Analysis: Experience with Life is Strange 1, 2 and spin-off

This is not a game with exceptional graphics, great articulations, much less game format options, which interests in Life is Strange is the story. And in the midst of gigantic productions, the franchise managed to stand out and captivate a gigantic fan base, which raises the question: why do we like so much? Life is Strange? Be careful, the text may contain spoilers!

Analysis: experience with life is strange 1, 2 and spin-off | 6568425f life is strange scaled | married games reviews | life is strange, pc, playstation, singleplayer, square enix, xbox | life is strange
Life is Strange was a huge success, becoming one of the best games of its kind. (Image: Official Steam website)

The first Life is Strange was released by the studio Square Enix throughout 2015, on platforms PC, Xbox 360 / One, Playstation 3/4, divided into 5 episodes, where your choices influence the story and determine the end of the game. This dynamic of chapters and actions that interfere in the dynamics is a registered trademark of the franchise.

In the first game, the plot tells about Max, a hipster teenager in love with photography who for some reason receives the gift of going back in time, her childhood friend, Chloe, a punk who gets into somewhat deadly situations after disappearing without explanations from Rachel, a third teenager.

Soon after in 2017, Deck Nine produced and Square Enix released the spin-off Life is Strange: Before the Storm, where audiences can kill curiosity about who Rachel was and what her relationship with Chloe was. In this game, the viewer controls Chloe who has no powers, just a very sharp tongue.

Captivated by the success of the first games in 2018, Life is Strange 2 and the spin-off The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit were presented by Square Enix and Dontnod Entertainment. This time, told the story of Sean and Daniel, two brothers of Hispanic origin who, after a tragic accident, discover Daniel's power: telekinesis and must face the challenges “alone” and always fleeing from the police.

-- Advertising --

In The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, we get to know Chris's life better, a secondary but essential character for the LiS2 plot. The ending chosen for LiS1 and Captain Spirit changes the reality of LiS2, connecting the entire Life is Strange universe. Depending on how Chris acts in the spin-off and the bond developed between him and Sean, things can change.

And now, in March 2021, the third game in the franchise, Life Is Strange: True Colors, was announced for September, this time with updated graphics. The announcement drove fans of the saga crazy, theories, questions and desires arose, leaving a doubt in the air: after all, why do we like Life is Strange so much?

Analysis: experience with life is strange 1, 2 and spin-off | 699c8e4f lis2 sc5 | married games reviews | life is strange, pc, playstation, singleplayer, square enix, xbox | life is strange
In the image, Sean and Daniel, protagonists of Life is Strange 2 (Image: Square Enix official website)

The games

  • In the first Life is Strange we play under the perspective of Maxine Caulfield (Max, for intimates), a photography student who, after a strange dream about a tornado destroying her city, Arcadia Bay, and witnessing a possible murder in the bathroom of her school, finds out be able to go back in time.

    In this way, your first action is to save the life of the blue-haired girl you found in that bathroom. After the fright, Max discovers that the girl was Chloe Price, his best childhood friend, from whom he had distanced himself in recent years.

    Chloe in turn, was very close to Rachel Amber, another student who would have mysteriously disappeared. When they meet again, they decide together to solve the mystery and find out what really wanted to happen with Rachel, and for that, they use and abuse Max's power.

    By going back in time countless times, Maxine creates a butterfly effect that can take her even to other timelines, and to fix reality, she puts the lives of the people she loves most at stake.
  • In Life is Strange Before the Storm, we go back in time to before Max and Chloe met again, even before the iconic blue hair. This time, we played from Chloe's perspective, then following the entire development of her relationship with Rachel.

    In this game, we have a chance to get to know Rachel Amber better, and because everyone in Arcadia Bay, especially Chloe, likes her so much. The plot continues until the moment of the disappearance of Rachel.

    Rock concerts, problems with drug dealers, fights with parents and plans to run away from home are the main adventures lived by the protagonists, in addition to, of course, many private classes. Despite being quite different from the first proposal of super powers, this game has a lot in common with the first work: the proof that the producers have no heart, there is no happy ending to this game.

