Life is Strange: True Colors

released on Sep 10, 2021

Life is Strange is a series of award-winning and critically-acclaimed narrative adventure games. Discover a universe where everyday heroes wield supernatural powers, while dealing with real challenges, real relationships, and real emotions. It's our world... with a twist of the strange. No matter your choices, the experience will stay with you forever. Deep in the mountains of Colorado, you'll find Haven Springs, a small mining town filled with beauty and mystery. As Alex, you'll discover the shocking secrets behind your brother’s death in an emotional roller-coaster of an adventure, using your psychic power of Empathy to change fate and change lives.

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Let's get the positive stuff out of the way first. The animation is surprisingly good; even the facial animation. That's a hard thing to nail down in video games, but in True Colors, the characters are as expressive as they're needed to be. There's no uncanny valley effect here, no dead eyes, and the performances are full of convincing, subtle little gestures... it's great! That's a big leap from the first game (incidentally, that's the only other LiS entry I've played).
Unfortunately, everything else is dreck.
Much like the first game, the core mystery within the story is actually quite compelling, but it's ultimately drowned out by the surrounding, rampant, maudlin melodrama. I was hoping the passing of the torch to a new developer would put an end to the heavy-handedness and complete lack of subtlety that often rears its ugly head in Dontnod's games, but nope. If anything, it's even worse here. True Colors is like an episode of Dawson's Creek where all the emotions are turned up to 11 and everyone is ordered to act hysterical all the time. The cast is shouting, or crying, or generally telling the player how deep their pain is.
Early on in the story, the main character 'treats' us to her own rendition of Radiohead's Creep. The song that the band themselves hate. The song that prompted Thom Yorke to write My Iron Lung, a critical swipe at the song that almost landed them squarely in one-hit-wonder territory. The song that they never perform live anymore. I'm not saying Creep is a bad tune or anything, but at this point, it's more a meme than anything. And yet here's Alex Chen, poor and perpetually tormented Alex Chen, regaling us with how poor and perpetually tormented she is by performing Creep on an acoustic guitar. That scene is the first major warning sign and True Colors starts as it means to go on.
I could go on. The main culprit or antagonist or what have you becomes obvious early on. There are long stretches, particularly in the last chapter, where interactivity is taken away and you might as well be watching a movie. The pacing is generally poor, with events screeching to a halt in chapter 3 as the cast engages in a real-life tabletop RPG in order to cheer up the spirits of the shitty kid whose dumb actions in the first chapter are responsible for all the tragedy in the first place. This sequence should last 15 minutes tops, but it goes on for what felt like two hours, and it is utterly excruciating. Oh, and there's a revelation in towards the end involving a family member of the MC that is pure contrivance. It is laughable.
I completely checked out by the end of chapter 3. By chapter 5, I was browsing the internet while the game was running in the background, occasionally pressing some button on the controller to advance the narrative. I'm so indifferent to the game that I can't even think of a zinger to end on. Some way to neatly wrap up this written piece.
Alex Chen has the worst fucking super power ever

Life is Strange: True Colors is a great game with a dope story and some great characters as well. This is my second Life Is Strange and so far I've really enjoyed this series of games. This one had more relatable characters and Alex Chen's power is incredibly interesting. The game isn't perfect, screen glitches at times and it breaks the immersion. Could have been a few more major choices as well but overall great game that warrants at least two play throughs. I definitely recommend it is the TellTale style games is something you enjoy.

