GAME REVIEWS
LIFE IS STRANGE 
Life is strange

Review, spoiler, and analysis of reactions:

I am a gamer, I play lots of different genre, though lately I mostly focus on Blizzard games.

I picked this up for three reasons, a friend had played it, got good reviews, and they offered chapter one for free.

I am a disabled veteran so I am trying to pick out which emotions have a trigger, which are based on how I feel at the moment, it is not always easy to separate the two. For example this morning I am in pain, angry, slightly despondent, and a bit mentally drained. In part from finishing this game late last night. So let me start with what I know. Some games can get you anxious, sometimes they can get you annoyed or angry for Brief periods of time, I don't think I have been this affected by a Movie, or a book, let alone a Video game in a loooong time. This game PROVES that you can use video games to tell stories EVERY bit as effectively as any book or movie, period.

Life is Strange is a story based game, it does not have a lot of action, it's not face paced, and does not require a lot of manual dexterity to play. It took me 12 hours to complete, though I rushed chapter 5, which I will get into later. I compare my Steam purchases to movie prices. It cost me about 20$ for all 5 episodes via the bundle. Great price for for the content!

Towards the start of the story you get the power to rewind time to mitigate choices to some extent. This is a choice based game. What you do at one point can and probably will affect the game later. There is A LOT of dialog and character development. You get attached to some of the characters. The game is far better at getting you attached to some, rather than disliking others. Though it did illicit concern I never felt the threat that some might from one of the main bad guys. Moving on, they had great attention to detail, the setting drew you in. It is so well done that you Identify with the characters no mater what sex, creed, persuasion to an extent if you were raised in a western culture. I would say most middle class will identify with at least some of the issues that are addressed in this game. PTSD, Assault, suicide, loss, hopelessness, depression, it also has some hope that pulls you along thinking that YOU can affect change. Here is the key point, you are so attached and drawn in that it is YOU making the moral decisions and dealing with the outcomes. YOU feel the weight and responsibility of those actions.

I do not want to use any spoilers because I feel this game is worth the time and money to play. That being said there was a point about mid way though that something happened that got so under my skin, that I couldn't change, that left me a bit hollow. Did I mention that I spent two decades protecting people? Not helping some of these people affected its own guilt. Sometimes I got i'm moral discussions with myself about if it was supposed to happen should I change it. At what point do you draw the line to help someone. This thought process will repeat and becomes perhaps THE main moral dilemma at the end.

Acts 1 though most of 4 absolutely brilliant. End of Act 4 and Act 5 was a solid B for me, The game as a whole is overwhelmingly a A+ in my book. I think for me why the end of Act 4 though end of Act 5 was a B/B+ is it made me rush thought it and miss some stuff and get frustrated all because of one thing. The conversations and the feel took too long. Let me be very specific as to why this is a factor. There were situation that had a certain amount of Gravitas that should also have had a certain amount of urgency that I thought the timing lacked by a few seconds. I started to get really angry waiting for SLOW dialog to finish so that I could affect some change. That being said I am former military and my mind in emergencies kicks into high gear. So I already mentioned it drew me in, so here I am concerned about someone or something, my mind is telling me that this is dangerous or important, and the feel and dialog does not affect this. For others it would be a bit like watching the horror movie where the person is about to get killed and you know its coming, your trying to get them to realize its coming to no avail. But it in this game this is a issue, you have got rid of a certain amount of disbelief and your connected a certain amount to the characters, so that feeling of common lets go, let me do something is Freaking frustrating. I think I actually yelled at the computer a few times in Act 5. So if anyone from there actually ever reads this, the tone of her voice, the cadence of what she was reading, and how long before you could do something was OFF, at least a few seconds to convey Urgency correctly. I am purposefully being a bit picky here, because it was such a brilliant game.

The ending, I have only seen one side of the ending and currently cant bring myself to go though the another. I probably should do it while its fresh. But I am literally a bit wary of how it may affect me for a bit, and I have family stuff tomorrow. I already am a bit estranged, angry and depressed so will have to pass for now.

One last note, I do not want this to stop people from playing BUT again this is so well done that it can affect you. If you are a loner, someone that's gone through any kind of trauma, have PTSD, or any of a multitude of issues keep in mind you may not come though the other side of the rabbit hole untouched.

AFTERMATH: SPOILER
I Saved her the first time, and let Arcadia Bay burn, maybe I was and am tired of saving people, maybe I didn't want the loss, maybe it was the pang of love, and that I hoped something still would change. What ever the reason, today I went back and chose to Sacrifice Chloe, I went back to capture the mood to the point of the dinner, this was enough to suspend disbelief for a bit. Poignant and touching, it still goIt opens with a tornado – a giant tornado. The kind of tornado that would utterly decimate the tiny town it’s bearing down on.