    In the deluxe version, there is an extra episode where we go back to playing with Max, this time on the day when she and Chloe distance themselves even as children.
  • In Life is Strange 2 the core changes. Playing from the perspective of Sean Diaz, an ordinary teenager son of a Mexican father who was abandoned by his wife after the birth of their second child. As an ordinary teenager, Sean just wants to discover his vocation and get along with the school crush, in addition to having a special skill as a draftsman.

    The story begins after defending his younger brother, Daniel, from a bully, Sean eventually ends up killing the boy. At the same time, a police officer arrives at the scene, and while Sean's father tries to calm him down, he ends up being shot, causing Daniel to lose control and discover his telekinesis power, causing an explosion.

    Without any witnesses and still from the perspective of being a Latin American, Sean becomes a suspect in terrorism. He and Daniel flee in an attempt to return to their father's homeland, Puerto Lobos. Fleeing Seattle to Mexico, basically on foot, the brothers are persecuted for prejudice, but they also receive help from special people.

    Life is Strange 2 is even more interactive, with four endings available with variations of the romantic couples that may or may not be part of it. In addition, the choices made by the player in the first game bring different dialogues and scenarios.
  • The spin-off The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, tells the story of one of those special people who help brothers Sean and Daniel. Chris is a neighbor of Sean and Daniel's grandparents, who welcome them for part of the journey. After the death of his mother, Chris's father ends up developing alcoholism, which makes him very aggressive.

    Chris is featured in Life is Strange 2 in episode 2 of the main game and to play it, the spin-off choice data is used, which will determine how Chris will act. Chris doesn't have super powers, just a super imagination that turns simple everyday tasks into truly incredible adventures.

    Not far from what was imagined, the pair Chris and Daniel are perfect and passionate, so the player must be careful not to break his heart once again. Chris also has a special connection to Sean through cartoons, a way to miss his late mother.

Intensity and delicacy in Life is Strange

No wonder, the games in the franchise are not suitable for children under 16 years. This is because the whole story revolves around very delicate subjects that need a certain responsibility to be dealt with. In LiS1 and LiS Before the Storm, guidelines on disarmament, suicide, depression, substance abuse, sexual abuse, bullying, the environment and much more are raised.

In Life is Strange 2, the characters face xenophobia, police unpreparedness, prejudice, religious fanaticism, homophobia and drug trafficking, despite the spin-off The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, Chris needs to deal with grief and his father's alcoholism.

-- Advertising --

These guidelines bring a different perspective on serious and everyday matters, often in a more sensitive and empathic way, for example when Sean is humiliated and possibly beaten for “being Mexican” and in fact, he is not only legalized, but he is also American by birth.

Similar issues often go unnoticed in Brazil, both for a cultural issue and a different perspective. This in addition to raising a debate on the issues, opens the player's eyes to the plurality of diverse discussions.

Analysis: experience with life is strange 1, 2 and spin-off | 701b6058 life is strange 1 scaled | married games reviews | life is strange, pc, playstation, singleplayer, square enix, xbox | life is strange
Images from the first Life is Strange (Image: Square Enix official website)

Representativeness

What on the one hand was a heavy criticism for those who disliked the games, on the other hand was what captivated part of the base fan of Life is Strange. In the same way that it is possible to choose the end of the games, we can choose who the main characters fall in love with and also their sexuality.

In LiS1, Max may have a love development for Chloe or Warren. The choice brings different dialogues as well.

In LiS Before the Storm, you can choose whether Chloe and Rachael are best friends or girlfriends. This helps to raise a greater understanding of what actually happened in the first game according to the player's perspective. It is understood. Rachel cheated on Chloe? Was Chloe in love alone? Was there any compromise? Is Max jealous of what Chloe and Rachel lived through? You choose!

-- Advertising --

In Life is Strange 2, Sean can get involved with Cassidy or Finn. As in the first game, the choice can change dialogues, and now also finals. By making the right choice, lovebirds can live happily ever after.

With Captain Spirit, this issue is not addressed since Chris is a 9 year old child.

In the announced game, Life is Strange True Colors we will also have two romance options, Steph and Ryan. But to learn more about these couples, we need to wait until September.

