|Life is Strange|
|Platform(s)||PS3, PS4, XBox One, XBox 360, PC/Steam, Mac/App Store/Steam|
|Release date(s)||Episode 1: 30 Jan, 2015|
Episode 2: 24 Mar, 2015
Episode 3: 19 May, 2015
Episode 4: 28 Jul, 2015
Episode 5: 20 Oct, 2015
Drama, High School, Adventure, Supernatural, Coming-Of-Age
Life Is Strange is a five-part episodic graphic action drama adventure game that sets out to revolutionise story-based choice and consequence games. It was developed by DONTNOD Entertainment and published by Square Enix. The developers describe the game as a nostalgic coming-of-age story that combines the present with the past, creating key moments for each episode. Episode 1, "Chrysalis", was released on January 29, 2015. The final episode, "Polarized", was released on October 20, 2015. The PEGI age rating is 16.
The game's protagonist is Maxine Caulfield, better known as Max, a shy 18-year-old photography senior who discovers she can rewind time to change the course of events. Back in her hometown Arcadia Bay, a picturesque seaside town in Oregon, Max is reunited with her old friend, Chloe Price, and they start to uncover the truth behind fellow student Rachel Amber's mysterious disappearance, and soon they find themselves exposed to the darker side of Arcadia Bay.
Max gets disturbing premonitions of the future, and must take on the responsibility to prevent a devasting destiny for her town. As she struggles to understand the implications of her power, she must quickly learn which consequences her interfering in time and space holds.
The characters have to deal with everyday life issues created by their own families and school mates, and as you can expect in a typical public high school environment, there is a lot of high school drama, and sometimes teens make bad decisions. Players will be given the opportunity to make choices while playing Max, and each choice will have consequences in gameplay. Her ability to 'rewind time' will impact the game's narrative. There are multiple endings depending on the choices the player makes for Max. The game has a licensed indie soundtrack and hand-painted visuals.
- Life is Strange is an interactive episodic, modern adventure game with a twist.
- Player choice and consequence play a key role and your actions will determine how the story unfolds around you.
- The rewind feature allows you to go back in time by a few moments at any point: solve puzzles, change reactions, or simply experience new choices.
- Discover how it is to return to a world that lies 5 years behind you, and rekindle with your childhood friend.
- Explore the picturesque seaside town Arcadia Bay and the stories behind its people as you investigate the mysterious disappearance of Rachel Amber.
- Discover the world of art and photography at the prestigious Blackwell Academy.
- True to the lives of most modern teenagers, you get insights into Max's cellphone and her diary, which records your exploration in Arcadia Bay and reveals extra snippets of Max's inner thoughts depending on your choices.
- Distinct soundtrack, with modern indie-folk influences.
- Striking art style, with hand-drawn textures to give it a highly unique look.
Episode 1: Chrysalis
On October 7th, Max finds out she can rewind time when she uses it to save her old friend Chloe from being shot by Nathan Prescott. They later reunite and Max senses that a storm is coming after getting premonitions.
Episode 2: Out Of Time
On October 8th, Max tries to find out more about her ability to rewind time, and finds out the reason for Kate's sudden change in mood and behavior. Chloe tests out Max's rewind power intensively and Max starts to discover the limits on her ability. Max will eventually discover the ability to stop time itself to save her friend Kate from a suicide attempt.
Episode 3: Chaos Theory
On October 8th, Max and Chloe’s investigation into Rachel Amber’s disappearance lead them to break into Blackwell Academy after dark, searching for answers. It’s here and in the following day, they discover that Rachel kept many secrets and was not the person Chloe thought she knew. Max meanwhile discovers she has another power that brings with it some devastating consequences.
Episode 4: Dark Room
In an alternate timeline created by Max's actions to save Chloe's father, William, Max learns the consequences of her abilities and changes things back to the way they were. In the original timeline, Max and Chloe work together to piece evidence that Nathan Prescott drugged Kate and is going to strike again at the Vortex Club Party. They discover the Dark Room and Rachel Amber's whereabouts, and get outmaneuvered by the real culprit.
