Life is Strange: True Colors Review


Photo from PlayStation

Sierra Donis (she/her), Staff Writer

One of the recent campaign video games released was Life Is Strange: True Colors, a single-player, decision-based game, and graphic adventure. 

Developed by Deck Nine and released in September 2021, this third installment of the Life Is Strange series continues to tell a story full of twists and turns, along with improving its past game’s mistakes. 

Through the game, you follow the life of Alex Chen, a young woman who has left the foster care system to reunite with her long-lost brother, Gabe, in the rural mountain town of Haven Springs. Yet Alex has a secret ability: she is an empath. It allows her to feel others’ emotions, and even delve into them to hear what the person is thinking and feeling. When conflict arises, Alex finds herself sinking into the mysteries of Haven Springs, trying to bring those secrets and mysteries to the surface. 

The setting of Haven Springs is nothing less than beautiful. Perfectly displaying the truly stunning environment that the Colorado mountains have to offer with vibrant colors and soft tones. The town itself also has a warm and homey feel, with cute local shops and a tight community of (occasionally) friendly residents.

The setting brings in a lot of functionality into the game, from plenty of additional insight from residents through social media apps, to even being able to LARP (live-action role-play) within the small town. 

Alex’s mechanics in the game are enthralling and is a noteworthy addition to the game. Her ability to investigate people’s emotions and thoughts adds a lot of new elements to explore, along with learning about characters’ backstories and challenges in an interactive way. The visuals that come with these mechanics are truly a thrill to witness and can make for many emotional moments.

Life is Strange’s main story carries through when it comes to dialogue, and it shows major improvement from its previous games. It feels more realistic and wastes much less time to get to the main point. This meaningful dialogue adds a lot to the side characters in the story and builds onto them, which creates more meaning to the world and cast that you’re interacting with.

Yet, Life is Strange lacks intensity, and you can find yourself not gaining any suspense from key moments. In other words, that means there’s an absence of important choices. Very few choices feel like they have an impact on the player, and the tension isn’t prevalent when it needs to be. 

Not only that, Life is Strange also felt too rushed. The runtime was generally short either way (12-14 hours), yet with the potential that the game had, it could’ve been used much more effectively. Chapters fly by fast, and right when you’re at the starting line, you’ve already made it to the end credits. The game left players hungry for more and stuck with a feeling of disappointment since it had the potential to be expanded upon before it ended abruptly. 

This new chapter of the Life is Strange series does prove itself as a contender compared to the rest of the games, supported by awing visuals, mechanics, and dialogue. But despite the places where it has improved, it swung and missed when it tried to tell a tale of suspense and unpredictability and left the player hungry for more with its short runtime and underwhelming choices. 

Overall, Life is Strange: True Colors feels much more lighthearted than it needs to be, rather than thrilling and emotionally resonant; yet it still amounts to an enjoyable experience.

Verdict: 8/10