Hey everyone! This week for TGON Plays, I bring you a fascinating game called “Life is Strange.” It follows an 18 year old senior in a prestigious academy, and, like Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead video game, has an episodic gameplay. I won’t lie…this seemed like one of the most uninteresting games I’ve ever experienced in my life, but when I played it, I fell in love. As some of you know, most episode-based games are published by TellTale games, however this one was produced by Square ENix, which means: No Glitches, no accidentally skipped sentences, no lag, and a smoother, wider base of controls. So let’s dive right into what made me choose this game!
Maxine “Max” Caulfield was what many called “ordinary.” Born in Arcadia Bay, Oregon, she left as a pre-teen for the city of Seattle, but, as she grew older, she found a passionate love of photography, and returned to Arcadia Bay to be taught under one of the best photographers in the world, Mark Jefferson. Life was relatively normal. But that changed when she suddenly has a vision of the bay’s lighthouse being ripped apart by a massive tornado. Cue friends theme song. “So no one told you life was gonna be this waaaay…” As she snaps back to the present, she begins speculating over what this weird dream was. In a panic, she rushes to the bathroom after class and ends up stumbling into even worse matters. Hiding in a corner, she watches as one of the richest, most popular kids in school shoots a young girl in the stomach. However, the next thing she knows, she’s back in Mark Jefferson’s class, listening to his lecture over “selfies.” Max Caulfield can control time, and she has to save that girl’s life, AND figure out what that tornado vision means. Is there a tornado coming? If so, can she convince the town that she can not only see into the future, but control time itself and get them to evacuate? And what about the girl in the bathroom? How will Max explain that she knew EXACTLY what to do in the situation?
It sounds pretty interesting right? That’s just the FIRST EPISODE, so imagine how intense the others are going to get. Unlike most episode-oriented games, you don’t just follow the set missions given to you. There are also side missions to explore, as well as various choices you can make. However, in similar fashion to the well known TellTale games, the choices you make WILL effect what happens later in the story. It can be a lot of pressure, especially if you’re like me and can barely decide what to have for breakfast without having a mental breakdown. It’s easy to connect to the characters, as well as connect to the influences around them. For me, (Though the leave it open for the player to interpret) it seems the two main characters, Max and Chloe, are in some form or way, queer. I connected to that on a personal level, and it was extremely refreshing to see two people whose sexualities weren’t the center of the game, but did eventually come into play. “Life is Strange” is available on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Linux. Be sure to check it out for yourselves! Furthermore, I have yet to find one thing I dislike about this game, and so I rate it at a solid 5 out of 5 glasses. That’s all I have this week, tune in next week for another TGON Plays! Thanks for reading!