WARNING: THE WHOLE GAME WILL BE SPOILED!!!
Throughout the past year a game called “Life is Strange” caught my attention. The story is a captivating one that shows you the consequences of your actions and what your fate has in store for you. You can go ahead and mess around all you want, but messing around with fate has another thing in store for you.
The story follows a girl in high school named Max, who was living a normal life. She returned to Arcadia Bay to live out the rest of her life where she grew up. She had so much in her life she enjoyed. From a photography teacher whom she had trust and respect for, to her best friend, Warren who was always there for her, and was about to enter a photo contest,she thought she was living at peace, until one day in class she woke up from the most realistic daydream she has ever had. As her class ends and she heads to the bathroom, a guy named Nathan walks into the girls bathroom followed by another girl named Chloe. The two break out in a feud and Nathan pulls out a gun only to shoot Chloe in the stomach unconsciously. As soon as the gun fires Max comes out from where she was hiding in the bathroom to lift a hand and scream stop. Max did not expect her day to go like that.
As soon as she lifts her hand mid-air, she was back in the classroom waking up from the nap she previously woke up from(Crazy right?! I know!). As she replays that class period she goes back to the bathroom to follow the the same cycle once again. She soon realizes that she had the ability to turn time and used it to her advantage. As she walks to the bathroom for the third time, she uses that power to stop Chloe from being shot. Max does not recall who Chloe was until she ran into her again and recognized her. From there they spend a week together and grow closer and Max learns about what has happened with Chloe while she was gone, such as her dad dying, her mom remarrying, and making a best friend named Rachel, that soon went missing. Upon hearing that, Max does her best to help Chloe in achieving happiness, but runs through rough patches over and over again(which may or may not include completely changing their timeline).
As the game progresses, the main focus Max has is to find out how Rachel went missing and why, but the closer she gets to the truth, the deeper her grave gets.
Now you may be asking, “Why is this game any different from other games” or saying “Seems like another hipster game to me”. Now I see your point on why you might think that, but the story behind this is truly captivating and the reason for that is you have choices. The entire game is dependent on you making choices and every choice you make, whether good or bad has a consequence. Although the plot line may stay the same, there are so many other things that depend on your actions and whether the game has a good outcome for you or not. But let’s move on to the rest of the story.
So as the game continues, you keep getting a glimpse of the future. A future that is at the end of the week. That future hold something that is a result of you constantly turning back time. In the game, Chloe is bound to die 3 times automatically, the other times are “optional” as they are not part of the manual gameplay. The first would be when she gets shot by Nathan. The second being when she gets her foot stuck in a train track right when a train is headed towards her and the third. . . we will get to in a moment. But every time she is close to death, Max is there to save her by reversing time again and again. And every single time she does so, she is messing with the space time continuum and the result is a massive tornado headed towards Arcadia Bay.
Max of course clueless of her actions continues to solve the mystery for the sake of Chloe. Throughout the game’s episodes you get glimpses of someone who is up to no good which no one finds out about until chapter 4. Halfway through chapter you find yourself in a bunker and within that bunker you find red binders that were shown in Chapter One, each labelled with a girl’s named and a few containing corrupted images of them clearly drugged and photographed in horrible ways. As Chloe flips through the binders, she finds one labelled “Rachel” and sees the pictures that showed her drugged body sprawled on a dirt covered surface. Max points out that her body was being put underground and Chloe immediately recognizes the spot and they set out to find out whether Rachel is dead or not.
To Chloe’s misfortune, as she locates the spot and begins to dig with a Max, they are greeting with a foul odor and Rachel’s dead body, which results in Chloe crying, but as the shot zooms out, a phantom doe that has been greeting Max since episode 1 appears for the last time and then disappears. Many like to believe that it is Rachel’s spirit in the form of a ghost who has been leading Max and Chloe to find out the truth. I like to believe so also. After that heartbreaking scene, you find out that Rachel was overdosed by Nathan. Max and Chloe both head out to a party to look for Nathan, but little did they know they had something else coming.
