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Life Is Strange OT / Life Is Strange: Before The Storm OT
Title: Life Is Strange: True Colors
Developer: Deck Nine
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: Playstation 5, Playstation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC, Stadia, Nintendo Switch
Genre: Graphic Adventure
Release Date: September 9th, Wavelengths DLC: September 30th
Distribution: Digital & Physical (Standard Edition Only)
Standard Edition - 60 Dollars
Deluxe Edition - 70 Dollars (Includes Outfit Pack & Wavelengths DLC)
Ultimate Edition - 80 Dollars (Includes Outfit Pack, Wavelengths DLC, Life is Strange Remastered & Life is Strage: Before The Storm Remastered)
- Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
- OS: Windows 10 64-bit
- Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 965, 3.40 GHz / Intel Core i5-2300, 2.80 GHz
- Memory: 6 GB RAM
- Graphics: Radeon HD 7790, 2 GB / GeForce GTX 750Ti, 2 GB
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 30 GB available space
- Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
- OS: Windows 10 64-bit
- Processor: AMD FX-8350, 4.00 GHz / Intel Core i5-3470, 3.20 GHz
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: Radeon RX 590, 8 GB / GeForce GTX 1060, 6 GB
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 30 GB available space
Alex Chen is a young women who grew up in foster care separated from her older brother Gabe for many years. She's ashamed of, and hides, her "curse" -- a supernatural ability to absorb and manipulate the strong emotions of others. Gabe convinces her to move back to Haven Springs, a picturesque mountain town in Colorado. Settling into her new life, it's not long before tragedy strikes as her brother dies in a mysterious incident. To uncover the truth of Gabe's death Alex must dig deep at the secrets of Haven Springs, its inhabitants, and embrace the powers she's tried so hard to push down.
During the course of the game you will control Alex and explore the town. Haven Springs is a larger, more open, area than has been featured in previous Life is Strange titles. Making choices that effect the narrative's outcome is a core component of the game. These choices will also impact how you approach the romance options with either Ryan or Steph. In addition, you must use Alex's empath abilities to gather information regarding your brothers death. When Alex encounters a particularly strong emotion it can create a "nova" that changes the world around Alex to reflect those strong feelings. There's also light puzzle solving in the form of environmental interaction, using objects, or situational tasks -- such as memorizing orders to help a bartender or using a drawing to navigate through mines.
Life is Strange: True Colors is the first in the series to implement a crowd choice extension for Twitch. Streamers can choose between "Full Democracy" where the consensus of the viewers directly effects the gameplay, or "Suggestion" where the streamer can gauge the reaction of their audience before making a choice themselves.
Alex Chen - The player character. Due to her powers she's somewhat of an introvert, but also highly observant and attentive to emotions of others.
Gabe Chen - Alex's estranged older brother. Gabe tries to get Alex settled into her new life in Haven Springs before he's killed under mysterious circumstances.
Steph Gingrich - First introduced in Life is Strange: Before The Storm, Steph is a music enthusiast and roleplaying nerd. She's one of Alex's romancable options in True Colors.
Ryan Lucan - Gabe's loyal best friend and nature enthusiast. He's a Haven springs native and park ranger, Ryan is the other romancable option in True Colors.
Charlotte Harmon - Gabe's girlfriend of three years. Evidentially she's the frequent recipient of "make up" flowers from Gabe. Charlotte is also Ethan's mother.
Ethan Lambert - An artistic 10 year old child, He bonds with Alex over a mutual love of comic books. His mother is Charolette Harmon and his father is unknown.
Eleanor Lethe - Eleanor runs Lethe Flowers with her daughter, Riley. Early in True Colors she enthusiastically greets Alex with a big hug. Eleanor has deep concerns about her fading memory.
Riley Lethe - Riley assists her mother, Eleanor, at Lethe Flowers. She often seeks Gabe's advice on troubles with her boyfriend, Mac Loudon.