Soundtrack

Most of the main scenes are packed with an impeccable soundtrack. Smoothly and in the background, it causes the necessary emotion for the viewer to be glazed in the scene. It is impossible not to get caught up in the scene where Max tries to stop Kate's suicide, when Rachel causes a forest fire or when Sean and Daniel flee Seattle, and much of that tension comes from the soundtrack.

In addition to the songs that accompany the episodes, one cannot fail to comment on the ambient sound, where one hears, for example, the gossip in the school corridor, the sound of footsteps, burning fire, etc.

-- Advertising --

It is possible that in True colors we can have even more involvement with the music, since the trailers gave us the hint that one of the main scenarios will be a radio / record store and that Alex plays and sings, following the pattern of passionate main characters by the arts.

Check out Alex Chen singing Radiohead's famous 1993 hit, Creep.

Captivating characters and complete villains

Of course, Max, Chloe, Sean and Daniel have their merit in charisma. But the secondary characters are not left behind: it is practically impossible not to sympathize with Kate, not roll your eyes with Victoria and not sympathize with Claire and Stephen and cry with Mushroom as if it were your own puppy.

Nevertheless, the hatred that Mark Jefferson and Lisbet Fischer cause in the viewer is equally contagious. The plot twist where one realizes that the real villain is Mark, the charismatic and handsome teacher leaves many players jaw-dropping. Lisbet on the other hand, puts the claws out as soon as it is presented, but its power of manipulation leaves the viewer foaming.

Going back to talking about main characters, the X of the question is in their humanity. Although they are all powerful (who literally have special powers), they are still human characters who make mistakes and often disappoint. In LiS2, for example, Sean shows several tantrums with Daniel doing bad creations, and we don't always agree with his attitudes.

-- Advertising --
Analysis: experience with life is strange 1, 2 and spin-off | 0e65b186 11 steph wake 1080 | married games reviews | life is strange, pc, playstation, singleplayer, square enix, xbox | life is strange
Steph after appearing in LiS Before the Storm, is confirmed in LiS True Colors (Image: Square Enix official website)

Gameplay

All Life is Strange are played from a third-person perspective, and each game has its peculiarity defined according to the character. In LiS1, Max has the ability to go back in time, and the player can then change the character's actions in the past, which may or may have consequences within the game play.

In Before the Storm, we played with Chloe, who has no exceptional power beyond her ability to discuss, which depending on the outcome of the dispute, favor the character.

In LiS2, the power belongs to Daniel, and Sean has no influence on, however, the way the older brother creates and supports the younger, changes not only Daniel's actions but also the end of the game, this it is, Daniel in a way, has independent choices that may or may not be influenced by Sean.

As stated earlier, Chris' super power is his super fertile imagination but it is nevertheless captivating.

Expectations for Life is Strange: True Colors

Analysis: experience with life is strange 1, 2 and spin-off | d8c58c12 lis true colors logo stacked black | married games reviews | life is strange, pc, playstation, singleplayer, square enix, xbox | life is strange
New game in the franchise announced at Square Enix event and is scheduled for 10/09/21 (Image: Official Square Enix website)

For the next game in the franchise, expectations are high with new characters, new power and finally, a significant improvement in graphics. This time, we will play with Alex Chen, a teenager with Asian descent who has the ability to feel what others feel, and can even identify the trigger of that feeling.

-- Advertising --

In other words "the power of empathy". The game receives the name of True Colors due to the animation referring to the power: colorful clouds around the characters, which symbolize their feelings. This animation makes the visual experience even richer. And we hope that the combination of the senses of sight and hearing with the soundtrack of excellent taste will be even more stimulating.

The plot will take place in a small town, similar to the first game, where he meets his brother Gabe after a few years. After Gabe's mysterious death, Alex's powers begin to emerge, and then the journey begins. With the help of his possible romantic partners, Ryan and Steph (character featured in Before the Storm), Alex proceeds to investigate the strange death of his brother.

The speculation indicates that there may be a possible agenda regarding anti-yellow racism, references to LiS1 and Before the Storm due to the presence of Steph, possible updates on Drew and Mikey North and references to Rachel, Max and Chloe.

