Life is Strange is an extremely personal series for several people, myself included. Many people have very fond memories of Max and Chloe’s story or Sean and Daniel’s cross-country adventure, which is why the series changing hands is a big deal. Since original developer Dontnod has moved onto other things, Deck Nine has taken the reins and it is here with its first original mainline game. People liked the studio’s first attempt for an existence is Strange game, but how does Deck Nine fare using its first original outing with a brand new cast?
Life is Strange: True Colors places players in the shoes of Alex Chen, a young woman that has the opportunity to visualize and go through the emotions of other people. Having spent the majority of her childhood in foster care, she ventures to some small Colorado town called Haven Springs to reunite together with her long-lost brother Gabe. She wishes to subside and begin an existence in Haven, however in typical Life is Strange fashion, there’s more than you would think with regards to this small mining town.
What’s interesting about True Colors is Alex already has experience together with her empathy powers. Alex has had her power, if you're able to even refer to it as that, for as long as she will remember. She's easily overwhelmed by strong emotions, which causes her to frequently get into trouble as she’s tossed between foster homes and orphanages. It’s been a burden to her for years, which makes it hard for her to create genuine connections to individuals. Alex makes the sport already carrying a lot of anxiety and guilt, and being familiar with her past experiences with her power is definitely one of the highlights of True Colors.
Being able to visualize other people’s feelings is a great gameplay idea as well. While it may not seem this way at first, being able to see people’s emotional auras is definitely the very best power in any Life is Strange game. It can make you make incredibly interesting decisions, also it supplies a fast and simple way to become familiar with characters better. Emotional auras can also be seen around objects with strong memories mounted on them, which will make for many fascinating collectibles. Alex’s power feels seamlessly integrated into the game as if the series was designed around it in the first place.
Life is Strange: True Colors also vastly improves on the tech from previous games within the series. There’s now full-body motion capture, a series first, and it goes quite a distance in making performances feel that much more real. Performances feel much more nuanced this time around, largely due to the improvements in facial animations as well. It’s an enormous step-up for the franchise. If you’ve played the other games, then you’ll immediately spot the difference.
Environments are also remarkably detailed. There are things to interact with everywhere, and every building in Haven Springs is filled with items to look at. The Black Lantern bar is definitely bustling and lively, filled with locals chatting over drinks and keepsakes scattered along the shelves and walls. The neighborhood record shop is filled with dozens of unique vinyl and posters. It’s a huge graphical leap for a series that really deserves one.
Another first for the series, True Colors allows you to play car story from beginning to end on the first day. Life is Strange is typically episodic, but now you don’t have to wait for new episodes to produce every couple weeks. Having all five chapters available from the get-go could make things feel just a little rushed though, especially if you play through multiple episodes in a single sitting like Used to do. I acquired through the main story in a little under 10 hours, but some chapters felt much shorter than others.
The game’s brevity is both a blessing and a curse, though. Because it’s not too long, it doesn’t appear to be an excessive amount of work to revisit chapters and find out how additional options play out. I had been delay from replaying Every day life is Strange 2 for that reason game’s length, however i genuinely wish to give True Colors another go because I realize it won’t take that long comparatively. However, the very first time through can seem to be a bit rushed.
You can pad your playtime by participating in side stories and exploring optional areas, and this is highly recommended. True Colors rewards exploration. There are entire storylines which are completely optional, also it really feels like you’re passing up on huge story beats by not doing them. The methods you communicate with side characters can even partially affect your ending, so walking past that person in a hurry to achieve the next big cutscene may come to bite you later. Plus, some chapters can seem to be really short if you don’t take time to look around and talk to everyone.
Thankfully, True Colors includes a wonderful cast of characters that you’ll really want to become familiar with. Alex’s friends, Ryan and Steph, are immediately likable right from the start, and also the other citizens of Haven Springs are just delightful. From the eccentric Reginald McAllister the 3rd (his friends call him up Duckie) to the dependable Jed, Haven Springs has no shortage of colorful characters that you should interact with. I believe it’s the strongest cast the series has ever endured.
With all that said, Life is Strange: True Colors had me hooked from beginning to end. I didn’t would like it to end, and I actually want to replay it to experience additional options. It may feel rushed at times, especially during a select few chapters, but True Colors is a part of the right direction for that series. Having the whole story available at launch is appreciated, even if it will wreck havoc on the pacing a little. Should you missed the small-town teen drama vibes from the original Every day life is Strange and Prior to the Storm, then True Colors will be right up your alley. True Colors is a huge step up for the series and shows that Life is Strange is within good hands with Deck Nine.