Trailers & Video:
Life is Strange: True Colors has kept me more emotionally invested than any Life is Strange story since I played the original back in 2015. While every game in this adventure series is good in its own way, this one (from developer Deck Nine as opposed to the series’ creators at Dontnod) addresses many consistent issues that have plagued the last three games. It proves to be the best in the series thanks to consistent writing for both main and side characters, a compelling mystery story with good pacing, useful supernatural abilities, and perhaps most importantly, dialogue choices that offer more depth and complexity with big and most small decisions that actually impact the story in meaningful ways throughout the course of five chapters.
Game Informer 8.5/10
True Colors’ writing is so strong that it didn’t need a supernatural ability to tell this story. I laughed, I cried, and the things that stick with me are the moments where Alex is tested and comes into her own. And there’s something special in how True Colors gives you the power to decide her future and what her life needs, making for a memorable ending with a highlight reel of what you envision for the character. Due to all branching choice variations, you can probably get in a few different playthroughs, but the overall message never changes: Don’t give up. It may be a well-worn saying, but it means a lot in Alex Chen’s pained life.
Hardcore Gamer 8/10:
Life is Strange: True Colors may sadly dim towards the end, but it’s worth checking out alone just to experience Haven Springs, with its gorgeous scenery, terrific cast of characters both major and minor, and an intriguing mystery that requires quite a bit of fun gameplay.
Life is Strange: True Colors has a lot of the ingredients that make the series so beloved, most notably in its compelling protagonist. Technical advancements for the series bring its story to life with fantastic performances and a keen eye for detail. Unfortunately, the story it brings to life is full of stutters and stops, and takes far too long to develop. Where Life is Strange games are full of movement, True Colors feels painfully stagnant for too long.
PC Gamer 8.6/10:
Although True Colors has its pitfalls, I have never had this much fun with a Life is Strange game. Previous games in the series have dealt with some incredibly heavy topics, like convincing a friend not to jump off the roof of a building or experiencing horrendous racism, so even when there are happy moments, they often come across as bitter sweet, a fleeting moment in an unfair world. True Colors has its fair share of drama, but it also has moments of incredible joy.
God Is A Geek 9/10:
Life is Strange: True Colors is both harrowing and wonderful. It’ll make you cry and laugh, but regardless of how you’ll feel, the story and decisions you make are what makes Alex’s story the best so far. It felt good to be back in love with Life is Strange, and I believe that has a lot to do with my love of Alex. I just wanted her to be OK, and to find some kind of closure after her brother dies. Throughout the entire game, I enjoyed where the story went. Deck Nine has made great use of the Empathy ability, and managed to write a powerful story around it.
Outside of a few flaws, True Colors is the peak of the Life is Strange series to date. The characters are wonderful, the soundtrack is a strong collection of indie rock, the dialogue choices are meaningful and actually matter, the humor is on point, it makes you work for the romance options (should you choose to take one), and there are even a few arcade games to play around with on the side. Beyond that, the themes of empathy, mental health, and essentially starting a new life from scratch resonated heavily with me. Deck Nine incorporated Alex's supernatural power brilliantly and it made True Colors stand out above its predecessors in a big way.
Slant Magazine 4/10:
True Colors doesn’t show the world in a new light so much as it slaps an Instagram filter over it.
Noisy Pixel 8/10:
Across the 6 chapters, there’s surprisingly a lot to do. From mini-games to additional memory puzzles, don’t expect to be in conversations all of the time. Still, the dialogue is amazing, and the voice talent for the character did a great job. This game covers a range of emotions, so this is a crucial feature. I also enjoyed the character facial animations. Seeing the sadness and uneasiness in Alex’s eyes change throughout the game depending on how I shaped her was amazing. The team did a great job of portraying a person who is at a real crossroads in life.
