A Hella Great Game : Life Is Strange


Life Is Strange's Max & Chole by Jason A. Das

There’s literally too many video games to play in the world. My backlog is extensive from Xbox 360 to PlayStation 3. Now I have PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and the collection keeps piling up. Digital sales, Humble Bundles, Steam Sales,  and Amazon Black Fridays play a big part in it, so I really shouldn’t complain. It’s just making the time to play and to soak in the experience. When you play a game you want to experience a feeling, or a story. It’s about also the right time and place to capture the moment, when everyone is talking about the game.

This was the case with Life Is Strange.

I saw my friend Rawl playing the game online; he said it was great.
Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller kept talking about Life Is Strange; he then recorded a spoilercast with the game creator. I didn’t have any interest at the time to listen to the episode. I’d save it for later. A few weeks later, PlayStation Network was having a sale on the season pass for Life Is Strange. My brother Justin decided to buy it. I knew the game was in our library with the bunch of other big titles sitting and waiting to play. Thankfully Life Is Strange is episodic, so we downloaded just episode 1 for the time being. The game was now on my radar. Now to find some time to actually play it.

A few weeks had past. I was playing mostly at the time Broforce, It was fun but I got to the point “Ok, that’s enough, what should I play next? Overwatch, let me try that.”

Connecting to PlayStation Network……………….
Connecting to Battle.net…………………
Sorry please try again later.

The frustrations of needing an online connection lead me to finally jump into Life Is Strange. It was a slow burn, but wow after episode 1, I liked where this story was going.
The next day I queued up the remaining episodes. Welcome to the world of binge gaming.

I’ve played games like this in the past that was episodic, but usually in the form of waiting between months for the next episode. Games like The Walking Dead, A Wolf Among Us, Game Of Thrones by Telltale Games were my exposure of episodic graphic adventure games. With DONTNOD’s developed game, it felt different from its setting and characters. Maybe it was because it wasn’t an established world or licensed franchise? From an atmospheric and story comparison it gave me a variety of vibes. It was at times teenage drama like Degrassi or The O.C. Later on it turned dark and dramatic like the first season of AMC’s The Killing (Who Killed Rosie Larson?), The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (The David Fincher film version), and HBO’s Six Feet Under. What tied it all together were similarities to an old Ashton Kutcher film, The Butterfly Effect. These were the vibes and nods I was getting from the game. What was also a strong point was the relationship to the characters of Maxine and Chloe. After a week of playing I finished the story. I wanted more so I went back and actually was able to get some trophies. Which lead me to getting a platinum trophy by finishing 100% of the game. I normally don’t 100% a game because they can be chore to do.

I don’t want to spoil anything about the game, but the endings are just emotional. I haven’t felt something like that since the series finale of Six Feet Under. There’s a great choice of music in the game’s soundtrack as well. I like the choice of Foals’ Spanish Sahara for the ending. After finishing the game I listened to Greg’s spoiler cast with game creator Michel Koch. It opened me up to other theories and meaning in the main story. This is what also opened me up to the community surrounding the game. When I saw the fan art being made playing homage to Life Is Strange, I wanted to make a contribution for the love I had for the game.

I hope you all get a chance to some day experience Life Is Strange. I know its hard to play everything out there especially the big budget, big hype titles vying for your time. But if you’re ever feeling a lull in your game playing, take a break and try a new experience. You don’t need to be a hardcore gamer or a casual one. Just have an open mind and you’ll experience something hella cool.