Tonight I finished “Life is Strange”.
Well, I have to admit I have a mention for @milanfahrnholz…
His post about this game tingled my curiosity.
I downloaded it one night I was victim of boredom.
That night would have then been a life-changing night. Not because of the game, obviously. But it is a fact my life changed while I was playing the first episode
Well, what to say? Personal life apart, I liked this game immensely. Definitely more than expected. Definitely more than how much I thought I could like a game (I’m not such a gamer, nowadays).
The game is a first-person-3D-adventure game in which the puzzles don’t have the major role.
The major role is played by THE STORY. And by emotion. You can imagine it like a “multiple choice book”, where your choices affect the outcome.
I personally think it is is so-so, visually. That’s why it is incredible how I liked it emotionally-wise.
I mean, so-so art, naive puzzles, some design flaw (see below), but… what an involvement! This game plays with your feelings, plays with your dreams… and plays even with your most buried shames.
I really suggest the game to anybody.
Technically, it is quite a simple idea. You’re a teenager, and you have the power to rewind time.
It is cool, it saves you a lot of time and energy in saving and loading if you want to explore the best paths throughout the game… you don’t like what happened? Just rewind! The new result is even worse? Just rewind again, and let the future be as it was the first time. And it is a nice way to make an adventure game a lot easier!
But the game gets more and more complicated every time you rewind, and this obviously surprises the protagonist. Less obviously, this surprises even the player, who sometimes feels lost in the many parallel timelines he created…
At a certain point, the experienced adventure gamer who classified the game as “super-easy” has to change his/her mind. The game isn’t easy. But not because of the puzzles. Forget about the puzzles. This game has puzzles, but it’s not a puzzle game… It’s difficult because it is so unbelievably improbable yet plausible…
My suspension of disbelief never worked so fine.
I think this might go in the standings of the 5 most important games of my life.
So, thanks, Milan.
Now, some spoilers.
I didn’t understand if there’s a way to save Kate. I don’t know if I want an answer, maybe I’ll replay the game. My impression is that you could, but it will be a temporary effect and she would die any way. Her death seems too much important for the plot, to me.
Same with William who, on the contrary, I saved to discover it was a dead end. Is it possible to avoid saving him and so skip a whole section of the game?
And now, what I really disliked of the game: two major designs flaws, which got me really stuck and I had to (please, forgive me) look for a walkthrough.
First, when you have to unlock Nathan’s cell phone. You have the PUK but not the pin. Once you dieal the wrong pin for three times, the cell phone doesn’t simply say “phone locked - enter PUK”. That would be normal. And that would be a no brainer. Max says “I locked the phone”, but the phone display still asks for the 4 digits of the pin. If you want to insert the PUK, you have to go out of the room and back there again.
Maybe it’s stupid, but I spent there an half an hour.
The second design flaw is even worse, because it happens during the epilogue.
We love Ron’s storytelling, and we (more or less) agree that it is important that -after a strong key puzzle- the game takes you into a cooling down mood, with some super easy puzzles which drive you to the end.
I’m referring to the nightmare sequence. That’s one of the most strong emotional moments in the game. It literally gave me the chills while I was wandering in the dorm in the dream, with the candles and the ghost of Kate.
Suddenly, the magic is over when you land in a very elementary maze: 2 or 3 walls, water all around, and Mr. Jefferson chasing you. It is diffcult! I mean, the next sequences (eg. the locker room with Warren and the junk yard with David) are definitely easier. But since the concept of the scene is the same (stealth), you know what to do, and if the nightmare scene was supposed to have a difficult step, I’d have put it there. But in the first maze I just didn’t understand what I was supposed to do.
I wandered there for half an hour in which apparently there was no exit. That really killed the final climax, for me.
But, nevertheless, awesome game. I’ll play the other
episodes games of the series.