Life is Strange is an episodic game where every action you take, or sometimes don’t take, has consequences that carry forth through the story, episode by episode, taking you down a unique path that’s just yours. The story follows Max, a photography student going to a college in a small town called Arcadia Bay. One day, she witnesses the death of a fellow student in the girls toilets, and her discovery that she can rewind time changes the future irrevocably.
From such a simple premise comes a whirlwind adventure that takes you to the very heart of what it means to have the power of time travel. The story weaves and winds through Max’s decisions, both impacted and driven by them, and then dumps the consequences of her actions right into your lap with some really unexpected emotional hits. I’ve not had a game hit me as hard in the feels as Life is Strange has.
The relationships that Max has with the various characters in Arcadia Bay, from her best friend Chloe (who turns out to be the girl she saved in the toilets), to the various professors in the college (the Principal offering the first unique path you can take) to her fellow college students, all form the foundation of the story, and while some of the conversations can be cringe worthy, by the end of the series all the characters have been given a fair amount of development.
Coupled with the amazing soundtrack, which is absolutely phenomenal, the timey-wimey gameplay and puzzles, and the really, really deep concepts brought up, Life is Strange offers something above the rest and is definitely one of those games you need to play in your lifetime. It’s just that good.