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Xbox One Game Review

Life is Strange
Episode 1


Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Square Enix
RRP: £3.99
Click here to buy from Xbox Marketplace
Age Restrictions: 16+
Release Date: 30 January 2015

Max is a photography senior who saves her old friend Chloe by discovering she can rewind time. The pair soon find themselves exposed to the darker side of Arcadia Bay as they uncover the disturbing truth behind the sudden disappearance of a fellow student. Meanwhile, Max begins to have premonitions as she struggles to understand the implications of her power. She must quickly learn that changing the past can sometimes to lead to a devastating future...

Review imageLife is Strange is a five part episodic game that sets out to revolutionise story based choice and consequence games by allowing the player to rewind time and affect the past, present and future. It's a refreshing change of pace for those who usually get their kicks by playing fast paced FPS.

You have the option of purchasing each chapter for £4 or pre-buying all episodes for £16. Or you can buy the first episode to see if you like it and then pre-purchase episodes 2-5 for £14.

Review imageObvious comparisons will be drawn with Heavy Rain, however, Life is Strange is a lot more like a movie than Heavy Rain. The choices you have aren't especially groundbreaking and there's not much scope to step outside of the main narrative. Sure, there are little elements (like saving the bird that hits the window) that you may or may not stumble upon, but it's more a case of following the main narrative and then choosing between one of two options. While those options do change the course of how you interact with characters throughout the rest of the game, I can't help thinking that it doesn't actually matter what choices you make as it won't actually make much difference to the outcome of the main narrative.

So what we have here is a cut sequence heavy story with choices that shape some of the interactions with characters in the game. There is some fun to be had rewinding time and preventing accidents, or causing them, but if you want to get the most out of the story, then you're going to have to spend most of the time wandering around the environment and interacting with every object you come across.

Review imageYou should easily finish part one in a few hours, but you can stretch things out a bit by exploring every interactive element and choosing both options when confronted with them (you are always given the opportunity to go back and change your mind before continuing with the main story). That way you can make a better decision about which way you want your character to progress.

It's a beautiful looking game, with an interesting storyline. It's certainly worth picking up part one and seeing if it's your sort of thing.


Nick Smithson

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