Life Is Strange - First Reaction
Life Is Strange is a video game by Square Enix in which players are able to reverse time whilst retaining the memories of the main character, Max. She's just returned to her hometown after many years in a different state but finds herself haunted by dreams of the town's destruction and multiple threats to the lives of her friends. I won't give away any more than that because it's most fun to discover the truth for yourself!
My first impression of the game was pretty mixed. I instantly bonded with the atmospheric and unobtrusive background music but felt uncertain about the graphics. To begin with, the visuals seemed a bit jagged and rough, especially considering the beauty of Square Enix's more recent games like FF13. However, given time, it's easier to appreciate the brushstroke style which gives the game a very individual and charming feel.
As for the gameplay itself, the controls are fairly intuitive and are explained at a pace that won't overwhelm you. What will tax your brain is trying to decide how to act in each situation. Life Is Strange constantly presents choices which will affect future events. The difficulty comes from trying to imagine what the consequences of any action will be. Max's time reversal has limits so it's important to choose wisely!
You're thrown into the story somewhat abruptly and are given the reins straight away. What draws you in is the depth of each and every character. Every one feels like their own genuine person, making the game all the more enjoyable and real. In turn, the story is paced well and the addition of a diary feature allows you to read as much of each back-story as you wish. The game handles several mysteries concurrently without detracting from the significance of any one. It's worth pointing out that, being in the mystery genre as it is, Life Is Strange features some rather dark topics like abuse and murder, so I wouldn't recommend it to younger players.
So far, my sister and I have been greatly enjoying Life Is Strange and look forward to completing the game. The artwork, choice-driven story and flawless soundtrack certainly justify the many positive responses it's received. The game is currently available from many different stores for PS4, XBOX ONE and PC, with specific details found here: http://www.lifeisstrange.com/index.php . It's split into five episodes which can be bought separately, so you can try the first one for a lower price before committing to the whole game, if you prefer.
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