Analysis: experience with life is strange 1, 2 and spin-off | 638c2ae8 | married games reviews | life is strange, pc, playstation, singleplayer, square enix, xbox | life is strange
Ryan, Alex and Gabe will be in Life is Strange: True Colors (Image: Square Enix official website)

This time, the experience is even more customizable with 24 clothing options for Alex. You can also attack from a DJ by choosing a playlist for the radio, improvising over commercials and also helping Steph write a song.

There are, however, some doubts not answered by the trailer. Does the story take place before, after or simultaneously with Arcadia Bay? If later, Steph would be older, and being a possible romantic couple, would Alex also be older than Chloe, Max and Sean in their respective games? Look forward to finding out.

-- Advertising --

It will also be possible to have access to Steph's loving past, who during Before the Storm nurtured a crush on Rachel. In addition, the game will feature a dating and souvenir app about Steph's previous LGBTQIA + Pride Parades.

There are several new features for the third game, but fans of the saga do not believe that this justifies the price at which the game is being released. There is a controversy on social networks about the discrepant difference between the launch and the other games in the franchise.

Some fans hope to be able to play LiS True Colors for a less expensive price or for free in September, with the game's possible entry on the Xbox Game Pass, as with other games.

The game was announced for September 10, 2021, and is now available for pre-order, according to the trailer released by Square Enix. Do you think it is worth paying the full price? Leave your opinion.

Check out the trailer:

-- Advertising --

Another fan happiness for Life is Strange is that the producer also announced a remastered version of the collection. In addition to a warm new game coming out of the oven, there will also be the possibility to revisit the first games with an updated face and in high definition.

You can pre-order LiS: True Colors at stores at Microsoft, Playstation Store and Steam

Conclusion

Why do we like Life is Strange so much? The answer is simple: because the plot, the theme, the plots and everything else are extremely captivating. The Life is Strange franchise shows that a successful game does not always need an impeccable graphic or the highest of budgets, and often, it is precisely this simplicity that attracts causing almost nostalgia.

With a complete universe, full of twists and full of unique personalities, in Life is Strange, we immerse ourselves in a game with thousands of possibilities where the viewer lives the experience at their leisure. Didn't like the ending? Just play again. In addition to the possibilities of relationships, there are more than two endings available in each game.

History 10/10
Gameplay10/10
Graphic7,5/10
Audio9/10
Mechanical8,5/10
Life is Strange franchise review / review note

Extra taste

If you also became a fan of the saga and can't wait to play until September, know that Dontnod Entertainment released a game in the same style as the LiS franchise but in another universe: Tell me Why (I know you sang).

-- Advertising --

Tell me Why was released in August 2020, exclusively for Xbox One and Windows 10. Similarly, actions bring consequences and end changes. The main characters are the twin brothers Tyler and Alison, alternating depending on the episode.

After Tyler is tried and convicted of his mother's murder, sent to a juvenile rehabilitation program, he returns to the end of his detention and is reunited with his sister Alison to start life again. Some strange things happen to the brothers who decide to investigate what could have driven their mother to insanity. There is an option of romantic couple and several collectibles.

As usual, sensitive topics such as transphobia, substance abuse and child traumas will be discussed. And super powers? The twins, or goblins, are interconnected, interact with their memories and talk telepathically.

Is that you? Have you ever played any of the various games we mentioned here? Let's discuss a little! Leave your opinion about the games, characters, expectations. And we met again in September, to talk about the first impressions of the long awaited Life is Strange True Colors.

-- Advertising --
Game Review | Married Games
Analysis: experience with life is strange 1, 2 and spin-off | 6568425f life is strange scaled | married games reviews | life is strange, pc, playstation, singleplayer, square enix, xbox | life is strange

Price: 99

Price currency: BRL

Operational system: Windows 10, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch

Application category: Ranges

Editor's rating:
5
Avatar of rafael meireles

Journalist, 23 years old and fascinated by FPS. Few things in Rafael's life do him as well as writing and playing video games. Football and music also have parts of your heart.