Perhaps most reminiscent of 2013 indie hit Gone Home, Dontnod’s Life is Strange is an episodic, narrative-focused drama, centering around a missing teenage girl and is set in the Pacific Northwest.
In the vein of Telltale Games’ popular adventure games, Dontnod is bringing Life is Strange to the world in five self-contained episodes, each of which being released roughly six weeks apart.
Life is Strange is a third-person “graphical adventure” that features a bit of social interplay between characters. Maxine Caulfield, the game’s protagonist, returns to her small Oregon hometown after a five-year absence, to find rebellious friend Chloe Price disturbed about the disappearance of a girlfriend. Scenes play out in teenage bedrooms, parks, and high schools.
There’s also one particularly special feature: The ability to rewind time lets you go back and redo any action between checkpoints. The choices you make will alter and affect the story in both the short and long-term; essentially, time travel is used to learn from the future, then to go back and affect the present.
Dontnod’s only previous game was the 2013 Capcom-published action title Remember Me, which struck a chord with gamers for its environments and science-fiction narrative. While the subject matter and setting are clearly different this time around, the two titles share much in common. As with Remember Me, for instance, Life Is Strange features a female lead character, with “gorgeous environments and incredibly slick presentation.”
Though the game is being published by renowned Japanese game publisher Square Enix, Life is Strange has the look and feel of an indie. It places a heavy emphasis on thematic ideas like a sense of tension around the presence of digital devices and social media, with characters yearning for a simpler past. It’s a story about everyday life in a small town, and the problems of unemployment, alcoholism, social bullying, and violence.
With an expected playtime of roughly one-and-a-half to two hours, the first episode features an indie folk-inspired soundtrack, realistic dialogue,
The first episode is available now on Xbox One and Xbox 360.
Source: Xbox Wire