Life is Strange

Ha, I did fool you into thinking this is another depressing post about my life. I’ve left out the “review” intentionally from the title 😛 While my life is in a way strange compared to others, I’m actually talking about the game Life is Strange. A game about a cute, somewhat shy and introverted girl Maxine Cauldfield. A senior photography student at Blackwell Academy, Arcadia Bay, Oregon…


I’ve stumbled across this game by pure chance on Steam and while I didn’t quite know what I’m going to get, I’ve decided to buy the entire season anyway. It was 19,99 € so it’s not that expensive. And I’m really glad that I have. It’s the weirdest and yet the most memorable experience in a way. Mostly because parts of her life kinda remind me of mine. That calm, dreamy mind, always being out of the spotlight, minding her own business most of the time, doing or thinking about things not many are interested in… I don’t know, could be just me imagining things, but it felt like when you meet someone who likes the same things you do and you’ve never met him or her before. You know?


Game kinda plays in a similar way as Telltale’s The Walking Dead, just without the direct QTE sequences, but with a twist of being able to reverse time in order to progress, discover new things and even change your actions. But even with this ability, you are often not really sure if your actions will lead to a desired outcome few hours into the future. So, it doesn’t feel like you’re really cheating, it actually confuses you even further when deciding what to do. And it gives you a legal (no quickload/quicksave fiddling) ability to explore different outcomes in a single play through. Which is an interesting concept.


While it plays similar to Walking Dead game, it doesn’t feel like it. Sure there aren’t any zombies, so that’s a good start, but the world is not all dark and gritty. On contrary, the game has this incredibly warm feel to it. The atmosphere is always warm, filled with pastel colors that glow in the sunlight. From artistic standpoint, it is one of the most breathtaking games I’ve seen in years and it’s really pushing Unreal Engine 3 into a whole new direction. This will be one of those games that will age well. I can feel it. It has low polygon count and low resolution textures in places, but it makes it feel even better because of it. Gives it that artistic feel and not just cold technological edge like found in lets say Crysis or latest Far Cry, where you expect nothing but insane sharp textures, millions of polygons for every detail and advanced shaders on all surfaces. Life is Strange is nothing like that…


It looks amazing doesn’t it? I just can’t stop capturing moments from it…

While the game is jaw dropping in nearly every single aspect, there are some minor issues. Some might dislike the lack of proper lip syncing. At first it is a bit distracting, but kinda becomes an integral part of the game where everyone are kinda disconnected from the reality. But like I said, it might bother some. And if I’m honest, I’d expect a bit more facial expressions in a game that places heavy emphasis on human interactions and emotions. The facial expressions often look a bit bland and don’t really give the proper feel of emotions being expressed during a difficult or heart breaking moment. Could be that Walking Dead just spoilt me a bit with its really intense and deep facial expressions, but they really wouldn’t hurt in a game like this. Would help even further connect you with emotions and experiences of the characters in the game…

And the last thing, length of the game. Steam shows it took me 4,3h for the first episode. I’ve taken my time to explore, look at things, talk with people, toke pictures of Max, reverse some scenarios several times and it feels like it went past me in no time. If I multiply that with 5 episodes, it will be somewhere around 25 hours which is not that short though.

“Among the Sleep” was also a really short game and yet it still holds a really special place in my heart. So, it’s really too soon to judge the game’s length only after experiencing its first episode. We’ll see.

But even with all that in mind, it’s an amazing experience that I highly recommend to everyone. Especially if you like adventure games where you can drift away into this alternate world and just let go to emotions.

Next episode is due for March 2015. Looking forward to it…

2 thoughts on “Life is Strange

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