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