Life is Strange gives us a new adventure of super powers, emotion and cute characters. On this occasion, we do not play it by chapters separated by time, but as a complete game. Unfortunately, although the title is still entertaining, it lacks the strength in the story and narrative rhythm to get us excited.
Life is Strange: True Colors is an adventure that is only interested in one thing: telling us the story of Alex Chen . The young woman has traveled from orphanage to orphanage because of a stormy past. Also, he is not an ordinary person. She has a power: she can feel people’s emotions by seeing and interpreting her aura.
If you get too close, you can even sense the source of your anger, frustration, joy, or fear. This power can also be applied to objects. The emotions of its users are imprinted on things. Alex can approach them and hear the voices of their owners laughing, suffering or getting excited.
With this starting point, Alex arrives in Haven, a bucolic town full of adorable people. At last it seems that there you will be able to find something to call home. Unfortunately, shortly after their arrival, a fatal accident occurs that causes someone to die. That triggers the beginning of the video game story. Miss Chen will have to find out who the murderer was while meeting all her neighbors and finding herself.
Here is where the problems start. Life is Strange: True Colors wants to tell too many things and, unfortunately, it does not manage to develop any of its plots well . The game begins with a super attractive starting point. Being Chen, we can walk freely down the main avenue of the town of Haven. We can go into his bar, his dispensary, his record store and also talk to the neighbors.
Taking into account that after the crime the protagonist sets out to discover who the culprit is, and has the powers to get into the criminal’s mind, the game seems to suggest that we can move freely by doing our investigations, getting it right and wrong. But it’s not like that. Life is Strange: True Colors is deeply linear; And being linear is not a bad thing, but not using the virtues of linearity in a fun way is.
Sometimes it gives us the option to do one of several things in any order we want, but that’s it. He does not take advantage of that freedom to live in the village, to spy on people for their schedules or to do whatever it takes. What’s more, sometimes it seems that this supposed freedom bothers the game. When we have several tasks to do in order, Chen does not stop repeating to ourselves what we have to do so that we do not forget, so that we get lost, or so that we do not get to explore and discover that there is no such freedom .
And the entire crime investigation actually occurs without Chen investigating. It is something similar to what happens with Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Everything appears fortuitously before your eyes. Nor is the game’s decision system used to make it fun, neither this nor its outcome .
Also, ejuego cheats a lot with this. Chen makes decisions on his own without asking the player what he wants to do when you know that doing it is not the right thing to do, and that it will go wrong. He also sometimes asks us to choose between several options and then he does not care what we have chosen. An example of this we see at the beginning of the game.
Chen is faced with a tough decision: to explain to someone very close that he has powers, or not. You decide not to so he doesn’t think you’re crazy. But half an hour later Chen decides, without asking the player, that there is no problem telling two characters in the game he just met; and that one of them could be the murderer . This happens too many times. Sometimes the game itself seems to know. At one point a character tells you: “This is not one of those times when you can choose yes or no!” And, what do I know, it seems to me that it is.
True Colors doesn’t materialize all your good ideas
With an investigative game structure that, in my humble opinion, is lax for not taking advantage of decisions, for falling into all the possible clichés of the genre and for having an uneven pace, Life is Strange: True Colors is better at what that this franchise knows how to do better: let its characters speak, feel, listen to music, drink and dance, watch the sunset, cry and dream of a better future. But here’s another problem that prevents this from working: Chen’s power. His empathic ability allows him to immerse himself in what people feel.
With two scenes we can already know if someone loves us or not, if they suffer or not and why. That speeds up the rhythm of the narrative without success.Now we don’t have to spend a quiet afternoon watching a sunset with someone sharing anecdotes, making decisions and connecting on an emotional level. What we do now is see his intentions behind the aura that he emits, press a button and read what he thinks . This ability, which would have to be more central in the investigation, is not quite so except in very specific moments, and spoils the relationships between the protagonists.
So much so that in the game you can choose between two people to fall in love with, but at the time of the choice I didn’t care who to choose. He hadn’t connected with either of them, he didn’t know them . And the reason is that he only knew about them because of Chen’s power. For me, they were a set of data extracted from information drawn from emotions and objects; read but not felt.
That is to say, the powers that should make research a lot of fun fail to do so, and what is even worse, they make interpersonal relationships very superficial . Which does not help if we add to this that the presumed freedom of its narrative structure and its more open environment collide with the linearity of the game and its too closed structure in five episodes.
But this is not to say that the game is a disaster, far from it. Throughout chapter three, True Colors does a magic between narrative and playable that reveals the potential of Chen’s power to achieve something good. In chapter one, when he immerses himself in the mind of someone with a serious mental disorder, he is able to warp reality by pointing to something also brilliant . But the problem is that he always stays halfway in everything he sets out to do.
Despite all these problems, I have entertained myself with True Colors. It is the most linear title in the entire franchise and one in which decisions matter less, but I have liked Alex Chen and there is an underlying message that works. When his powers manage to go hand in hand with research and his relationship with others, the title has glimpses of grandeur. In addition, the art style and its soundtrack also go a long way towards achieving adorable moments of calm.
The problem is that there is too much poorly focused experimentation here, too much fuzzy ambition, and too many concepts tripping each other up. And that ends up making the story , the narration, the decision-making and the affection that you can take to the characters of True Colors skid .
Life is Strange: True Colors stays on an adventure guided by its history that is only enough to enjoy a couple of entertaining afternoons. He has very brave ideas and tremendous potential; both the freedom to move around a town, the investigation of a murder or the powers of Chen are absolutely promising, but the game fails to take advantage of them. Neither in the playable, in its history, in its decision-making or in its narration does it manage to surprise or stand out. It’s an entertaining adventure, but sadly, it fails to make its rich color palette paint a beautiful or memorable picture.
This game is available for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Stadia.You can order this game from Square Enix.
5 Things you should know:
- There are five chapters in a single video game.
- We investigate the characters using empathy.
- You can play it even if you haven’t played anything before Life is Strange.
- His artistic direction and his music are still great.
- It has some secondary mission that gives variety to the game.
Duration: 7-8 hours
Players: 1 (Competitive: No / Cooperative: No)
Language: Texts in Spanish and voices in English.
To buy:Buy it for only € 54.95