Life is Strange: Episode 1 - Chrysalis (PlayStation 4) Review

By David Lovato 12.02.2015 1

Review for Life is Strange: Episode 1 - Chrysalis on PlayStation 4

Developer Dontnod Entertainment and publisher Square Enix step into the choice-based adventure genre with Life is Strange Episode 1: Chrysalis. With plenty of hype surrounding the new release, Cubed3 takes a closer look to see how this first episode fares, especially with so many adventure titles being released in recent times.

These days, graphic adventure games are almost synonymous with Telltale Games, but Dontnod Entertainment and Square Enix are looking to give it a run for its money with their own interactive drama, Life is Strange. Players control Max, a young adult photography student who discovers she has the ability to rewind time, but only a little. The delivery of this concept is surprisingly complex; in games like this, where players choose a dialogue option or an action for the character to perform, it might seem easy if they can simply rewind time and choose a different outcome. This is countered by the introduction of the butterfly effect: how Max's actions will affect her life in the long run is not immediately clear, and only the short term is foreseeable at any given moment.

Screenshot for Life is Strange: Episode 1 - Chrysalis on PlayStation 4

Being a graphic adventure, there isn't a lot of action in Life is Strange. The game's entertainment comes from the plethora of things hidden around the environment, and even keen-eyed players might miss some of the 'Easter Eggs' or even key plot devices scattered through the playable world. A strong focus is also placed on character development. A simple choice can lead to a fight with Max's worst enemy or a moment of kindness from her instead. Characters tend to be layered and complex, like real people, and things aren't always as they seem. At the centre of it all is the story of a missing girl, and how she relates to people and places in Max's past.

Screenshot for Life is Strange: Episode 1 - Chrysalis on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Life is Strange Episode 1: Chrysalis is a good introduction to the game world and story. There's a clear direction, setting, and tone Dontnod is going for, but splitting the game into episodes means a lot of waiting to see if it can carry it through to the end. There's a lot of potential here, both for success and failure, but at the very least Episode 1 provides a great experience full of exploration and intrigue. The cliff-hanger ending serves the episodic nature well enough, but separating chapters by several weeks could prove to be the game's downfall.

Also known as

Life is Strange: Episode 1

Developer

Dontnod Entertainment

Publisher

Square Enix

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Okay, you convinced me - I've just dipped in! It certainly sounds intriguing enough Smilie At least intriguing enough to want to see how it all pans out over the next episodes, anyway.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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