review
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POSTED 1/11/15


LIFE IS STRANGE

Dontnod Entertainment/Square Enix



Back in prehistoric times – 1972 - with the assistance of a harmonium, a flute and several luxuriant beards dinosaurs of the genus Moodius Bluesasaurus declared ‘Isn’t Life Strange?’ (actually, ‘stray-ay-ay-ay-ange’).

It really is a realisation as old as time, and one that we’ve all had reason to ponder.

Our protagonist, 18 year old Oregonian photography student Veronica Mar- erm, Maxine Caulfield, confronts it big time as her life becomes strange soon into the first chapter of this five part series, which we’re covering in one amorphous lump.

She’s lapping-up her hipster photography teacher’s shtick when she daydreams of a lighthouse and one huge motherfucker twister – and we’re not talking a case of the KFC munchies. A subsequent loo trip is eventful when rich kid Nathan Prescott barges in, followed by a blue-haired chick who comes off on the wrong end of a bullet. It becomes more eventful when, emotions heightened, Max rewinds time, ending up back in the classroom. Cue another wee break and she sets off the fire alarm in time to save Little Miss Smurfbonce – who, it transpires, is her childhood pal Chloe.

What follows is a sometimes incredible, sometimes frustrating butterfly effect adventure that takes cues from classic Sierra outings through to modern Telltale ones, with a spattering of Beyond: Two Souls and some of Dontnod’s time-mangling from previous effort Remember Me. With some obvious worship of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.

Despite its warped fantasy setting, Life Is Strange never shies away from confronting genuine teenage angst stuff – everything from bullying to drug abuse, sex to suicide, self-doubt to self-pity. It varies in its ability to keep you in its thrall, but when it nails it you won’t be able to pull away, regardless of pitiful lip synch (well, zero lip synch), twanky folk music and some seriously ropy dialogue at times.

You’ll feel all the feels – and be reminded that fucking with time is bad, m’kay?

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.