Well Played 10/10:
The best Life is Strange game yet. Through the concept of empathy, True Colors manages to drive video game storytelling to new heights. An expanded scope, hugely impressive production values and new, bingeable format make this a must-play for fans of narrative adventures.
True Colors is nothing short of a masterpiece. Its characters are some of the most well-developed of any video game and half the television shows released this year. Its story is perfectly paced with plenty of exploration and meandering for the player to take their time with. The acting is incredible, with each character showing a huge range. The soundtrack, if it needs to be said, is perfect, as always. And the new power adds layers to a game series already so focused on emotions.
Push Square 6/10:
Life Is Strange: True Colors had every chance of becoming the series' best game to date, but it's been let down by arguably its most important element: the story. Wonderful character work can only go so far carrying a narrative that just isn't particularly exciting. And while Alex's power crafts one interesting scenario after another, it too isn't enough to offset those dull plot points. With an awful framerate to boot, Life Is Strange: True Colors falls short despite everything it has going for it.
Attack Of The Fanboy 4/5:
With all that said, Life is Strange: True Colors had me hooked from beginning to end. I didn’t want it to end, and I actually want to replay it to experience other choices. It can feel rushed at times, especially during a select few chapters, but True Colors is a step in the right direction for the series. Having the whole story available at launch is appreciated, even if it does mess with the pacing a bit. If you missed the small-town teen drama vibes from the original Life is Strange and Before the Storm, then True Colors will be right up your alley. True Colors is a big step up for the series and shows that Life is Strange is in good hands with Deck Nine.
Going into True Colors I was curious to see how this concept would translate to gameplay, and it succeeded in some of the most nuanced and interactive methods possible. We’ve seen what the power of time travel and telekinesis is capable of doing in the most unusual circumstances, but Alex’s power of enhanced empathy makes for a much more appealing narrative.
If this were a Netflix drama I probably wouldn’t watch it, but because it’s a game, because it invited me to make decisions about these people and this place, I felt a growing connection with it that had me invested by the end. It’s corny and sometimes just adorably uncool – one chapter has everybody in the town participating in a fantasy live-action role-playing game based on a local kid’s homemade comic books - but Life Is Strange: True Colours is so earnest that it got an emotional rise out of me anyway.
Gaming Age B+
Life is Strange: True Colors is a unique game, unlike anything I have played before. It is a departure from the other titles in the series, while also retaining the soul of what made people enjoy those games so much. With a stronger focus on interpersonal relationships and genuinely empathizing with those around you (both friend and foe), it feels like the series is finding its footing and pushing forward to bigger and better things. The decision to switch from the episodic format to a full upfront release pays off and I think Life is Strange: True Colors is much better for it. Once I got invested in the story, I did not want to stop playing, and I think a lot of the decisions and connections you make would start to lose their meaning if there were an extended break in between chapters.
Critically, True Colors' story is well-rounded, with a satisfying and definitive ending for both its central mystery and for Alex's personal journey (and as all good thrillers should offer, there is a resolution you can deduce for yourself if you are paying enough attention). It's not a failing to me that True Colors tells a lean story which prioritises quality over quantity, feelings over finer details, and a sense the series, like Alex, has come back to its roots after a period of absence and change.
The writers from Deck Nine and DONTNOD have demonstrated that their gift is not unlike Alex's. They have an empathy and understanding of the struggles that humans face. Life is Strange: True Colors builds on what the first installment did well, and does it even better. No game in the series so far has reached this height of catharsis, and by the end of it, players will be heartbroken to leave the imperfectly perfect town of Haven Springs.
Moment to moment, it felt like they were constantly changing it up — and I have to admit that it really worked for me. It’s hard to believe, but this game is technically still a part of the point-and-click genre; with all of the little surprises the developers included, it’s amazing to see just how far that genre has come. I was constantly surprised, not only by the larger plot points, but by the little gameplay moments too, and that’s a huge part of what made it a joy to play.
(PS5, PC, Series X)