It's been a while since I last did a game review. I had just finished this one before I heard the news of my job going away. Until I find a new one, I may not have the time or resources to review things like I used to. At least I have a killer game to talk about, one that deserves all the awards getting thrown at it.
In Life is Strange, you take control of Max Caulfield, a photography student at the prestigious art school of Blackwell Academy, in a small town along the Oregon coast. But things get interesting when Max saves her childhood friend by going back a few minutes in time. Since this is an adventure/choice game where the decisions you make causes a butterfly effect to the story, the idea of raising your hand to go back a brief moment in time is brilliant. Don't like the decision you made or the line of dialogue you used? You can go back and change it. This presents a whole new way of thinking about problem solving. Sure, you troubleshooted through a situation, but really, is what you ultimately decide on really the right choice?
Kinda messes with your head if you really think about it.
But then things start to happen after Max tells Chloe what she can do with time, which then gives Chloe the idea to use these powers to investigate the disappearance of her other friend Rachel, who was a former Blackwell student before Max returned to Arcadia Bay. What unfolds is an enduring story of rekindled friendship and many difficult choices, with bullies, boys, and suicidal classmates through into the mix. And did I mention the impending anomaly of warped space time that grows stronger the more Max uses her special power?
I'd be crossing into spoiler territory if I say much more, but I will say this: Life is Strange is one of those rare journeys you take where you don't know what's in front of you and the past is likely to haunt you, and its conclusion rests on, what I think, is the most difficult choice I've ever had to make in a game like this. Because you care about the characters, and this game is not afraid to kill its darlings. Max gets my "favorite original character" award for 2015.
Final verdict: 5 out of 5 Crullers
* * *
In other news, next week is the Undead Road Tour! There will be a special promotion all week long on Amazon to celebrate the release of the paperback, including a dozen tour stops and a free ebook to one of every 10 commenters on this blog all next week. Come for the party and stick around to get infected by the hordes of Vectors!
If you could rewind time for a little bit, what would you do? Ever been to Oregon? Have you ever rekindled an old friendship?
I'm David, and "I need a serious time out in the bathroom."