Monday, October 31, 2016
Life Is Strange: A Choice Game With No Choice (Spoilers)
Choice games are still a fairly undeveloped area of gaming, because despite the premise of having choice... most of them end up leading to the same place, with just slight branching changes based on dialogues you picked and choices you made. So you might determine how many people will survive the game (i.e Until Dawn), but it won't change the development of the narrative and its progression.
Max is your normal shy, geeky girl (who's also quite judgmental and prone to just staring at people really close to their faces as she inter monologues about them) who feels out of her element and has a hard time making friends.
One day, after witnessing a murder, she discovers she can control time (because plot) and here the game really starts, as you manipulate time to save people, make yourself look better in front of others, and possibly uncover something sinister going on in town, alongside with your childhood best friend Chloe.
The entire game is based on you choosing what to do... but at the end of the day, none of it matters.
Your actions throughout the game - the multiple rewinds to change the outcome of certain decisions and the way you keep saving your best friend from death - lead to the town being wrecked by a huge tornado, as you've offset the balance of the world. Bringing us to the final decision Max is faced with... go back to the very first decision you made and let your best friend die, or say screw-it and let the whole town die.
Either option you pick, you're negating every other choice you've made in the game.
In one option you literally undo every decision as you go back to the start point, and in another you kill every person you've saved, befriended, or made enemies with throughout the game, making everything mute.
The final choice in the game leaves you with absolutely no choice but to erase everything you've spent an entire game to build.
This is a "choice" game where the player doesn't really have any choice at all. He can either choose to submit to "fate" and let it have its way, or measure the life of one girl to be worth that of an entire town and iron things out that way. That is the only choice the player can really make in this ten hours long game that pretends to be based on making choices.