Life Is Strange is an episodic sci-fi video game developed by DONTNOD Entertainment and published by Square Enix. The game has a total of five episodes with the first episode released on January 29, 2015 and the last episode released on October 20, 2015 for the PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The Linux and Mac versions were released on July 21, 2016. Episodes 1-3 was released on iPad and iPhone on December 14, 2017, with the remaining two episodes to follow in Q1 2018.
Players take control of Max Caulfield, an 18-year-old girl who has just returned to her home town of Arcadia Bay in Oregon to attend the Blackwell Academy. Her dream is to one day become a famous photographer, but her awkward nature and poor self-confidence often gets in the way of this dream. After a strange dream in class, Max finds that she can suddenly control time in short bursts, rewinding to alter events and fix problems that appear in her life. She quickly gets wrapped up with dangerous preppies, a missing girl named Rachel Amber, and old friend Chloe Price who has desperate ambitions. Using her new powers, Max must try to get a grip on her quickly changing life.
Life Is Strange plays like a combination of gameplay elements from Remember Me and a typical modern adventure game. The player moves around the environment to talk with other character, collect items for objectives, and inspect various items to get Max's views on them. At any time, the player can rewind a short amount of time, allowing choices to be redone or certain events to be prevented. Any information learned or items collected are retained through rewinds, giving the player an opportunity to avoid any potential consequences as a result. Choice plays a big role at certain moments, promising "consequences" that are likely to affect future episodes of the game.
Episode 1: Chrysalis (January 29, 2015)*
18-year-old Max Caulfield leaves her family in Seattle to study at Blackwell Academy in her hometown Arcadia Bay, Oregon. During a lesson, she experiences a vivid nightmare. After that she discovers her ability to reverse time and saves her former best friend Chloe from being shot after a fight with fellow student Nathan.
Episode 2: Out of Time (March 24, 2015)
Chloe and Max bond further as Chloe convinces her to experiment with the newly gained power. Meanwhile, Max attempts to help depressed Kate Marsh, who has fallen victim to bullying due to a viral video of her intoxicated at a Vortex Club party.
Episode 3: Chaos Theory (May 19, 2015)
Max and Chloe's investigation into Rachel Amber's disappearance lead them to break into Blackwell Academy after dark, to search for answers. Secrets will be uncovered and Max will find another use for her power.
Episode 4: Dark Room (July 28, 2015)
The truth about Rachel Amber's disappearance comes to light as Max and Chloe uncover the mystery of the "dark room."
Episode 5: Polarized (October 20, 2015)
The season finale. Max desperately seeks a way to fix the problems her gift has caused, but how much will she be willing to sacrifice to put things right?
Photography plays an important role in the game. Beside the mandatory, story-relevant photos the player has the possibility to take 10 optional photos in each episode using Max's retro Polaroid instant camera.
Episode 1: all optional photos
Macro Eyes (Etched table marks / Max's class room)
Wide Angels (Statue / main campus)
Telephotogenic (Skater failing a "tre flip" / main campus)
Lenscrafted (Squirrel / bench next to dorm building)
The Reflex (Fish tank / science classroom)
Histogrammar (Skeleton / science classroom)
Bokeh (Chloe / principal's office)
Pinholed (Mirror / bathroom in Chloe's house)
RAW Strength (Bird / backyard of Chloe's house)
Viewfinder (Truck / outside the diner)
Optican (Dead bird / outside the diner)
Flash! (Camera / kitchen in Chloe's house)
Episode 4: all optional photos
Ambient (Chloe / using her computer)
Time-Lapsed (Bird nest / Chloe's house garage)
Balance (Rocks / near the totem, outside the dorm)
Rangefinder (Squirrels / eating, outside the dorm)
Gamma Value (Footprints / inside the dorm, through a window)
Dioptic Power (Whales / on the beach)
Fisheye (Yellow bird / on a wooden fence)
Manually Exposed (Owl / inside the barn)
Slideshow (Skeleton drawing / inside the pool bathroom)
Tripod (Moon / looking outside, through the pool window)
Episode 5: All optional photos
Incandescent (Kate / Max's class room)
Night Vision (Red headed woman / art gallery)
Framed (Max / after asking for a photo)
Camera Obscura (Whale / middle of the street)
Blowup (Car / hanging from a building)
Iris (Etched table marks / Max's class room)
Sensor (Squirrels / inside the dorm, through a window)
On Display (Skeleton / school hallway)
Light Meter (Warren's locker / locker maze)
Silhouettes (Green bottles / on a wooden board, after collecting all five of them)
The original score was composed by Syd Matters frontman Jonathan Morali, who also contributed two of the licenced tracks that can be heard throughout the episodes.
Max & Chloe
Santa Monica Dream
Angus & Julia Stone
To All of You
Got Well Soon
Message To Bears
In My Mind
Amanda Palmer feat. Brian Viglione
Kids Will Be Skeletons
The Sense of 'Me'
When Max is in her dorm room, the player can choose to use her guitar. Depending on the situation, she might play Crosses by José Gonzales or Something Good by alt-J. But if the player chooses to turn on the stereo first, the original recording will play and Max will strum along with the song.
Episode 1 is now free
On July 21, 2016, DONTNOD Entertainment announced that episode 1 is now available for free for all platforms
Steam Store Page
Developer Diary #1: A New Beginning
Developer Diary #2: The Butterfly Effect
Developer Diary #3: Creating Arcadia Bay
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