Life is strange is a new game from Developer Dontnod, who most know from their first game Remember Me that some say bombed and others loved. Life is Strange follows a girl called Max as she returns to her hometown whose style and overall look hasn’t changed, but the people who live there have changed drastically. Not even a month into living in her hometown she gains the ability to reverse time, as if fitting in wasn’t hard enough, and so her tale begins, a Telltale if you will.
This review is for Episode four and will have spoilers for the first, second and third episodes. For a more in-depth look at the beginning story and gameplay find the first part here
Starting off from where the last episode ended we find Max in an alternate reality after she saves Chloe’s father, though this resulted in her snapping her spine and become bed/wheelchair bound. This could be a rather plain and cliché move in people’s eyes as the Chaos Theory, butterfly affect and bad things occurring from good things is slightly overplayed in the time-travel genre.
You spend a good portion of the beginning of the game in the alternate reality, but with so much changed it would make for a bit of a weird game, feeling as if you’ve just swapped to another one. After searching the house and talking with Chloe you will return to your original reality to continue your investigation into the Prescott Family and the missing girl from Blackwell academy; Rachel.
Episode 4 seems to be the longest episode so far, taking my first run about 4 hours to complete, though this could be more down to the amount of details to find in the different scenes and the puzzles you have to solve. Thankfully, or not so much for the puzzle fanatics, the answers to a lot of the questions and puzzles stay the same.
Episode 4 went for a more “point and click” genre this time, with puzzles and clues hidden all around the scenes you play in. There are parts where you will have to piece together the different clues and hints you’ve found through the different episodes, along with the ones you got in this episode, which is a nice change of pace and really makes you feel like you have been investigating the town and actually making some progress.
Throughout this episode I feel there was a bigger emphasis on conversation trees and seeing the end to your past decisions, as when you try and explain a situation or warn people in this episode they will remember how you treated them and that affects their end decision with you. The penultimate-ness of this episode is really felt when so many characters are brought together and they all reminisce about your game time.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
There seems to be a bit of a jump between this episode on the previous ones, with subtle hints and conversations beforehand becoming fully realised ideas and concepts. There was hinting that Max knew about Warren but characters come right out and say it now and even Max who was sceptical about “going-out” with him now fully says things like they were meant to be seeing each other. This could be due to the game coming to a close so they need to tie up loose ends, which is a welcome change but it was a bit too jarring to watch.
The penultimate episode of Life is Strange brings it into a much darker area, with death threats and the local wildlife literally falling out of the sky. Alternate realities, choices coming to a close and loose ends getting tied off, this is the episode that lays down the footwork for the last episode to end the series. Any grievances over the little effect of choices are washed away just like the beached whales, as characters react to how you treated them previously and scenes are vastly different depending on the routes you took. Though Chloe still likes to remind you of your actions with her over and over again, god damn it stop talking about your Gun!
Overall, Life is Strange Episode 4 gets a 4/5, bringing the whole game towards the ending scenarios the action died down quite a bit and realisations replaced the climatic parts. There was some action, but those sequences can be missed for diffused before they even blow out of proportion. The music was played excellently in the scenes it was needed and continued the overall feel of the game. The change in gameplay could put some people off, but with the expansion in conversations it evens out rather well.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.