Are There Lesbians? Yes
Waking up from a vision of a tornado destroying her town, in a photography class that might as well be her own personal purgatory, student Max Caulfield discovers she has the ability to rewind time. She endeavors to use this power in order to avoid her vision coming true, as well as to protect the people around her – particularly a certain death-prone Chloe Price, Max’s childhood friend whom she left behind several years ago when Max’s family moved to Seattle. It soon becomes clear however, that Max’s powers are taking their toll, not only on her, but on the world around her.
Finally! The GF and I have finally finished our joint run through of this game which means I can review it! Our playthrough mostly involved swearing, her weird Bioshock mindset kicking in and searching everything, and my “helping”, mostly ending in hands-to-face and long groans. But there’s no one I’d rather play this emotionally manipulative game with (don’t tell her I said so).
I played this on PC and while I’m yet to try in on console, I can only imagine that it must be easier to play with a controller than a mouse – the click and drag method you use to perform actions is pretty janky, especially as you also use the mouse to look around, causing no small amount of stress in moments that are time sensitive, no matter how well-versed you are in using the time travel mechanism. Apart from that, gameplay is relatively simple and easy to get the hang of. Life is Strange is your average WASD mouse controlled game with time travel thrown in for good measure. I did find a lot of the time I would forget that I could time travel when it wasn’t immediately important to the plot. The GF was much better at remembering to be kind, rewind, and coupling this with her insistence on exploring everything and talking to everyone, she discovered a whole avenue of the story that I had left completely alone as I tended to focus solely and obsessively on the main plot.
Visually, Life is Strange is a beautiful game. I could make the argument that it is a beautiful game trying its hardest not to put too much pressure on your RAM as occasionally it does become a little obvious that high-poly renders have been mapped onto lower-poly figures, but maybe that’s just two years of game design kicking in (sometimes it comes in handy!) And it honestly isn’t noticeable enough to detract from gameplay, it’s really just me being picky. Occasionally however, you do get amusing glitches when the lipsynching cuts out or this happens:
I suppose at some point I have to defend my opinion that there are lesbians in this game – as it is not immediately obvious what the Chloe/Max dynamic is. Ok, while they may not be out and out lesbians (more like bi, especially Chloe) there is plenty of evidence to suggest that they feel more than just friendship, and also that Chloe felt more than that for Rachel Amber as well (even though in this instance her feelings were likely unrequited.)
I swore when I wrote this, I wouldn’t turn the review into a breakdown of Pricefield moments… but they are super adorable and I have so many gifs and screenshots I have to use some of them right?
Life is Strange features a delightful, complex and emotive story, it is a coming of age tale about acceptance – particularly of what you can and can’t change. As this is a story-based game I would argue that technicalities like gameplay and graphics come second to plot quality and this game has that in spades. Featuring more spirals than a Junji Ito manga, and just enough butterflies to really drive home the chaos theory metaphor, Life is Strange will leave you either heartbroken or justifying your choices to anyone and everyone, regardless of whether or not they want to hear them.