Countless times I inwardly groaned at the verbiage used to convey emotion. It was downright terrible.
Unresponsive adults were another problem I had with the story. In this day and age of school shootings, you’d think telling a principle of a potential threat would warrant some checking into, not the third degree. Most of the Adults didn’t act like real adults. Maybe the developer left this aspect out to help build the drama, but to me it was unsettling to see them act so casually about major topics.
Even with the dialogue being so bad, the sound design was really good for this game. The sound track bordered on the “Emo” side, but was still really enjoyable. The Foley and background sound effects were blended perfectly to where nothing really took me out of the experience. Even with the voice acting being as good as it was, there were a lot of times, especially in the earlier episodes, where the ADR didn’t match up with the animations. Characters faces were unresponsive to the dialogue being spoken.
The other main character animations were very fluid and responsive. Some of the supporting characters did need a little work to really liven them up. I found myself not caring for the characters in conversations, so parts of the story were lost on me. They didn’t look good so I didn’t care what they had to say. The backdrops and scenery were fantastic. It really captured an Oregon feel.
I really love when games make objects you need to interact with, stand out. It makes a play through better for these style games because searching for something breaks the trance of the story. Live is Strange did a great job with this by adding a shaded overlay over objects when you got near them.
Time reversal was one of my favorite parts to this game. So many times when paying games in this style, you make a choice and then always have the nagging question of “What if I had chose differently?”With time reversal, back tracking to your last decision was a breeze. Even with this mechanic, I see myself playing through multiple times to see where the many paths and branches can lead.
As a small side note, upon doing research to write this review I came across a bit of near information. Square Enix was the only publisher that didn’t want the main protagonist changed to a male lead. I’m glad they didn’t because this game wouldn’t work with a male at the helm.
Life is Strange may not be your typical high school student, but it does parallel close enough to real world situations that we all feel Maxine’s emotions close to heart. I recommend picking this up and giving it a play through.
Life is Strange 4 out of 5
-Terrible slang and lip-syncing