This review contains spoilers

No nonsense honest review: I can’t tell if I hate LIS2 or true colors more, this one is arguably worse.
Life is Strange: True Colors is an indirect sequel to LIS: Before the Storm made by the same team as that game with a returning supporting character from that game and follows the same basic premise as the other 3 games in the franchise of being about young adults/ Teens with superpowers dealing with mostly first world problems and the occasional murder mystery. I guess this might be considered Life is Strange 3?? either way I've been playing and reviewing these games since the franchise’s first start and with each installment I think the franchise gets dumber and dumber as it goes along and they should probably stop making these soon with that being said this game is no exception, let me explain.
Gameplay: The gameplay of True colors sort of returns to its roots with the first game giving us a power we can use throughout the game whenever we want. The power this time is reading auras and emotions which can also read objects sometimes too. This power compared to telekinesis or time travel from the previous installments is lame as hell and makes me ask the simple question of; do you really need a power to read someone's emotions? can’t most people do that anyways? It’s not like you can use the power all the time either you can only do it when the obviously mad or sad person is mad or sad or whatever they are experiencing. Alex basically has mood ring powers with the exception of also being able to kinda read minds but also not really. (Yup, this game had "Yeah I'm an Empath" memes all over it before it even came out) The power is also crazy inconsistent throughout the story, one minute it has the power to read minds the next it doesn't, sometimes she absorbs people’s feelings against her will other times it’s a choice. At one point in the story Alex said she "can’t prove she has powers" then next, "she can prove it to someone” and then has to play a cloud mini game to read said persons emotions, then right after that she tells someone else about her powers and reads their minds without any struggle. Aside from this the game works like most of the others with choice and dialogue options but even this feels the weakest in the franchise so far. Usually, these games try to make choices polarizing and hard to pick with drastically different outcomes. Most of this games choices all swing in the same direction leaving the obvious choice being the right choice while you could be a sociopath and pick the latter one, you will find when you beat each chapter a vast majority of people go with the obvious options some of them even said '0% chose the other path' and to me that speaks miles about how not good the choices the player can make are in this game. Choices in these pick your path games need to be harder to pick and I've honestly never seen one of these games with an option having '0% chose the other path' never mind seeing it multiple times. Also, you might have noticed I said "each chapter" that's because this game drops the episodic aspect of life is strange and released the whole game at once, not sure why they did this, maybe they knew it had no chance of selling episodes? either way I guess it’s a good thing that you can play the entire game at once.
Graphics, Voice Acting, Music: The graphics of this LIS are similar to all the others in the franchise and only looks slightly better than previous installments. The town of Haven point in this game is very colorful and visually appealing to look at. The voice acting is ok, not bad but not any amazing Chloe and Max level performances here. Most of the characters, aside from Steph are pretty dull even she isn't that interesting and I probably only like her because she was in 'before the storm'. The music in this game is slightly better than the music in 2 but honestly is still nothing compared to the music of the original game and before the storm, Both of which had a killer soundtrack I still listen to occasionally to this day.
Story/ Some spoilers: This games story is similar to the first game being about a small town murder conspiracy. This time we play as a new character Alex Chen as she looks into her brother’s death in the small-town Haven point that she just moved to. There isn't much good to say about this game so let’s start with the pros; For the most part this game isn't a political dumpster fire like LIS2 was which is good. Like I had mentioned earlier, there is a return to small town conspiracy roots, which in a way is good because it’s better than what 2 tried to do but it also sucks because it doesn't take any big jumps or leaps and sticks to the same formula of 1 and fails at it. There is really no sense of urgency in this game and the stakes are pretty low for 95% of the game. The power sucks but it’s cool you can actually use it yourself freely, unlike in 2. The cons far outweigh the pros here and I've gone through some of them in the gameplay section, so I’ll go through some more. Alex is a really awkward main character and I think they did this on purpose to make her more relatable, but it comes off more as cringy, in fact most of these characters and interactions come off as boring, extremely predictable or just cringe. Hell, one of the episodes was literally devoted to LARPing which feels like it should have been a bonus episode or something because it’s just there to pad the runtime. Speaking of extremely predictable this story is crazy predictable and I figured out immediately who the villain was just by watching the trailer (honestly it’s not hard to figure out) and the random personal ties to Alex that develop in the very last episode are random and dumb as hell, they make us take an hour side quest of flash backs to understand the twist they are about to shoe horn in right after, this should have been built up throughout the game instead. This game also tries to pull some evil Umbrella corporation shit with no real payoff. The twist and mystery as to what they were doing in the mine was super anti-climactic. This whole reveal would have paid off better if the Typhon company actually had a person we could meet and get to know that comes off as evil like LIS1 had with Nathan and his mentor, so when the reveal comes up it feels more impactful. The person that is revealed to be a villain is a decent reveal but was kinda obvious and would have worked better if he had someone to answer to much like Nathan did in LIS1, especially since they try to make us sympathize with him. The whole game feels really short and small in comparison to the previous entries, am I the only one who thought LIS2 was too long for its own good? THIS GAME should have been longer and fleshed out more drama and character development. Speaking of characters some repeated characters in the town don't even have names and are literally called things like "angry bald man" like what? since when did LIS do that even the small first game gave every background character a name and personality (for the most part). There are really only like 12 main cast members in this game, and it makes the whole thing feel small and superficial. Even people like Steph feel like you hardly spend any time with them in comparison to the other games (Unless you play Stephs TWELVE DOLLAR DLC that you can't buy separately for like 5 bucks you gotta get the DELUXE UPGRADE.) True Colors is a dull, boring adventure that lacks any sense of urgency from the previous installments. 6/10
Speaking of the DLC!!:
I wanted to talk about it because if you are going to get this game you should get the DLC Deluxe Edition, Wavelengths because well its actually pretty great. I bought the base game years ago and didn’t play it until recently and didn’t know the DLC was only available with the Deluxe edition (Of course). I only bring this up to try and save you money just buy that version if any at all. I didn't expect much from it and wasn't going to bother but I'm very glad I did because I had a blast playing it, even though nothing major happens in it and you are locked in a record store over the course of a year. This 4-hour DLC does everything the main game should have. It builds up character development and actually had some fun activities that build up over the course of the episode, for example we get to help Steph write a song and it changes over the course of each part of the episode till it’s done, and Id imagine it must have multiple versions depending on what you picked to write, adding a lot of replay value to this DLC. We also get a bunch of back story to how Steph deals with the ending you picked in LIS1 and get some Cameos of Mikey, Chloe and Rachel though flash backs and present day skype calls, very cool stuff that I really enjoyed. Also, the music in this DLC was fantastic and reminded me of Before the storm and the OG game, being a radio host was fun as hell for no reason and getting to really know Steph and playing as her was 10000xs better than playing as Alex. They really should have made this game about her and I’ll be honest, My girlfriend and I didn't even recognize Steph at first when we started True colors and now she's one of my favorite characters, Overall Great DLC, way better than the main game, now if only they could build a long 5 episode game on this concept, give her a cool power she can freely use and also add in a good mystery with stakes over multiple locations and they would have sold an amazing game, too bad probably no one bought this DLC. I’d give this DLC an 8/10

