Life is Strange Archive

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Video Games are not Films. They are TV.

The most recent trend in video game storytelling is releasing the games in monthly chunks that are entirely concerned with advancing a narrative. This trend, of telling stories in interconnected […]

The most recent trend in video game storytelling is releasing the games in monthly chunks that are entirely concerned with advancing a narrative. This trend, of telling stories in interconnected semi-regular releases is meant to emulate the feeling of TV. And yet, as of right now, TV has moved closer and closer towards using the season as the main unit of storytelling (versus “the episode”)

The argument could be made, especially considering Telltale’s resolution to continue both The Walking Dead and the Wolf Among Us in a format akin to a TV season, that the season is still a valid construct that could apply to the critical discussion of these games. However, the emphasis on the season on TV in recent years is quite different than the one exhibited by The Walking Dead or Life is Strange. Stories like True Detective’s seasons are more like volumes of a book series, while told on regular weekly installments (equivalent to a book’s chapters) each one to be interconnected into a bigger whole.

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Life Is Strange: Out of Time proves that DONTNOD’s new game is worth your time.

Out of Time starts with Max waking up after a long day of researching her time travel skills, and asking you to basically dwell around her dorm room and prepare […]

Out of Time starts with Max waking up after a long day of researching her time travel skills, and asking you to basically dwell around her dorm room and prepare for shower. That tone never goes away.

One of the most fascinating things about Life is Strange is that it’s so clearly bigger than the sum of its parts. Its dialogue is definitely clunky, its characters can sometimes feel a little bit flat or even like marionettes, whose opinions and actions are based on how they would affect the player. And yet, the fact that it follows such a unique world and story in the world of video games makes it so easily identifiable, relatable and enjoyable. Couple that with a very palpable beating heart that makes the proceedings downright amazing and you’ve got yourself probably one of the best video games of the last five years.

In a very real way, DONTNOD embodies the revolution that I feel Alt-Games have not been able to satisfiably articulate for me. Video games that effectively encapsulate an experience that’s outre from the standards of violence/exploration that are so common to the medium. Life is Strange is more akin to a Sundance drama with all of the implied cliches, flaws and benefits that implies. The game can definitely be Overly Twee, to a fault, but most of the time it’s just reinvigorating to navigate this world of friendship, bizarre time travel and high school politics.

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