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Thread: My (rather long) Review :) [SPOILERS]

  1. #1
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    Rolleyes My (rather long) Review :) [SPOILERS]


    Hey folks,
    I rarely write reviews on games but I feel like this one deserved it.

    This time last week I practically knew nothing about Life is Strange. I bought it a short while ago when it was in a sale on steam (think it was on episode 3 or 4) and kinda just left it on the back-burner. At the beginning of the week I noticed the final episode had been released, saw the overwhelming reviews on it and thought "screw it, I'll give it a go"..

    First Impressions

    One of the first things I noticed was the unique style of the game. I love the way the text and indications are all designed to look like they're from Max's diary, in Max's casual handwriting. The dialogue is great. The characters are all very unique and likeable (or not) in their own individual way, and as soon as that music on the opening credits hit in that first episode I was like "Ohh yeah .. I'm gonna like this game! ".

    Max's Power

    The event in where "The girl in the bathroom" gets shot is obviously what kicks off the game, and this is the point where Max discovers her power to rewind time. I actually really like this mechanic and how you can use it to your advantage by retaining items and information.. plus technically using it to teleport. The developers could have skimped out on this, and made it so that you rewind along with everyone else, but I really like the kind of puzzle aspect that this brings to the game and it really adds a lot of depth and detail to the story. I've not thought about time travel from that perspective before and I enjoyed it. I also like that you can see the outcome of just about every option then decide that there might be a better way of handling it, go back and change it.

    "It doesn't take long before you realise that this story is about friendship."


    Choices Matter

    I love the whole "choices matter" thing in these kind of games. I'm a huge fan of Telltale games and at first I thought it was going to be similar to those. But by the end of episode two I realised that Life is Strange has a LOT more depth, and your choices have a much larger impact on the story. In the walking dead for example (Spoilers ahead), the biggest choices are between who lives and who dies. Generally you'll get to choose between two people. One will live, the other will die. Ultimately the story stays the same .. and at some point the person who survived will die anyway. However in Life is Strange, specifically when faced with Kate's suicide, you aren't so much given a "choice" .. you're given a "chance". Depending on how well you handle the situation and what knowledge you retain from previously in the episode about her you CAN save her life .. or you CAN let her die. Either option has a big impact on the story and it really made me feel like my choices did actually matter.

    That was the first real tear jerker moment for me, and as the story progresses and becomes a lot deeper and darker .. they only became more frequent.

    "Ohh it hurts!"

    Once I began to understand what was going on, I must admit, some of it did become a little predictable. Like when Max goes back to the day where William dies. As soon as I realised that was the day I was like "Ohhh s#@t! .. no no! .. pleeeeease don't give me that choice!!". And then following that, when Max went to Chloe's house .. I just knew there would be something wrong with her. I found that part of the story really really sad and difficult. In fact I think it even made me think differently about people in that situation, and understand a little about the hell it must be to go through in real life. This game really gets me in the feels :/



    The more Max messes around with time the more her reality starts to distort until she becomes trapped in as false reality and consequently she causes a catastrophic event to occur, the one she saw at the beginning.

    The Ending

    The ending here is one that clearly has a lot of mixed views. In a game themed on choices and friendship you're presented with one final ULTIMATE decision to make .. Save Chloe and sacrifice Arcadia bay? .. Or save the town and sacrifice Chloe. I gotta admit for a 24 year old guy this one really had me in tears haha .. Yeah I know I'm a big softie .

    - Sacrifice Chloe

    At first I thought that the only real option that puts a true ending to the story is to "Sacrifice Chloe". You go back to the very beginning and let life play out like it was supposed to, without any rewinds. You've learnt the lesson that time had been trying to teach you, and you've accepted it.. For Arcadia to survive, Chloe cannot.. You can't fix everything.

    However, even though Max goes back to that first point and doesn't change anything.. She still retains the knowledge of everything that happened after. She knows Kate will try to commit suicide, she knows what happened to Racheal and where she is, she knows about Nathan Prescott and Mark Jefferson, and she will use that knowledge to "fix" all those problems, abusing her power once again. I also feel that with this option Max probably falls into a very deep depression having lost the one person she cares most about, and therefore I think this is actually the sadder ending.


    - Sacrifice Arcadia Bay

    The option to save Chloe was the one I chose. I just couldn't bring myself to do it after everything the pair of them had been through. Their friendship is stronger than anything. I thought of me and my own best friend in that situation. This ending is actually more similar to the other then you think. Max learns the same lesson.. That she can't fix everything. But instead of going back and trying to fix her mistakes with more mistakes she decides to accept the consequences of her actions and take responsibility for them. To let it play out. I think this is a better end, from that moment forth she will never abuse her powers again (where as the other option she clearly does). Plus Max and Chloe are together, to be pirates again, and even though they've obviously very upset, they're happy they still have each other.

    The only problem I have with this option is that it doesn't really put a close on the story. Max and Chloe have nothing left but each other. Everything still happened. Arcadia is destroyed. Did anyone survive at all? Where will they go now? What will they do? If there was ever going to be any extension on the story .. this is the only option where it could go, as it's the only one that didn't really put an end to it.


    Conclusion

    Anyway, this really is truly one of the greatest games I've ever played. Great style and music. So much depth and detail. Incredible story. Really hit the feels. I'd like to learn a bit more about what happened after in the saving Chloe option. And "maybe" there's space there for a season two? I'd really really love to see more but I think the developers have to be incredibly careful about it. Please don't ruin an already perfect game and story

    Ever since I've finished it I've had the ending music on loop in my head

    Only wish I could rewind and play it all again for the first time
    10/10



    Thanks for reading, feel free to discuss .. I'm gonna go find all the photos I missed
    Last edited by S7ewie; 3rd Nov 2015 at 23:13.

