Life Is Strange Strange Days

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

Bgames form the back­bone of the videogame cal­en­dar, but games that evoke the feel of indie films are much harder to find. Life Is Strange from French de­vel­op­ers Dontnod is do­ing just that. “A big in­flu­ence for us is the mood of in­de­pen­dent movies,” says Dontnod co- founder Jean- Maxime Moris. “It’s why we cre­ated this unique art style by hand- paint­ing ev­ery ob­ject in the game. And why the sound­track is an indie- folk mix of li­censed tracks and orig­i­nal mu­sic.”

Split into five episodic chap­ters, Life Is Strange is the story of Max, a stu­dent who can rewind time. Hav­ing left Ar­ca­dia Bay years prior, Max re­turns to dis­cover her for­mer best friend Chloe has taken a re­bel­lious turn af­ter the death of her fa­ther and the dis­ap­pear­ance of her friend Rachel. De­spite the game’s wel­com­ing, pain­terly look it’s clear some­thing bad’s go­ing down.

“The peace­ful mood is very de­lib­er­ate,” says Moris. “But there is some­thing dark lurk­ing in Ar­ca­dia Bay that the player will in­ves­ti­gate, and the first step of this is the dis­ap­pear­ance of Rachel.”

For Dontnod, whose last game Re­mem­ber Me took the block­buster route, Life Is Strange’s episodic na­ture stemmed from a de­sire to fo­cus on char­ac­ter and story.

“We have a strong story to tell… Peo­ple are used to split­ting a strong story arc into sec­tions that have mini story arcs of their own. We live in an HBO gen­er­a­tion and this is def­i­nitely a fac­tor in the resur­gence of nar­ra­tive- driven games.”

De­vel­op­ers wanted an indie, film fes­ti­val feel.

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