Life is Strange is a newer graphic adventure franchise that Square Enix has produced. The first entry was a massive success in 2015, followed by three less popular entries Before the Storm and Life is Strange Two. Life is Stange: True Colors is the newest entry that was just released this past September 10th and seems to have the community divided. While the series has always taken an extreme approach in storytelling, True Colors takes a more realistic and subtle approach rather than political. As the fifth installment of the series, the game was actually developed by Deck Nine this time around and is still published by Square Enix. It can be bought on all current platforms for $59.99.
What is True Colors About?
This installment has a slightly different feeling compared to the previous entries. It still follows the typical main character who has powers and finds themself in an alarming predicament. However, there is a less political approach to this game as opposed to Life is Strange 2. Players will play as a woman named Alex Chen who is finally leaving her group home to live with her estranged brother in Haven Springs Colorado. Instead of rewinding time or having telekinetic powers, Alex has the power of psychic empathy. She is able to read and absorb the emotions of people around her, which has given her a life of hardship. After a mysteriously horrific accident, she tries to develop her powers to solve the mystery that plagues Haven Springs.
Alex feels a tad more relatable as a 24-year-old adult trying to live a normal life with what seems like a mental illness. She felt more quirky with sharing her passion for music and comedy with her older brother. It was a nice change-up compared to the previous entries playing as teenagers. The character gave a sense of familiarity in trying to learn how to live a normal life with those around her despite her mental illness. It also provides great insight on being a stranger that moves into a small community, where everyone knows each other and seems like family.
Haven Springs is Gorgeous and Personable
Haven Springs felt more realistic compared to any previous location for the other entries. The location is not only drop-dead gorgeous but also very immersive. Every character felt like an actual person with unique personalities and problems. You could see this is Eleanor losing her memory slowly and Riley who is almost like a daughter to her being oblivious to her illness. There is so much dialogue content between walking by strangers to pick up a random side quest, looking at your phone for social media updates or text messages, reading random emotions to unlock dialogue options, or just pure conversation. The game allows players to be submerged into the community, and see the relationships between not only Alex and the town, but the town itself. It was also great to see the community come to life with various events thrown by the town. The LARP and festivals provided great atmospheres for the unique storytelling.
A Step Up In Content
True Colors brought amazing new content, which stepped up the series in terms of the genre. While the game did feel more limited in terms of exploration, it provided so much more to do as far as gameplay. The game offers collectibles to find which are objects that contain memories. I do wish they had more to find, but the memories provided important content pertaining to NPCs. The game implemented more searching with Alex’s powers by emotionally reading people for insight. In addition, they also introduced side quests for random characters that you had to discover through interaction, otherwise, they would be completely missable. What was the best part of the gameplay was introducing the turn-based combat for the LARP. The game added basically a huge mini-game into chapter 2, allowing players to discover new spells from shops and fight enemies to gain items. This provided such a cool concept for the game that I think more games of this genre should follow.
Life of Strange: True Colors was probably the best of the entries. The game only suffered from being tied to two locations with smaller exploration options, but overall provided the best storytelling and new side content of the series. I would have liked to see more side quests and collectibles, but overall Alex Chen is the most relatable character and has the strongest story of all the previous characters in the franchise.