  2. #2
    Actually by saving chloe I think Max is accepting responsibility for her actions. One of the lessons of this game is that "you cant always fix everything, nothing can be perfect". So by letting the storm run its course, she is done trying to fix everything. Just my thoughts though. I think in both endings she's accepting responsibility, just in different ways. I'm worrying my own breakdown that I'll post later. We both have some similar thoughts and I also saved chloe

  3. #3
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    That's a good point actually, I didn't think of it like that. I guess shes just saying "No, no more! I can't keep using my power to fix my mistakes, I have to take responsibility and accept the consequences!" .. Hmm .. Might have to do some editing on my review

    In a kind of messed up way I actually found the saving Chloe option to be the "happier ending" (even though it made my cry more lol). Even though they've literally lost everything they both still have each other.. They can be pirates again N they both even crack a smile at the end. The other ending is sad. Everyone's upset about the loss of Chloe and Max probably lived out the rest of her life in a deep depression because of it .. She's alone again :/ .. I know if that were me it'd kill me.

  4. #4
    Here's what my wife said (about the nightmare scene and the ending choice itself)

    "The nightmare scene was very well done. It was clearly Max's subconscious interacting with her, her fears and hopes, all she did. But at the diner, I knew what they wanted. They were trying to deceive me, the player. Make the player feel guilty. At that moment I knew they'd have an ending which would need time travel. Every time Max used her time travel powers, something went wrong. She went to fix her own previous fixes. All those people at the diner, telling Max not to let them die, to save them are only there to goat her to user her power "one more time". There can't be that one more time. You can't fix mistakes with more mistakes.

    So the ending was easy for me. They tried to make me feel guilty, to make me use those powers one more time. No. Even if it would work, all the work Max, MY MAX, went through would be in vain. Chloe would not know her best friend, her soulmate, still loved her. She would die alone, lying on the bathroom floor, feeling betrayed by the world. That is not the way. The only way to win, is not to play"

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the reply!

    I thought the nightmare scene was really well done too. It wasn't until the final part walking through the memories of her and Chloe that I realised you'd have to go back and let her die .. I just didn't think they were going to give you the choice.

    At first I though maybe sacrificing Arcadia Bay was the "selfish" option. But the more I think about it the more I disagree. The decision was about accepting the consequences of their actions, and taking responsibility for them. I'm glad I chose to save Chloe .. and I don't regret it at all

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by S7ewie View Post
    That's a good point actually, I didn't think of it like that. I guess shes just saying "No, no more! I can't keep using my power to fix my mistakes, I have to take responsibility and accept the consequences!" .. Hmm .. Might have to do some editing on my review

    In a kind of messed up way I actually found the saving Chloe option to be the "happier ending" (even though it made my cry more lol). Even though they've literally lost everything they both still have each other.. They can be pirates again N they both even crack a smile at the end. The other ending is sad. Everyone's upset about the loss of Chloe and Max probably lived out the rest of her life in a deep depression because of it .. She's alone again :/ .. I know if that were me it'd kill me.
    Yea I think that's something that's overlooked a little bit. After this whole experience max NEEDS chloe. Chloe is the only one who understands what she went through. If max loses chloe I think she falls into a very deep depression trying to deal with everything and losing the girl she loves. Keep in mind max doesn't have to many friends, she's very introverted, so the loss of chloe would be double hard. Then we know what would happen to chloe, she dies feeling bitter, alone, abandoned and unloved. In the end I couldn't put max and chloe through that, yes it's selfish but they've been through a ton and deserve there own happiness for once.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by King-Cayenne View Post
    Yea I think that's something that's overlooked a little bit. After this whole experience max NEEDS chloe. Chloe is the only one who understands what she went through. If max loses chloe I think she falls into a very deep depression trying to deal with everything and losing the girl she loves. Keep in mind max doesn't have to many friends, she's very introverted, so the loss of chloe would be double hard. Then we know what would happen to chloe, she dies feeling bitter, alone, abandoned and unloved. In the end I couldn't put max and chloe through that, yes it's selfish but they've been through a ton and deserve there own happiness for once.
    And that's why I think she had to experience all of this. She befriended with people (and developed feelings) and of course she will want to have them as friends.

    And I just don't think "letting people die" means "taking responsibility for her actions".

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Tataboj View Post
    And that's why I think she had to experience all of this. She befriended with people (and developed feelings) and of course she will want to have them as friends.

    And I just don't think "letting people die" means "taking responsibility for her actions".
    Wouldn't it be better to say "taking responsibility for letting those people die" or even taking responsibility for one's failures ?
    Life is what you make of it, or atleast try to make of it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Tataboj View Post
    And that's why I think she had to experience all of this. She befriended with people (and developed feelings) and of course she will want to have them as friends.

    And I just don't think "letting people die" means "taking responsibility for her actions".
    She is in the sense that she's no longer going to use her powers and live with what's been done. See we could debate about this forever. Your response will likely be "but she's not the only one paying". Which is fact, but that fact exists in the other ending as well. Then you say something along the lines that "there is less deaths and suffering". Which is mathematically true but you can't assign more meaning to a group of lives over one life because then you are diminishing the value of that one life.


    That's the beauty of this, we are both equally 100% correct in our choices. No matter what anyone chooses, both endings are correct. Everyone interprets things differently.

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