Then you wake up.

You are Max Caulfield, a talented yet self-doubting senior enrolled on scholarship at a prestigious art school located along the Pacific Northwest coast. Bullies pick on you. Teachers inspire you. Melancholic guitar riffs and vocals dominate the background as you explore a melodramatic take on high school. Though it might first seem like a venture through a true-to-life senior year experience, all that is thrown out the window when a girl is shot in the school bathroom and you get time rewind powers from a blue butterfly.

Gameplay is very much a life simulator where you explore your surroundings by clicking on the available options, play through a few minigames and ultimately make major choices that affect the outcome of the plot. Movement is alright but sometimes clunky while the puzzles are clever. Dialogue is mostly well written, and the voice actors do a fantastic job bringing life to even the most mundane of NPCs.

As for the meat of the game – the experience – it soars in some aspects and falls flat in others. When it comes to human interactions, the dialogue feels very real. Little moments, like watering a plant or chatting with kids around school truly shine, but the two major plot points are altogether lacking.

The first, occurring at the end of act four, is a great reveal – perfectly executed and well played. However, for the remainder of the game, there’s a bad taste in the mouth due to a disconnect between the actions and the dialogue. It’s almost as if the script was written for one thing but then that thing was changed and no one went back to the script to make sure the words matched the deeds.

The second, occurring at the very end, wasn’t bad so much as spoiled. The writers didn’t seem to trust the player to pick up on the reasons as to why the options you’re presented with are presented in the first place. Instead, we get an extended monologue explaining everything, completely destroying any of that incredible nuance the writers showed themselves to have countless times over before this moment.

Beyond these few hiccups, this game really was developed with heart. It has brilliant moments that beautifully encapsulate the human experience, and that’s where it really shines. Not with the big events or mysteries but with the simple things like sharing a stroll along the beach at sunset or learning to accept death.t to me. Though I still want to see SuperMax and Chloe ride off into the sunset in that broken down truck, I will have to settle for a very touching piece of storytelling.

Kudos to the team for giving us a Life is Strange ending after all.



THE FOLLOWING REVIEW WAS DONE THANKS TO
DrmDestryr
WHO CAN BE FOUND ON TWITCH AT

https://www.twitch.tv/drmdestryr/videos/all
It opens with a tornado – a giant tornado. The kind of tornado that would utterly decimate the tiny town it’s bearing down on.

Then you wake up.

You are Max Caulfield, a talented yet self-doubting senior enrolled on scholarship at a prestigious art school located along the Pacific Northwest coast. Bullies pick on you. Teachers inspire you. Melancholic guitar riffs and vocals dominate the background as you explore a melodramatic take on high school. Though it might first seem like a venture through a true-to-life senior year experience, all that is thrown out the window when a girl is shot in the school bathroom and you get time rewind powers from a blue butterfly.

Gameplay is very much a life simulator where you explore your surroundings by clicking on the available options, play through a few minigames and ultimately make major choices that affect the outcome of the plot. Movement is alright but sometimes clunky while the puzzles are clever. Dialogue is mostly well written, and the voice actors do a fantastic job bringing life to even the most mundane of NPCs.

As for the meat of the game – the experience – it soars in some aspects and falls flat in others. When it comes to human interactions, the dialogue feels very real. Little moments, like watering a plant or chatting with kids around school truly shine, but the two major plot points are altogether lacking.

The first, occurring at the end of act four, is a great reveal – perfectly executed and well played. However, for the remainder of the game, there’s a bad taste in the mouth due to a disconnect between the actions and the dialogue. It’s almost as if the script was written for one thing but then that thing was changed and no one went back to the script to make sure the words matched the deeds.

The second, occurring at the very end, wasn’t bad so much as spoiled. The writers didn’t seem to trust the player to pick up on the reasons as to why the options you’re presented with are presented in the first place. Instead, we get an extended monologue explaining everything, completely destroying any of that incredible nuance the writers showed themselves to have countless times over before this moment.

Beyond these few hiccups, this game really was developed with heart. It has brilliant moments that beautifully encapsulate the human experience, and that’s where it really shines. Not with the big events or mysteries but with the simple things like sharing a stroll along the beach at sunset or learning to accept death.It opens with a tornado – a giant tornado. The kind of tornado that would utterly decimate the tiny town it’s bearing down on.

Then you wake up.