Episode 5: Polarized
Trapped in the Dark Room, Max must escape and rewind to save Chloe from the gunshot by Mr. Jefferson. Finding out Nathan was killed, Max eventually finds a way to reunite with Chloe. Max is confronted with the devasting consequences of her actions over the week and her biggest fears, and in the end, is left with two choices: Sacrificing Chloe, saving Arcadia Bay and her friends, but Chloe ends up dead; or sacrificing Arcadia Bay, presumably killing all her friends, but leaving Chloe alive. The two leave the town's ruins in Chloe's truck shortly after the town's destruction.
|OS: Windows Vista||OS: Windows 7|
|Processor: Dual Core 2.0GHz or equivalent||Processor: Dual Core 3.0GHz or equivalent|
|Memory: 2 GB RAM||Memory: 2 GB RAM|
|Graphics: ATI or NVidia card w/ 512 MB RAM (not recommended for Intel HD Graphics cards)||Graphics: ATI or NVidia card w/ 1024 MB RAM (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 or ATI HD 4890)|
|DirectX: Version 9.0||DirectX: Version 9.0|
|Hard Drive: 3 GB available space||Hard Drive: 3 GB available space|
During its release, Life Is Strange received generally favourable reviews commending the character development, rewind game mechanic and use of taboo subjects. Reviewers disliked the slang, lack of lip-syncing and tonal inconsistencies. It had sold one million digital copies by the end of July 2015.
- It is rated as "overwhelmingly positive" (with 96% of over 27,000 user reviews positive) on Steam. On Metacritic it currently has a Metascore of 82/100 and a User Score of 8.8.
- 5/5 “After 'Episode Two: Out of Time,' Dontnod's 'Life is Strange' is the best episodic adventure game out there. With more character depth, and more gameplay, along with a technically superior game engine, there's really no debate." - BlogCritics
- 90% "Dontnod have clearly put a lot of effort into the little details and it’s worth your time paying attention to their work." – Siliconera
- 5/5 Stars "Magnificently charming atmosphere" - The Examiner
Awards and Nominations
|2015||Develop Industry Excellence Awards||New Games IP – PC/console||Life Is Strange||Won|
|Use of Narrative||Won|
|Golden Joystick Award||Best Original Game||Runner-Up|
|Best Gaming Moment||Saving Kate||Third|
|Performance of the Year||Ashly Burch as Chloe||Won|
|Game of the Year||Life Is Strange||Third|
|Global Game Awards||Best Adventure||Life Is Strange – Episode 1||Won|
|Best Original Game||Won|
|Game of the Year||Second|
|The Game Awards||Best Narrative||Life Is Strange||Nominated|
|Best Performance||Ashly Burch as Chloe||Nominated|
|Games For Change||Life Is Strange||Won|
|PlayStation Official Magazine||Best Episodic Adventure||Won|
|Best Moment||Episode 2 conclusion||Won|
|Vice Canada's Top 20 video games of 2015||Best Game||Life Is Strange||Fourth|
|Vulture's Top 10 video games of 2015||Won|
|Red Bull Games' Top 10 video games of 2015||Second|
|Polygon's Games of the Year 2015||Game of the Year||Seventh|
|Destructoid's Best of 2015||Best Xbox One Game||Nominated|
|Eurogamer's Top 10 video games of 2015||Best Game||Tenth|
|2016||IGN's Best of 2015||Game of the Year||Pending|
|PlayStation Blog's Best of 2015||Best PS4 Game||Nominated|
|Best Digital-Only Release||Runner-Up|
|New Statesman's Top 10 video games of 2015||Best Game||Won|
|Hardcore Gamer 's Best of 2015||Best Adventure Game||Runner-Up|
|Emotional Games Awards 2016||Best Emotional Game||Nominated|
|Best Emotional Game Design||Nominated|
|Best Emotional Music Game||Nominated|
|DICE Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction||Nominated|
|Adventure Game of the Year||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in Character||Max Caulfield||Nominated|
- In the development diary, "A New Beginning", DONTNOD Entertainment's developers state that every publisher except Square Enix asked them to make their protagonists male instead of female.
- Though it was originally named What If?, DONTNOD Entertainment considered over a hundred different names for Life Is Strange. What If was not used because a Daniel Radcliffe film of the same name had been released in 2013 and 2014 earlier.
- The developers conducted research on the setting by travelling to the Pacific Northwest for the purpose of conveying a nostalgic and autumnal feel to the game. The development team visited the region, took photographs, looked at local newspapers and used Google Street View to make sure the environment was accurately portrayed.
- Artistic Director Michel Koch revealed in an interview that they wrote episode one with the intention of introducing the typical high school stereotypes, before building upon them and subverting them with every episode. "When we started to create every character, we really wanted to use known archetypes that people see in teenage drama and in movies."
- According to coding files in Life Is Strange, the series may have been originally planned for eight episodes instead of five.
- Actress Ashly Burch, auditioned for the roles of both Max Caulfield and Chloe Price . DONTNOD blind-cast Burch as Chloe after hearing her take for the character.
- At the end of the credits on episode four, it says "thanks for crying" instead of "thanks for playing".