Life is Strange is an episodic game that allows players to choose between different options, similar to the titles made by Telltale Games. It is produced by Square Enix with creators DontNod Entertainment. Sorry to start with the third installment, but keep your eyes peeled for a review of the first and second episodes as well!
First off, SPOILER ALERT. This is a choice based game, so if you have yet to play and are not wanting any of your goodies spoiled, do not continue reading.
Episode 3 begins with the similar face we know, quickly showing you some of the consequences of previous episode choices. Things that are simple remind you of the choices you’ve made, even as simply as your plant, if you have watered and kept it alive, over watered it and killed it, or lost it in a previous episode for not watering it. Small things like this remind us the impact we make as we begin our adventure again!
The large scale choices in this episode seem significantly smaller than in the previous two episodes, but the care that you have for characters and how you react with them drives you to chose things you may have thought about otherwise. I know that there were some choices that I made during my story that would have been very different had I chosen something else earlier in the game. I can see similarities in peoples choices in the “results” shown after beating an episode, but one thing that makes me feel uncomfortable with some of my choices is the almost even splits between some players decisions. Could I have had some different outcome? Was my choice the one I really wanted to make?
The episode begins with some stealthiness, snooping around the Blackwell campus, trying to find more information with Chloe about everything that has been happening. After a quick dip in the pool, and some evasive action from the security, you wind up again at Chloe’s house, where you break into her step-dads laptop to, once again, find more clues. This allows you to spark some serious heat against him and his wife, but the choice is yours whether or not you do. After this, you head back to the diner to speak with Frank, the drug-dealing weirdo who lives in an RV. Finding a horrible discovery about Rachel Amber, the missing girl, Chloe enters a rage about everyone betraying her in her life, and simply drops you off at Blackwell, unwilling to talk to you, or anyone, it seems.
At this point, it really starts to throw you for a twist. You stare at a picture given to you from Chloe’s mother from when you two were young, just before her father was killed in a terrible car accident. All of a sudden, the picture shudders, and you hear voices. You begin a small sequence of trying to “focus” on the sounds. Once completed, you travel far back in time, father than ever before. You are now in your 13 year old body, at the time just before her father was killed. Now is the time to make some decisions. I feel compelled to at least leave the last part of the ending unspoiled, so if you want to find out, go play this game!
The gameplay held true to the previous two episodes. There seemed to be some sort of offset with the audio and the mouth movements the entire time, which was bothersome, but nothing too big. Movement and control were well balanced, especially during the hiding scene in at the pool, where the camera would go into more dramatic angling. The story was driven forward, continuing the epic quest to find out what is happening in this strange, small town, but is thrown for one of the biggest twists I have ever encountered in a decision based game. The anticipation is killing me for the next episode, and I do not want to wait! I recommend this game to anyone who loves a good story, one driven by choice and consequence for action. You’ll enjoy and be awed by the beauty and style that Life is Strange has to offer.
9.2/10 for blowing my mind, but with minor bugs in the audio/graphic movements.