Home Game Reviews Life is Strange: True Colors – Will Alex’s Secret Tear the Town Apart?

Life is Strange: True Colors – Will Alex’s Secret Tear the Town Apart?

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Life Is Strange True Colors Alex Front
Life Is Strange True Colors Alex Front

Title: Life is Strange: True Colors
Developer: Deck Nine Publisher: Square Enix
Platform Reviewed: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Released: September 10, 2021 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC;  December 7, 2021: Nintendo Switch
Article Reading Time: 9 minutes

True Colors of Haven Springs

Life is Strange: True Colors serves as an excellent entry point for newcomers to the franchise, thanks to its standalone story and relatable protagonist. However, seasoned fans will find familiar themes, gameplay mechanics, and subtle callbacks to previous games that enrich the experience. But no worries, Life is Strange: True Colors can be enjoyed without knowledge of three previous installments.

Life Is Strange True Colors  Montain View
Life Is Strange True Colors: Montain View

Having previously played the first Life is Strange, its prequel titled Before The Storm, and the sequel Life is Strange 2, I have to confess I fell in love with the emotional world full of unexpected twists and turns and difficult decisions that these games offer. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to immerse myself once again in this captivating series. I am excited about the latest Life is Strange series installment.

For those who have yet to hear of Life is Strange, it is an episodic graphic interactive story adventure game that is not particularly surprising in gameplay as it follows the tradition of previous installments. Still, the better pace of the story, along with containing a lot of decision sequences and frequent content of cutscenes and cutscenes forming the vast majority of the game, and between these sequences, the player can move around the visually very charming available locations in a visual treatment reminiscent of, for example, the games from The Walking Dead series by Telltale Games.

Alex Chen: From Family Heartache to Mystical Might

In this game, the protagonist is a young girl named Alex Chen. She has gone through a lot of hardships in her childhood, as she lost her mother to cancer and her father left home. This unfortunate turn of events has led to her separation from her older brother, Gabe.

After spending many years in orphanages and foster homes, Alex, now an adult, is excited to finally reunite with her brother Gabe in Haven Springs, Colorado. Upon arriving in the small town, she quickly becomes close to her brother and other local community members. She even finds a place to live, making her dream of having a natural home a reality. However, as is typical in the Life is Strange series, things turn dark when a tragedy occurs, leading Alex and her brother on a quest for the truth. Their investigation involves the local mining company Typhoon, responsible for the Uranium mining operation in the Haven Springs area.

Life Is Strange True Colors  Silver Dragon
Life Is Strange True Colors: Silver Dragon

Choices and Consequences

As you explore Haven Springs in this game, you will come across various places like a music store, a florist, a pharmacy, and the Black Lantern bar and restaurant. The town is visually appealing, with intricate details and a vibrant atmosphere. The game’s decision-making system plays a significant role in the gameplay, and every choice you make has consequences. However, I must admit that later in the story, the game does not follow through on its promise of impactful decision-making despite displaying the “your choice will have consequences” message in the top corner of the screen.

Life is Strange: True Colors
Life is Strange:True Colors – Alex and Friend Steph Gingrich, local DJ, “Queen of Nerds”

I instead got the impression that this was not always the case. Quite often, these consequences were not actually wholly consequences but just changed the final dialogue with certain characters and so on, which gave me the unwanted feeling that I didn’t have as much influence on setting the direction of the story as the game at first glance claimed. However, the story itself was very good, but in short, I felt slightly robbed of that feeling of “control over the action.” Another thing that influenced my view of the story is the fact that several familiar moments and situations could be seen in previous works, Specifically from the first Life is Strange and its prequel Before The Storm, which, as a die-hard fan, at first, I was very pleased with and had a strong sense of nostalgia, but later when it was my turn to think more deeply I wasn’t too happy with this decision by the developers DeckNine. Instead, it gave me the feeling that the developers were trying to feed on the fame of the already mentioned previous episodes, but on the other hand, I have to say that it didn’t hurt the story, and still, True Colors kept its own identity and uniqueness in terms of narrative, independent from the previous episodes.

Life is Strange: True Colors
Life is Strange:True Colors – It’s Pictursque

Empathy’s Double-Edged Sword: Gift and Curse

The last and perhaps the most essential thing related to the gameplay that I must in no way leave out and that is necessary for Life is Strange
is the supernatural ability of the protagonist. Alex has had a “curse,” as she calls it, since birth, and that is that she can feel other people’s emotions and, in a way, read thoughts through them, such as sadness, anger, fear, or joy… An aura of a different color also depicts each emotion depending on the type of emotion. If a person is experiencing an emotion very strongly, Alex can feel and experience these emotions partly herself, which may not always be as lovely in practice as it sounds. For Alex, this can be a severe problem in places, which hurts her psyche.

Life Is Strange True Colors Alex
Life Is Strange:True Colors – Alex Sees Through People

Alex’s empathy can be both a gift and a burden. While it allows her to connect with others profoundly, it can also overwhelm her. There are moments when her inability to shield herself from strong emotions leads to internal conflict and difficult choices – should she prioritize helping others even at the risk of personal distress? Her powers become central to not only to unraveling the mystery in Haven Springs but also offer poignant commentary on the challenges of being highly empathetic.

Life Is Strange True Colors  Flowers
Life Is Strange:True Colors – Flowers

True Colors of Sounscape

After the gameplay, we move on to the following extensive domain of the Life is Strange series: the music. This has always been the royal discipline of these games, and with Life is Strange True Colors, it is no different.
Fans will probably agree that I’ve heard better soundtracks in other titles, but that doesn’t change the fact that the game maintains its excellent standard within the brand. The choice of licensed music throughout the game is hilarious and enjoyable and often works well in the specific moments of the game in which the songs are set, as we are used to with the rest of the series.

While True Colors maintains the series’ affinity for emotive indie music, it deviates slightly from the melancholic melodies that defined its predecessors. Songs by artists like Novo Amor and Angus & Julia Stone provide a familiar touch, but the soundtrack often leans towards brighter, pop-infused tracks. This musical shift reflects Alex’s personality, which is more hopeful and outwardly expressive than the introspective protagonists of earlier games. However, fans who deeply connected with the poignant, almost haunting scores of the first Life is Strange or Before the Storm might find True Colors’ soundtrack lacks the same thematic depth and nostalgic resonance that so powerfully underscored their narratives.

Life Is Strange True Colors : Thrilled Alex
Life Is Strange: True Colors – Dark Alex

Another Valued Game Added to the Life is Strange Series

Despite the shortcomings such as vulgarly speaking “robbing” other parts of the series, although not to a great extent and not always convincing decision-making system in which the player does not seem to have as much power as he would like, it is still a good story adventure game with a sympathetic protagonist, interesting supernatural abilities and a thrilling story which is complemented by an enjoyable soundtrack which still makes this game a title I can still recommend very highly.

Buy Life is Strange: True Colors
PlayStation Store . Xbox Store . Steam . Nintendo Switch

By the way, quiz question: who do you like the most, Alex, Ellie from Last of Us or Amicia from Plague Tale ?

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