“Life Is Strange: True Colors” will try to make empathy as cool as telekinesis

When you play Life is Strange: True Colors, the good news is you won’t have to wait for the next chapter to continue the story. Life is strange and its suite, like that of Telltale The walking dead, was analyzed in episodic pieces of a complete game. This meant you couldn’t just go through the entire game in a few days, but had to wait, almost like a super slow-burning TV show. Chapters often ended with a cliffhanger, whether it was life and death decisions or major twists – Life is Strange loves good twists. This will not be the case with True colors. Well, there will definitely still be some big reveal and cliffhangers, you just won’t have to linger until the story continues and resolves.

This time around, you play as 21-year-old Alex Chen, who moved to Haven Springs, Colorado to reunite with his brother Gabe. According to the new E3 trailer, Alex seems in awe of the life Gabe has made for himself and the warm characters who live in this small mountain town. But it’s LIS, and the tragedy is usually just a few narrative beats away. Gabe mysteriously dies, and True Colors focuses on Alex’s efforts to figure out what happened and what is responsible for Gabe’s death. Oh, and she has high-level empathic skills that will help her along the way.

The remoteness of episodic content could still be the major difference between the last game in the overkill narrative series – one that always changes characters, location, plot, and playstyle. Even the creative talent behind it has exchange. Life is Strange: True Colors comes from the Deck Nine team, not Dontnod, although this is the same studio that worked on Life is strange: before the storm.

According to Jon Zimmerman, the game’s narrative director, this change from episodic streaming was driven by “fans’ desire for freedom to engage. [with the game] as they wish ”. It will be interesting to see how public reception is affected by this. The phased release of these games has helped players build their own fan theories and collectively speculate. As a standalone title, we might miss this.

However, Deck Nine noted that there are some advantages to this more traditional approach. Because the whole game is done in the same amount of time, it’s possible to go back and tweak the design and storytelling. Narrative director Jon Zimmerman explained that thanks to this, they ended up going back to the first part of the game and giving Alex his mystical powers sooner than expected. He added that because Alex had her powers of empathy when she interacted with her brother, it could “play a significant role” in establishing the relationship between siblings. Lead writer Felice Kuan added that there are also advantages to “doing it all at once” when it comes to a game that deals with mystery.

Square Enix

Let’s focus on Alex’s power of empathy. Yes, I think it sounded a bit lame, but it apparently formed the starting point for the game as a whole. The team explained that they wanted to be resilient in the midst of desperation – the protagonist will apparently come with her own baggage before having to deal with her brother’s death – and that it’s not just power. to read minds, plus “the heart to read,” said producer Rebeccah Bassell. The game seems to develop the idea of ​​empathy, both in True Colors and in the real world. “It’s a double-edged sword,” Bassell said, “If you call yourself an empath, you can feel absolutely everything. And lose who you are. It’s similar to Alex’s progression in this game.

Like most titles in Life Is Strange, you’ll listen to the people around you, take action, and make decisions that will affect them. With these empathy tricks, however, you’ll get more indirect information – people will show what they’re feeling even if they don’t vocalize it themselves.

For bigger narrative rhythms, the power of empathy changes the world around Alex. In the trailer, you’ll see how Alex’s empathetic power creates an emotional ‘supernova’ (their term), offering a way to graphically (and kinematically) represent a superpower that’s pretty difficult to demonstrate visually (or audibly). ). The walls will vibrate, things will be affected by the empathetic hue of the emotion being addressed. Even the objects will change. (One cool feature that will come to PC gamers is support for Razer Chroma, so those empathetic bursts of color will reflect in your real-world devices.)

These novas almost seem like the boss fights in more traditional video games, as Alex tries to figure out and help whoever she hooks up with, heightening the in-game spectacle when you’re, behind all that pyrotechnics, really. facing emotions, facing people’s feelings.

Empathy still doesn’t look as cool as time manipulation or telekinesis, but Deck Nine makes sure that in True colors it will be, in a way, even cooler.

Life is Strange: True Colors will launch on September 10, 2021 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X and Google Stadia.

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