Since Telltales does not seem to be in any hurry to bring any of their titles over to Linux, at least we get some other episodic adventure games… such as the recently announced Life is Strange from Square Enix (developed by Frenchies from DONTNOD) after its earlier release on consoles and Windows. This is another title ported by Feral, who are on FIRE since 2016 with numerous ports on a regular basis for Linux (and Mac). Currently there is no date for the Linux release or even the Mac one at this stage, but it’s under “very soon” on the Feral Radar.
You want to know the game’s pitch ?
Follow the story of Max Caulfield, a photography senior who discovers she can rewind time while saving her best friend Chloe Price. The pair soon find themselves investigating the mysterious disappearance of fellow student Rachel Amber, uncovering a dark side to life in Arcadia Bay. Meanwhile, Max must quickly learn that changing the past can sometimes lead to a devastating future.
I don’t usually look at Metacritic too much, but I like their “users’s score” part a lot, because usually the hype related to the game dies down after release while users’s reviews keep pouring in, even long after the release, giving it somewhat more reliability. And this title has received a lot of positive reviews. An otherwise good review’s author had this to say about the game (gloriouspotato):
As you first boot up the game, the loading screen advertises a strong, deep story and meaningful choices. In my opinion, the game is only partially successful in those two endeavors. Sure, we come to like and dislike certain characters, and there’s a lot of juicy drama and character building going on, but oftentimes the storytelling came across as something written by an amateur. The script is very accessible and emotive, but also comes off as melodramatic (especially so in episode 5) and falling prey to cliche stereotypes (episode 1 and 2).
When it comes to the visuals, the game sports a kind of cartoon like art style, which I can’t help but feel is Dontnod’s attempt to offset or cover up the otherwise poor texture quality and non-existent lip syncing. It looks adequate at best, but its nothing special to gawk at for sure. Sound design is pretty good, with solid voice acting and suitable soundtracks playing for specific scenes.
Apart from the technical aspects of the port, I am looking forward to checking out that game’s writing. Storytelling is still something in video games that’s not on par with other media out there (even the best narratives for games rely too often on cliches or deus ex machina tropes), so we will see if this game does indeed better than the average.
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