Life is Strange: True Colors is the latest entry to the franchise, with an astonishing soundtrack, relaxing gameplay, and a story that brings both joy and sadness. If you have played the previous entries in the series then True Colors is a must-play. But if you haven’t, don’t worry. It welcomes new players with both familiar and fresh themes that keep you hooked till the end. So in this review, let’s look at how Life is Strange True Colors exceeds the endeavors set by the previous games.
Life is Strange: True Colors Review
A Fresh New Start
Life is Strange True Colors is a whole new story about young Asian-American woman Alex Chen, who possesses the power of Empathy, giving her the ability to sense the emotional auras of others as different colors and absorb these feelings herself if they are strong enough.
The basic premise involves Alex starting over a new life in the midwestern fictional town of Haven Springs, Colorado. She is reunited with her brother Gabe, after spending eight years in a foster care system. Alex always viewed her powers as a curse to normal life and tries everything to suppress them. But all this is changed when something terrible happens. Alex has to finally come to terms with her condition and embrace her abilities.
If you haven’t watched the trailer yet, I would suggest not to, because a major twist is given away in it. You will have a much better experience if you begin playing without knowing anything about the story.
Alex is one of the best characters after the first game’s protagonist Maxine Caulfield. I was skeptical with the title of the developer being passed to Deck Nine Games from Dontnod, even though they worked on the prequel to the first game, “Before the Storm” back in 2017. But now after completing True Colors, I am happy with the fresh new perspective and storytelling we got this time. True Colors feels more true to the original game than the sequel Life is Strange 2. This starts from Haven Springs, a town you feel connected just like Arcadia Bay. Life is Strange 2 lacked this, which took away the emotions of feeling attached to your environment. You won’t have that issue while playing True Colors.
Haven Springs, even though a small town, is brought to life with believable voice acting and beautiful locations. Even the facial animation is better than all the earlier games. There is a section in Chapter 3 where most of the town is converted to a magical world as part of a LARP and most of the community taking part in it. Mini-Games like these, add more fun to True Colors which is better than the previous installments.
The only moment where you feel left out is when Alex reads someone’s mind. These voices sound less like inner thoughts, and more like one sentence dialogue options for you as the protagonist. But understanding the style of previous games, I can go along with it. The previous games suffered from inconsistent storytelling while True Colors gets it right. Thankfully, your connection with Alex is never broken throughout the game.
Best Soundtrack and Graphics in the Series
Ture Colors has the best soundtrack with songs and music that merge and amplify the visuals you see in the game. The music is very efficient in bringing out the emotions Alex is going through and even successfully brings out the same feelings inside you. I tested out a part of the game by muting the sound and I truly understand the immersion I was missing without it.
The graphics of the game feel very similar to previous games, but now we have received better body movements and fluid animations than ever before. The devs managed to keep graphics so simple, the game even ran beautifully in a low-end spec system.
There were a few minor bugs and glitches I found with the graphics, where texture popping was evident. I even faced two instances where Alex loaded up in basic “T Pose” without any animation, but these were soon fixed within the scene without any major delay. Apart from these issues, the body animations from simple walking to complex dance moves felt natural, and kudos to the team for true-to-life facial animations.
No More Waiting for Chapters
Deck Nine Games chose to let go of the previous release model, where different episodes are released with time intervals in between. This is a great move because the previous model took away your connection with characters during the waiting period where we resorted to other video games out there. True Colors gives you the complete game and all five episodes together. As a result of this, you feel more invested in both the characters and the plot.
Talking about the plot, the first episode feels pretty slow where you are introduced to new characters and the theme of the game. True colors actually did a good job of making us follow the footsteps of Alex, as you see the world through her eyes. You learn more about the world exactly the same time Alex learns it which makes you feel closer to the character.
As you may already know, making decisions for Alex is the backbone of the game. The dialogue options give meaningful changes to the central plot, which could change how, you, as the player feel throughout Alex’s journey. This is pretty brilliantly done in True Colors.
Life is Strange has beautiful motion animation, dialogues, songs, and a well resonating plot as you would expect from the series. It struggles with a few minor bugs and an unsatisfying conclusion to the arc with 6 different endings only with few differences from each other. If replayability is not on the top of your list, then Life is Strange True Colors is the best experience you can get. If you can look past these issues, then you will easily find True Colors to the second-best narrative in the series after the first game.
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