Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Life is Strange 2, and Life is Strange: True Colors are the four games in the Life is Strange series that have been released so far. Tell Me Why is the series’ cousin, while Twin Mirror is the series’ second cousin twice removed. Except for Twin Mirror, whose protracted development cycle and late shift away from the episodic formula resulted in a mangled final product, the first game is, in many ways, the worst of all.
In spite of the fact that almost everything that came after it was built on the first game’s foundation, it still receives far more press and has a greater cultural impact than the rest combined. In light of the upcoming release of the remastered edition, it’s worth considering why this is the case.
Of course, some of this is a matter of personal preference. Life is Strange isn’t universally regarded as the weakest in the series. However, there is more to it than that. Chloe Price, despite being the book’s weakest entry, still holds a special place in my heart because she’s one of the most memorable characters in the series. In 2015, when the game first came out, I was still trying to figure out my sexuality and identity, and Chloe was a big part of that. In spite of the fact that I’ve lived a different life than the protagonists of Life is Strange 2, who find themselves in a situation exacerbated by racial tensions, three years later, I still found it easier to empathize with a white girl struggling with her identity.
Life is Strange’s Max Caulfield demonstrates her abilities.
Just because white people have an outsized influence in shaping the critical conversation doesn’t mean that white queer girls are more appealing than Mexican-American kids who have to deal with the violence and hatred they have to endure just because they are Mexican-American. In comparison to its predecessor, Life is Strange 2 is a far more daring and ambitious game, as well as less problematic – a remarkable feat considering the delicate situations it has to navigate around race relations and the border wall.
When compared to that, Life is Strange manages to land with a thud, despite its relative safety. It’s because the series’ decisions have gotten more nuanced and realistic that Life is Strange: True Colors stands out as the series’ best built title to date. Everything was pushed to the limit in the first game, including a decision on whether or not to euthanize a character. Chloe, who became a quadriplegic following a car accident, begs Max to put her to sleep because she knows her medical care is causing her parents great stress and financial ruin. This is a decision that the player must make, and the worst part is that it doesn’t really matter.
In a story about a disabled character’s righteous rage or self-loathing, told sensitively and intelligently by real disabled people, a character who worries that everyone would be better off without them could be powerful and heartbreaking. This character, on the other hand, is fully functional throughout the entirety of the canon timeline. Her life in a wheelchair prompts her to conclude that death is preferable to a life spent in a wheelchair. The decision isn’t tragic, but it’s just mean.
I adore Life Is Strange. A major flaw, but I still consider it one of my all-time favorites.. Because of my own experiences as a transgender person, I can identify more with TMW than LiS2, but the first game holds the distinction of being the one that first introduced a new aesthetic to the action-RPG genre. Even though Telltale’s The Walking Dead was released first, the developers I talk to say that Life is Strange is more frequently cited as an inspiration.
Despite the fact that its two direct sequels were led by people of color and were overall better games, Life is Strange is still a great game if you don’t think too hard about the message behind certain decisions. Although it may seem odd to say so about a “woke” game, it’s a product of its time.
Life Is Strange’s Max Caulfield has been remastered. She’s sitting next to Chloe Price, who’s also in her 20s and sitting alone.
Despite video games’ rapid development in the last decade or so, only a few types of stories can be told in them. For example, a character like Promising Young Woman would be a flop in the world of video games. Life is Strange may have been the pinnacle of our medium back then, but we’ve since moved on, and there’s still a lot of moving to be done in our field. For those who haven’t noticed the flaws before, the remastered version is an excellent opportunity to do so.