Não foi tão bom quantos os outros, mas também não foi tão ruim. A franquia Life Is Strange é uma das minhas favoritas, e nunca consegue me decepcionar. Embora o começo lento, os personagens são carismáticos e cheios de backstory quais a Alex pode "mergulhar" um pouco mais. O plot ao meu ver e experiências, foi previsível, eu já desconfiava de tal havia muuuito tempo. Recomendo bastante!

This series is something of a guilty pleasure of mine if I’m being honest. These games are corny as hell & the dialogue is almost always incredibly cringeworthy. So really I wasn’t expecting much of True Colors.
I was pleasantly surprised however with how solid it was in terms of its writing. Yes it’s still overly melodramatic, agonisingly so at times. But I really liked the story & felt the entire mystery was intriguing if not a little rushed & the emotional moments hit pretty hard. The characters aren’t anything special but I found them likeable enough so I don’t mind too much.
Alex herself is great. Her powers were pretty cool & using them to tap into the emotions of people was cool at first but I do feel they didn’t expand on it nearly enough & I wish there was maybe a little bit more as I do think there was a lot of potential in exploring them further.
I mean yeah this is definitely a Life is Strange game. If you enjoyed the previous ones, this one you will also probably enjoy. If you didn’t like the previous ones, then this won’t do much to change your mind. I feel it’s really that simple.
Decent game though. I liked it. Probably best in the franchise.

As my first life is strange game, i enjoyed it. I've always had a soft spot for these kinds of games.