High school sucks every one knows this, the usual teenage angst , bullies, the ability to time travel. Ok so maybe that last part is a little odd. This is the world of Life is Strange the new episodic game from Dontnod the guys behind Remember Me.
Episode one starts off by introducing Max Caulfield who has returned home to Arcadia Bay Oregon to attend Blackwell Academy, Max is a photography student always attached to her camera and a bit of an introvert until she witnesses a classmate get shot, triggering her ability to rewind time. Now i know this set up seems like a cheesy CW show and it kinda is , but the situation of returning home and being the new kid in a new school on top of learning that you can rewind time is an interesting dynamic that leads to all kinds of possibilities to change how you do things, from getting revenge on a bully to helping other students or letting thing go and not getting involved, every decision you make will have an effect across every episode so the time travel mechanic is really cool to play around with.
I love the visuals in Life is Strange , its an artsy mix of cell shading and beautiful animation , its a great blend , even the rewind has its own art style. the one thing that I didn’t like was some of the character animations , body motions were a bit off and almost every conversation had a moment where the lip movement didn’t come close to what was being said and that was a bit of a distraction. The music is where this game really shines , the great indy and punk tracks give life to the school and you can see how music is a big part of Max’s life , the moment she puts her headphones in or turns on her stereo you get a little bit more of an in site to what makes her tick, its a very subtle way of fleshing out the characters but it works wonderfully.
Now I know this is just the first episode in the series and it shows a lot of promise , i hope that the interesting narrative continues to work in the time manipulation a bit more , this time around felt more like an hour long tutorial , the question of what would you do if you could change the past is a very interesting idea and I would love to see more of this butterfly effect working through out the rest of the series. Overall this is an interesting game and i cant wait to see how it ends.