The pair thought they had to look for Nathan, but her was being forced to do a job that he couldn’t handle. The kid was mentally ill and yet he was forced by someone to do their dirty work. Both Chloe and Max were lured by the real criminal back to Rachel’s grave because of a threat sent through Nathan’s phone, to harm the body. They go back only to be greeted harshly by the real criminal, who you may or may not guessed to be. I spent a minutes upon minutes screaming in frustration at the screen when I saw who it was.
IT WAS HER PHOTOGRAPHY TEACHER MR.JEFFERSON!!!
Now throughout the game, her seemed like a chill guy. He seemed harmless but to my shock he was a monster.. Once you find out the truth, the sick guy drugs you and does the same to you as the others, leaving a dead Chloe behind. For the rest of the chapter you continue to turn back time again and again so that you can leave the bunker he had you trapped in and save Chloe from saying. . . yet again
*sigh* “Jesus Chloe do you know how many people got sick of saving you from dying” *groans in frustration*.
But the last day of the week has come and it was the day of the tornado. Once you have saved Chloe you have to make you way to a lighthouse at the top of a hill to take a look at the tornado and its distance from the coast. Halfway up the hill and you pass out. While unconscious you go through a bunch of memories of the past week, but morphed into awful ones. By the end of your unconscious cream you head down a literal path of memory lane. The memories of you and Chloe spending time with one another.
When you reach the end of memory lane, you return consciousness and Chloe begins to talk about how the storm is her fault. Both Warren and Chloe are aware that you trying to save her countless of times is what caused the storm. Let’s face it, she is like a final destination character, you can delay her death, but her death has to come soon because it is her fate. By the end of her speech you are faced with the biggest decision in the game.
SACRIFICE YOUR BEST FRIEND OR SACRIFICE A WHOLE TOWN OF PEOPLE?
The choice was hard for me, I was sobbing by the end of the chapter and given the option I cried even more because it felt like killing someone/others who you held so dear to your heart, but looking at everything, I had the ability to choose one, even if I was a sobbing mess by the end of the game. Chloe herself said that the people in Arcadia Bay deserved to live unlike her. That Max was delaying her true destiny and that she died or almost died countless of times around her. She thanked her for giving her the time of her life that week and for making her smile like she hadn’t done in years, but the only way of saving everyone was to sacrifice Chloe. Chloe shed light on the situation and all was left to do was make your choice.
I chose to sacrifice Chloe. If you look at it, you would only continue to delay her true destiny and unlike her, you are killing so many people if you chose to sacrifice A.B. It is either one life or tens of others. And its amazing a game can make you feel that. After all you never showed up into her life again until she almost hit you with her truck earlier on in the game, Max never even contacted her when she left A.B or when she returned. I think sacrificing her ends her suffering and the potential suffering of others. At the end of the game you are given statistics of the choices you make compared to others and are given a percentage of the outcomes. Apparently I was not the only one to think so. Just look at these statistics from people who actually played the game!
Almost a 50/50 split! With one 3% over 50 sided with sacrificing her!
I truly loved this game and everyone can gain something from it. I can guarantee that others were emotional by the end of the gameplay. “Needless to say, in our playthrough I may have gotten a little choked up” said MattPat in a video on L.I.S, following a clip of him in a few tears by the end. The choices you make says so much about your personality and I love everything it has to give. This games helps you focus on the present rather than going back to change the past for a better future. As we all grow up we tend to regret things and sometimes wish we could turn back time, but our fate will show us what it has in store for us. We can’t change what has happened, but we can continue to fight in the present for a brighter future and be thankful that we lived the moments we did in the past.
I really love this game and the messages that it gave. I loved the story and the characters. The development of every character throughout the game was amazing and the gameplay was so compelling. Not only that, but I appreciated the graphics of the game along with the great use of symbolism and theories. This game had a mix of a lot of things, and they worked very well together.
On another note Life Is Strange 2 has been confirmed and I am waiting for its release. The story will follow a whole new set of characters because Max’s story has been finalized and I can not wait! YAY!