Life is Strange: True Colours for PC is a third-person graphic adventure game – this means it plays out like a story or narrative. This game is the fifth game in the overall Life is Strange series, being the third main game, and the direct successor to Life is Strange 2.
About the Game
In this game, 21-year-old Alex Chen, an American Asian who has just aged out of the foster care system. Her first action is to get in touch with her brother Gabe, with whom she has lost touch over the preceding eight years, when he aged out of the system. After that initial contact, Alex sets off for beautiful small town, Haven Springs, to reconnect with him.
However, unfortunately, things go wrong and Gabe is killed in a tragic and mysterious accident. Alex’s task, therefore, is to uncover the mystery behind her brother’s death. She is aided in her task by the fact – recently discovered – that she is an empath (which is less mind reading and more heart reading, sensing emotions rather than picking out details) who can pick up on the emotions of others.
Playing as Alex, you will explore the setting of Haven Springs (see below for some specific places to look out for) and communicate with the NPCs (Non-playing characters) who follow pre-set dialogue trees. Alex can see their emotions – they appear as colourful auras – and if the emotion is intense enough, it can infect Alex too, causing her to feel that same emotion.
As well as experiencing and sensing the emotions felt by others, Alex learns to both absorb and manipulate the strong emotions felt by others to help her in her mission. In order to find the truth about Gabe, Alex must help the townsfolk (the NPCs) process their own traumas so that they will then be able to help her solve the mystery of Gabe’s ‘accident’. Characters from other Life is Strange games, Ralph and Steph, appear in this one as potential love rivals for Alex’s affections.
The Nitty Gritty
Given the importance of emotion to the game, it comes as no real surprise that the motion capture (mocap) is world class, with detailed and accurate emotional readings from the actors caught in minute detail, so that even the most oblivious player will be able to spot shifts in mood without seeing the brightly coloured auras!
There are some extra clothes, so you can change Alex’s outfit, and a Steph-centric sub-story called Wavelengths. Unlike in previous versions of the game, you get the whole game, including sub plots, immediately, no hanging around waiting for the cliff-hanger to be undone and the moment of crisis past.
However, the player must use finesse and subtlety in playing. People often say one thing while meaning quite another, so Alex must use her empath powers to understand what the person is feeling, despite what they are saying. If she gets if wrong, Alex will not get the answers that she (and the NPCs) needs in order to achieve understanding and closure.
Where to Go?
Alex arrives in Haven Springs with no idea of who to trust – or even who to speak to! She sets off to explore, and amongst other places, she will come across:
- Radio Station – this place is the cultural heart of the Haven Springs – Steph Gringrich (mentioned above) is the DJ, adding a bit of intriguing spice to Alex’s already exciting life!
- Record Store – attached to the Radio Station, and, in fact, offering an excellent view of the DJ doing her thing, the record store is a great place to browse and mentally chill out for a bit
- Bar – offering music, foosball and other arcade games, and the chance to enjoy a drink with a talkative NPC – or alone – Alex can spend some thoughtful downtime in the bar, seeing the auras of the people passing by
- Ice Cream Shop – who doesn’t like ice cream?