The Average Gamer

Life is Strange Preview

Life is Strange - Max Caulfield
Following the story of a teenaged girl name Max Caulfield, Life is Strange is all about choices. Imagine you could rewind time and take back any mistakes right after you made them. Pretty handy skill to have, right? Max discovers this ability in her teenage years but still has to deal with ordinary problems like overbearing parents, drugs use and the occasional handgun. Yeah, it”s set in America.

Developers Dontnod Entertainment have taken the Memory Remix concept from Remember Me and built an entire adventure game around it. As far as I”m concerned, this is great. The Memory Remix was the most interesting thing about Remember Me”s sci-fi setting and criminally underused. Life Is Strange is very much not a sci-fi game though. The gameplay preview I was shown looked at the fractured relationship between Max and her former best friend Chloe, reunited after a five-year separation when they were twelve.

It”s reminiscent of Telltale”s The Walking Dead, in that you”ll spend a lot of time walking around the room examining each of the hand-drawn objects. The whole thing has a slightly surreal, almost-cartoonish, softly-lit art style. It”s also scored with licenced independent music, which only serves to enhance the Gone Home-like feel, though Life is Strange had been in development for months before Gone Home was released.

Oops, you knocked over a vase that was precious to Chloe because her dad gave it to her before he died. She”s pretty angry. Do you rewind time and be more careful next time? Seems like a no-brainer. Max also remembers what happened before she rewound time, which makes her pretty damn powerful. Broke the seal on an envelope and discovered surveillance footage that someone really shouldn”t have? Nope, never happened. Except it did happen to Max and will give her more options to use in the future.

Life is Strange - Chloe GunMore intriguing is when her stepfather catches the rebellious Chloe with a joint in her room. Do you step up and take the blame, preserving your friendship with Chloe and making her father hate you? Or do you tell the truth and become Chloe”s enemy, but at least her stepdad knows what”s happening in his house. You”ve only just come back into her life. You have no idea if he”s a good but stern guy looking out for best online casino his troubled stepdaughter or an abusive bully. The Square Enix representative doing the demo told us that the game is filled with short, medium and long-term consequences. Maybe saving your friendship now will cost Chloe her life later. What do you do? What have you done?

Life is Strange will be a series of episodes, released approximately six weeks apart. As well as being focused on choices, it will also comparable to Telltales” adventures in terms of length and content – a single-play through of each episode should last at least 90 minutes.

Of course, some players may prefer to rewind every action and explore all the options before making a decision – doing so will reveal more information on characters and events. You could spend 4 hours on a single episode, if you prefer. The time-shifting is limited by checkpoints, so you won”t be able to rewind for days to undo a mistake. You should be able to run concurrent savegames though, so can choose to turn Chloe in for one save and cover for her in another.

Life Is Strange - Max Chloe Stereo

From what I”ve seen, Dontnot have put some serious thought into consequences. There”s plenty to consider for every decision and with the whole story arc already mapped out, I”m looking forward to seeing how much impact your choices really have. It looks brilliant.

Life is Strange will be coming to Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

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