‘Life is Strange: True Colors’ game review

Image courtesy of Square Enix

game: Life is Strange: True Colors
developer: Deck Nine
genre: adventure

platforms: PC, Xbox One & Series X/S, PlayStation 4 & 5, Stadia
release date: September 10, 2021
star rating: five out of five

review by Ainsley Cotherman

Life is Strange: True Colors has everything that makes the previous Life is Strange (LiS) games so memorable: tough choices, the ability to see what percentage of other players made the same choices, mystery, emotional backstories, a supernatural power, some form of artistic talent in the main character, representation for the LGBTQ+ community, and – above all – an amazing soundtrack. Not only does it offer these components, but many more. The natural scenery in True Colors is breathtaking; it makes you feel like you are really in the Colorado mountains. There are several mini-games embedded within the main story, two of which you can go back and play from the home screen at your leisure. Additionally, you can change the outfit of the main character periodically. These were nice touches. I also appreciate that the game was released all at once, rather than split into episodes as the previous entries were.

The characters’ facial expressions and body language are quite realistic. They have distinct, likable personalities and struggles that feel genuine. The game gives you plenty of opportunities to interact with items while exploring Alex’s environment, thereby earning trophies. You can read through her old texts and social media, helping build character development even more. The dialogue has some corny lines, but this is characteristic of pretty much all Square Enix games, so at this point, it’s just part of the charm, especially since the voice acting is so good. When I first saw that Alex’s special power is detecting the emotions of others, I thought it might be lame, but it ended up being something more; there are elements of memory and mind-reading as well.

The plot of LiS: True Colors is most reminiscent of LiS 1, however, the sibling bond did remind me of LiS 2. One of the main characters in True Colors, Steph, was previously featured in LiS: Before the Storm; the LARP with Steph in this game is like a great throwback to the D&D match with her in that game. In all the earlier LiS games, the main characters were high school students. In contrast, the main characters of True Colors are mid-20s to 30s adults, so there’s a new level of maturity to experience. It’s like the games grew up with us.

I love these story-driven “choices matter” games, but of course, if you are looking for a highly skill-based shooter, this probably isn’t for you. I am rating Life is Strange: True Colors five out of five. I just finished my first playthrough, and I’m already itching to start it again. Can’t wait to test out some new decisions and relationships!

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