Two blogs in two days? You must be feeling spoilt! But there is a reason for this, and the reason is International Women’s Day!

For this special day that comes around just once a year – like all the good ones; Christmas, birthdays (unless you’re the Queen), Summer solstice…and some others, you get the picture – it deserves at least a couple of entries dedicated to it. My earlier post was focused on my point of view of ‘Why do we need International Women’s Day?

This post is something a little different for me and my blog. In light of the upcoming (at the time) International Women’s Day, and with me being a woman and all, I was asked by ShopTo, an online games retail company, to write a review of a game for them. An actual video game review. Me. I know!

But since Dan and I were actually playing Life is Strange on the PS4 at the time, I thought I’d give it a shot.

ShopTo wanted to take this opportunity to show that video games are for all, and for this they asked a number of their female customers to write game reviews for the games they were currently playing; to be posted alongside their resident (male) reviewer’s reviews.

Here is mine:

Life is Strange is my kind of game. However, the first thing to know about me is that I am in no way an avid gamer, in fact my own personal consoles have consisted of:

  • A Disney Aladdin handheld
  • A yellow Nintendo Game Boy
  • Two Nintendo DS consoles which were mainly used for playing Professor Layton and Zoo Keeper (I remember playing this so much I would go to bed still seeing the grids as I closed my eyes), and
  • My phone for Candy Crush. What, that doesn’t count?

Any ‘real’ gaming I’ve done has been with my husband at my side and usually under his request. Some excuse about ‘spending more time together’ – but these kind of games all have something in common. A storyline and various puzzles to solve. Punch-em-ups don’t interest me. Racing games, oh don’t even get me started on those, why do tracks need corners?!

Over the years we’ve completed together Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, most of the Lego games, Blue Toad Murder Files, Murdered: Soul Suspect and a few more (and even more started but never finished). Now to that completed list I can add, Life is Strange.

Suggested by my husband as a game ‘I might like’, he handed me the controller. I took it with a silent sigh as I thought “how long do I have to endure this one before he realises I don’t want to play and he’ll just have to complete it himself?” I had no idea how gripped I would become.

I admit it wasn’t instant. It took me until chapter two to actually get hooked but by the end of chapter one I could at least see myself carrying on with it for a little longer. You know, for my husband’s sake.

You play the whole game as Max, a Photography student who has moved back to her hometown of Arcadia Bay. There she finds both nothing and everything has changed in the five years she’s been gone.

And it’s not just the town that has changed. After a bizarre dream in class, Max soon discovers she has the power to rewind time. Oh, how we all wish we had our own personal undo button sometimes, well Max has one and she sure ain’t afraid to use it!

With her reinstated (and super unlucky) best friend Chloe at her side, her rewind power in her arsenal and her nosy parker approach, Max quickly realises that things aren’t exactly as they seem and there are bigger things to worry about in Arcadia Bay than getting a degree.

Turning detective, Max must find the answer to the disappearance of fellow student Rachel Amber before history repeats itself.

Throughout the game you are given chances to make choices for Max. These choices can affect certain aspects of play as you continue on. Always wanted to give a smart-ass remark to a teacher? Now’s your chance! Don’t like the result of your choice? Rewind. But be careful, the new future you’re creating, might just be a little bit worse.

Whether you make the choices for Max using instinct or deep considerations of the pros and cons; you’ll find you will ask yourself at least once, ‘what would I do?’ You may even surprise yourself with the answers you pick.

As I said earlier, this game is my kind of game. Why? Because there are investigations to conduct, moral dilemmas to work out, a darn good story line, and not a punch-up in sight, well, maybe only one or two.

The story, characters and scenery are brought to life well and truly through the beautiful artwork and spot-on music. Nothing felt out of place. Although some of the dialogue can feel a bit out-of-sync or even out of proportion when a response given to one of your choices doesn’t quite flow; but generally the story re-picks itself up quickly. Inside tip for a quieter life in Arcadia Bay: choose your answers carefully with a character called Kate, otherwise the guilt tripping from her is intense.

Life is Strange (a disappointingly lazy title by the way – I don’t think it does the game justice), is such a reflective game that it managed to creep its way into my everyday life. So much so that I would find myself at work thinking about what might be about to happen next in the story and wondering – if I did this would it change that, or – if I did that would it change this.

However, the ending is the ending and it’ll take you to it no matter what choices you make; which overall feels a little what’s the point of the rest of it? But, as they say, it’s about the journey, not the destination. And a fine journey it is!


One thought on “Life is Strange review for ShopTo

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