Life is Strange: True Colors review – find your feelings

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Life is Strange: True Colors is a beautiful game in so many ways, but never more so than in the moments when it delivers its underlying message: the importance of kindness and coming together around those in need. It’s not perfect, but it’s a delight for all the senses, and her upbeat worldview is precisely the positivity many of us crave right now.

True Colors follows Alex Chen, a music lover with a troubled past who feels lonely most of the time. After eight years in foster care, she reunites with her brother Gabe in the quiet mountain town of Haven Springs, Colorado, only for Gabe to be tragically killed in a landslide. It’s an apparent accident, but Alex soon suspects foul play and sets out to find the culprit.

In this she is aided by a supernatural power of empathy. Alex can tell what other people are feeling without needing to speak to them, seeing their emotions as colored auras: red for anger, purple for fear, yellow for joy, and blue for sadness. At times, Alex will delve deeper into particularly powerful emotions, experiencing them on her own and thus learning exactly what causes them – although in doing so, she risks being overwhelmed and acting beyond her control.

In one particularly memorable scene, Alex tries to calm a woman who has forgotten what she is doing. She sees the fog rolling under the door and through the interstices of the store windows, visualizing the woman’s fear that her memory will cloud with each passing second, before finally helping the woman retrace her steps and walk away. find its roots.

Accessibility and streaming

Tons of care with the options menu ensures that whatever your needs are, you can have a comfortable experience playing Life is Strange: True Colors. There are prompts to alert you to loud noises and bright lights, so you can turn down the volume or the brightness. And if you’re planning on streaming it, there are options to turn off the licensed music and let your cat weigh in on the big decisions. The only omission I can think of is that there is no option to change the controller layout to PlayStation buttons if you are using a Sony controller.

It’s in this scene, and others like this, that I start to appreciate the true beauty of True Colors, but it wasn’t until later that it all kicked in. A live role-play (or LARP) is staged, apparently to help a child come to terms with Gabe’s death, but it also means a lot to Alex. It’s a truly moving moment, in which a tight-knit community acts to help one of their own to feel better, and I am amazed at the powerful sense of belonging it makes me feel. Movies like Bill & Ted’s Great Adventure tell us to ‘be great to each other’, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a game take that message to heart so convincingly, or we. show what this means in practice. This is especially palpable in Alex’s phone messages and social media posts from friends supporting each other in times of need, which are truly heartwarming to see.

It motivates me to reciprocate – to help the locals. I often find myself exploring every nook and cranny of Haven Springs looking for people I haven’t spoken to yet, just to see how they’re doing, and the game does well to recognize and reward those efforts. Again, this is deeply rewarding and reinforces the central message that it is good to care and be kind.

But True Colors doesn’t make the mistake of suggesting it’s the easy way. The best storytelling games have long succeeded in lending weight to major choices, but I rarely, if ever, agonized for more than several minutes on a crucial decision.

I rarely, if ever, agonized for more than several minutes over a critical decision

The story of True Colors is well told, well acted and gripping throughout – I played the whole game in two sessions. I have one big gripe is that the main plot twists are predictable if you know where to look. When so many small moments carry such weight, it’s a little disappointing to find the larger plot justifying my first suspicions as it developed, as it has undermined some of the more momentous moments.

But maybe these anticlimaxes stand out because I’m otherwise so engrossed, and it’s not just because of the writing. For example, when Alex first arrives in Haven Springs, I lean on a bridge to take in the view, while Gabrielle Aplin’s ‘Home’ plays softly. The character animations are brilliant, but in particular this is one of the best crying, with the most compelling streams of tears, that I have ever seen in a game. I much prefer the graphics and art style. here compared to the very stylized look of previous Life is Strange games.

Life is Strange: True Colors Life is Strange: True Colors Life is Strange: True Colors Humble £ 49.99 Buy now Network N earns an affiliate commission on qualifying sales.

There is great attention to detail in everything audiovisual, and they work together to immerse me in every moment, whether calm or intense. The only real sour note with presentation is the noticeable pop in every time there is a jump to a new plane, but more powerful platforms may notice this less.

Related: Check out the best PC adventure games of 2021

Haven Springs is a place I can get lost in, and don’t really want to leave. Shortly after finishing the story, I go back in search of objects with traces of past emotions to learn more about the townspeople. I also spend hours playing on the two arcades to get the best score. I’m happy with the end of my first part – not that I’m ruling out for a second, as I’d like to try a few different choices – but even if there’s nothing more to do, I find myself coming back, just for a quiet place to sit and watch the breathtaking scenery.

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