Twin Peaks…okay. WB movie slate presentation…I’m pretty sure I’ll watch Justice League when it comes out. Definitely interested in hearing about what Terry Moore is going to do with Strangers in Paradise next year. HOWEVER, the SDCC 2017 panel I’m most excited for is Life is Strange on Friday at 6:30PM in 24ABC.
For those that don’t know, Life is Strange is an episodic game series published by Square Enix (Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts) and developed by DontNod. The game’s plot focuses on Max Caulfield, a photography student who discovers that she has the ability to rewind time at any moment, leading her every choice to enact the butterfly effect. After having foreseen an approaching storm, Max must take on the responsibility to prevent it from destroying her hometown Arcadia Bay. Things aren’t as straight forward as that description puts forth. Max’s estranged childhood friend Chloe Price is the catalyst for many of the events players will experience. Since the death of her father, Chloe has become a troubled rebellious teen who stirs up problems in Arcadia Bay as she searches for the only friend she had left Rachel Amber who’s gone missing under suspicious circumstances. Max now has the power to not only keep Chole from getting herself killed, but she could Barry Allen her way through time and fix everything for the friend she abandoned. Much like when the Flash created an alternate timeline, fixing things may make things exponentially worse.
That’s the brilliance of Life is Strange, while making decisions that affect the outcome isn’t anything new; Max’s ability to allow the player to go back in time to see how the path not taken would have panned out adds tension for the player. Every choice has more gravity when there’s no right choice, only whatever decision you can live with as Max. You dictate the fate of a chessboard full of characters you’ll fall for from the start and it crescendos in one of the most heartwrenching Sophie’s choices you’ll ever experience in a video game. To date, the game has sold over 2 million copies and won the BAFTA Games Award for Best Story, the Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Award and The Game Awards’ Games for Impact Award.
What makes Life Is Strange truly special in its medium is a parallel it shares with Brian K. Vaughan’s comic series, Saga. A special book in comics because it has become the comic you give people who don’t like reading comics. Life is Strange is the game you give people who love incredible stories but might be intimidated by the word “gaming”.
In August, fans will get to experience another part of this story in Life Is Strange: Before The Storm. A three episode prequel to Life is Strange that details the events that happened to Chloe after her father’s death up to the beginning of the first game. We couldn’t fit the game in during our time at E3 this year but not only will everyone get to see firsthand gameplay from this new series, but developers will be on-hand for an open book Q&A. If you’re curious as to what the future holds for this seemingly out of nowhere franchise or want to see first hand what all the fuss is about, don’t miss the Life Is Strange panel at SDCC on Friday @6:30PM in 24ABC.