Life is Strange: True Colors Review- A Brilliant Return to Form

| | , , ,

Emotional stories and impactful choices have defined Life is Strange as a series. True Colors, the latest entry, honors this tradition brilliantly. It features a lively small town setting with a charming cast of characters, and a beautifully written protagonist. Alex Chen, our main hero, is a relatable and likable lead. And her supernatural abilities bolster not only the narrative, but the gameplay as well.

True Colors is more than a reflection of the past, however. One feature that sets it apart from its predecessors is the absence of the series’ familiar episodic structure. The story is divided into chapters, but they are all available upon purchasing the game. This addition made the experience more enjoyable for me, as I dreaded the wait between episodes of the previous installments.

Consistently engaging writing helps the more compact narrative structure maintain a sense of tension and focus. The story revolves around Alex coming to the fictional Haven Springs, Colorado, to reunite with her older brother, Gabe. She grew up in the foster care system and has not seen him for many years. Her arrival into Haven Springs signifies a fresh start. Things don’t stay upbeat for long, however. Tragedy greets the residents of the town quickly upon her arrival. Soon after, a compelling mystery is thrust upon the player. Alex needs to call upon her powers of empathy to guide her towards the resolution she and her new friends desperately seek.

Powers

Supernatural powers are nothing new for the series, but Alex’s gifts stand out because of their creative implementation into the story. The developers’ unique utilization of her abilities blew me away. It’s also much easier to become invested in Alex because of some of the consequences of her powers, and her need to soothe the suffering of others.

Alex can see auras around people that represent different emotions, as well as literally feel what another person is feeling. She also has some access to people’s memories through objects in the environment, which obviously has many pros and cons that come with it. Observing these objects and learning more about the residents of Haven Springs made the small town feel even more alive.

Alex’s empathic powers are compelling and add more complexity to her character. In every Life is Strange game, the story is primarily about normal people placed in abnormal circumstances. The powers were never the main focus; they were only used as a tool to build up the relationships between the characters. True Colors elevates this concept even further with Alex’s gifts of empathy.

Setting and Characters

Life is Strange True Colors Haven Springs

True Colors also features a more open environment and encourages frequent exploration. Previous installments in the series primarily focused on more limited areas, but in True Colors, players have plenty of space to roam around.

The interactions between the characters are engaging from the beginning, but in my opinion, the narrative was even further enhanced by the backstory found in Alex’s phone. I spent a huge amount of time looking through every single conversation she had with people from her past. We see many different examples of broken relationships there, and how Alex has navigated many complex moments throughout her life. Highlighting a character’s vulnerabilities is always essential for the player to feel emotionally invested. Alex is given a truly layered backstory with a lot of heartbreak and relatability.

Life is Strange True Colors characters

Her character is developed as we progress through the main story, where she is aided by an incredible supporting cast. Ryan and Steph, who become Alex’s closest friends, as well as potential romance options, are exceptionally endearing. The other residents of Haven Springs are also well written and acted, and I found myself caring for them right from the start.

Haven Springs is also one of the most beautiful settings I’ve seen in quite a while. The visuals have improved dramatically since the original Life is Strange, and the environment, as well as the character models, all benefit from it. As gorgeous as the game is, the only downside is that I experienced a bit of frame rate instability during my playthrough on the PS5. A 60 FPSmode has recently been added on next-gen consoles, however, so perhaps that will help remedy the issue.

Final thoughts

Life is Strange: True Colors is a beautiful and moving entry into the series, and is rivaled only by the original installment. A compelling cast of characters, a heartfelt story, and a stunning setting all make this game worth your time.

9/10

Final Thoughts

Life is Strange: True Colors is a beautiful and moving entry into the series, and is rivaled only by the original installment. A compelling cast of characters, a heartfelt story, and a stunning setting all make this game worth your time.

Previous

Battlefield 2042 Beta Disappointed Me

Simple Tips on How to Cope with Java Programming

Next

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.