Life is Strange Review Ep.1 - Chrysalis

Telltale has managed, with its particular way of conceiving graphic adventures, to pave the way for a new videogame trend: episodic titles. It is therefore normal that other talented software houses try to exploit this feature to give life to stories based on moral choices and intelligently using the skillful art of cliffhanger, or the technique with which an episode ends with a twist or at a point of fundamental narrative importance. The boys of Dontnod Entertainment, famous for making the good Remember me, they then tried to throw themselves into this genre with Life is Strange, title divided into 5 episodes and distributed to 6 weeks apart from each other. Recall that the first episode is available for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One for € 4.99, but it is possible to buy the full season for € 19.99. Will they be successful in their enterprise or will it be an unsuccessful attempt?

Version tested: PlayStation 4

The human time machine!
The surreal atmosphere of Life is Strange is something unique and fascinating

La plot di Life is Strange - Chrysalis (this is the title of the first episode) revolves around Maxine Caulfield, photography student who, after 5 years of absence, returns to her hometown (called Arcadia Bay) to finish their studies. Here he will have to try to adapt to the tough life on campus, face the most famous girl in the whole school and try to regain contact with his former best friend, with whom he has not had contact since he decided to leave. Everything would seem normal, except that one day Max discovers he has the power to rewind time and begins to have mysterious nightmares connected to a giant hurricane. The plot of this first episode serves as a prologue to the whole affair, but it succeeds, thanks toexcellent characterization of the protagonist and to the mountain of pop citations, to immediately involve and create a dreamlike atmosphere that will surely be able to conquer the player. Life is Strange is a title that proceeds with one slow storytelling, but never boring and that manages, thanks to the topics dealt with, the excellent dialogues and the possibility of making choices that will change history, to place itself among the Olympus of this videogame genre. Although some repercussions on the choices made in this episode are already evident, we will have to wait for the release of future chapters to find out how much our decisions actually affect the story. In any case, the excellent premises there are and, narratively, it is a title that undoubtedly we would like to recommend to lovers of good stories and to those looking for atmospheres similar to works like Donnie Darko and Twin Peaks (the latter also honored with an easter egg in the title).

Back to the future!
A gameplay reminiscent of Telltale titles, but with greater interaction with the environment

Il gameplay di Life is Strange - Chrysalis fishing with both hands from Telltale titles, with limited movements, multiple choice dialogues e decisions capable of influencing the narrative. It must be said that, compared to The Walking Dead team, the guys from Dontnod they focus more on interaction with the environment, offering a greater number of items to be analyzed and, consequently, a greater number of reflections by the protagonist which, in this way, appears excellently characterized and, in some moments, almost “alive” thanks to the avalanche of film, videogames and comic book quotes. There possibility to rewind time, in this first chapter, it is used above all to see possible consequences of our actions which, if we do not like it, it will be possible to cancel to undertake different solutions. It will also be possible to use our power to win the sympathy of the various secondary characters that we will be able to amaze thanks to always correct answers (after all, if we are wrong, it would be enough to go back a few seconds) and attitudes in keeping with their character. However, we hope that in the next few episodes the puzzles related to this particular skill of ours will be more complex and able to squeeze the minds of the players. Each episode of Life is Strange also hides a series of optional photographs that we will have to shoot by carrying out special dialogues and / or actions and which increase the longevity of a title that, in case we decide to tackle only the main storyline, it would last no more than a couple of hours.

Syd Matters is the answer
The music in Life is Strange is more than just a side dish

Il technical sector di Life is Strange - Chrysalis, despite the sometimes woody animations, convinces thanks to a apt character design, to one convincing polygonal modeling of the main characters and, above all, thanks to a soundtrack to say the least wonderful. Among the numerous tracks that make up the surreal soundtrack of this title, in fact, it stands out Syd Matters with a couple of songs that, for sure, will be able to conquer the gamer who will not be able to help but listen to them even once this first episode is over. The dubbing in English (without Spanish subtitles) results excellently made and immediately will contribute to the total identification within this story that makes the sound sector not only an element of secondary importance, but the fulcrum of the chaotic life of Maxine Caulfield.

Verdict 8.5 / 10 How to challenge Telltale head-on Comment Life is Strange - Chrysalis is fully successful. The title branded Dontnod Entertainment involves, excites, entertains and surprises at the right point thanks to a narration of the highest level which, through excellent dialogues and pop citations, immediately captures the player by pulling him into a dreamlike story full of ideas and interesting themes. It is necessary to see how some of these ideas and the decisions taken in this chapter affect the narration of the next episodes, but at the moment the excellent premises are all there. Pros and cons Narratively engaging and surreal
Multiple choices already interesting
Stellar sound sector x Weight of moral choices to be verified
x Lack of localization in Spanish

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