Wot I Think: Life Is Strange, Episode One

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Life Is Strange [official site] is Dontnod’s interactive story game told over five episodes. The first – Chrysalis – is out now so Pip took a look. Here’s wot she thought:

There was a fanfiction website I used to read as a teenager. I wasn’t there for the fanfiction though, I was there for the original fiction subsite. It bristled with stories about misunderstood teens, about girls with a gift for one of the creative fields, who had awkward love lives and friend drama. They tended to fall for boys or girls whose eyes changed colour to match their innermost turmoil like some kind of facial mood ring.

These stories often traipsed deep into Mary Sue territory or wish-fulfilment territory. They were authored by people flexing their fledgling writing muscles within a framework of tropes. Taking them as a bundle they shared an oversaturated earnestness, like emotion could be achieved or amplified through a cocktail of adjectives and pathetic fallacy.

Life Is Strange treads that same path – and this is not an insult.

The game has you take on the role of Max Caulfield (I assume a nod to Catcher In The Rye’s Holden Caulfield?); a photography student at Blackwell Academy. After witnessing a fatal incident she discovers she has the ability to rewind time giving her the option of changing her actions to obtain different results. A recurring vision warns of an impending disaster, while a reunion with a former friend sets up a missing person mystery.

Leaflets like this pepper the school

Max herself is a familiar character from that teen fiction world. She’s got a natural talent for photography, a gawky demeanour and problems at school. Some of these problems are manifestations of general teen angst – they relate to not fitting in, feeling uncertain, not wanting to disappoint. Some have stepped right out of Gossip Girl in their pantomime villainy. For the latter I’m thinking of the spineless principal, the threatening security guard, the rich kid whose background means he gets away with all manner of bad behaviour.

Being able to rewind time is perhaps the ultimate teen fantasy. It gives the ability to redo situations in order to achieve some sort of satisfaction instead of accumulating those excruciating or awkward memories which can prickle and shame well into adulthood. I don’t think it’s been particularly well implemented in the game, though. By that I mean that there is a lot of language which I think leads you to make particular choices. The game gives a lot of reminders that you can change a decision if you weren’t happy with it but from my experience it framed them as Max feeling unhappy with how an event had gone and – it seemed – all but requesting that do-over.

Mr Jefferson is currently occupying prime spot in the skeevy twat Olympics

I wondered if that was just because of how I had played and that others would have pursued different routes but I suspect not. The game offers you a Telltale-esque summary at the end which shows how your choices compared with the global player base as well as your friends and so many of those choices had a clear skew towards one answer. I’m concerned that the game angles you towards a correct answer or a correct way of playing Max.

That feeling is compounded when the game raises questions and then refuses to give you options to explore them. There’s a moment when you can check a flash drive lent to you by a friend and it contains a folder marked with Max’s name. There’s an implication that it was left on there by accident and there’s an overwhelming impulse to check it out but none of the actions available let you do anything of the sort. It’s a moment which spawned a frustration with Max – how could she be so incurious, such a goody goody? The game is supposed to be about choices and it withholds the ability to make some and prioritises others.

I far preferred Chloe. She’s the long lost friend – all blue hair and vulnerable rebellion. The characterisation is still wonky – her reaction to reconnecting with someone she thought had abandoned her for years felt particularly off – but she has an energy that Max lacks. Vibrant. Engaging, Honest. Her exchanges with Max impart a lot of backstory and draw connections between disparate story elements but you also get a real sense for who Chloe is, beyond plot exposition, and she’s easy to feel affection towards.

The way the game imparts knowledge of how to play is frustratingly slow. A section at the beginning sees you repeatedly being asked a question in class but the game doesn’t let you simply apply your existing knowledge from the first scene, it forces you to not know the answer a second time just so it can show you how to respond in the third repetition. I’m also not a fan of the basic interface. You hold down the left mouse button on an item and then drag towards the action you want to perform on it. It doesn’t feel intuitive to use and, particularly when trying to enter and exit through doors, your body can obscure the text making it hard to be sure you’re even selecting the right area.

I do exactly this in condensation on my bathroom mirror FYI

Then there are little carelessnesses or odd choices. A diary has looping entries so you can hit next and end up months in the past, dialogue occasionally cuts short as a cut scene interrupts a preceding cut scene, pre-game a warning screen flashes up for far less time than it would take to actually read it. they’re not game-breaking but they are jarring and can disturb the rhythm of the story.

The game’s art style has an Instagrammy quality. It’s like you’re viewing Max’s life through a golden afternoon sunlight filter. The effect is one of trying to evoke nostalgia for something supposedly happening in the present. Butterflies are a recurring motif and they combine with the visions of a tornado in a none-too-subtle reference to the butterfly effect. You can take pictures of particular objects or people in the game using your film camera, but the ability is limited to those instances. That too felt odd given the whole game has the look of an Instagram-in-waiting. As an aside, I did enjoy Max’s gripe about how expensive camera film can be – it’s my preferred format but it is prohibitively expensive.

A butterfly flaps its wings and makes a mess

Elsewhere the dialogue can be less natural or knowing. It sometimes has that peppered-with-pop-culture quality which feels more about using cultural touchstones as shorthand for character. Max and her friend Warren have a truly awkward conversation about movies which is more about namedropping cult classics than it is about any real bond or connection. Maybe it’s a deliberate point about being image-conscious, or about posturing – I mean, the awkwardness felt authentically teenage – but it could equally have been clunky writing.

I know it sounds like there’s a lot of criticism there but episode one is also earnest and gawky and sweet. Life Is Strange itself feels teenaged. It’s not realistic and it’s not subtle but it taps into a vein of fiction I’d forgotten existed – one which is imperfect, exploratory and full of liminal charm.

41 Comments

  1. NunianVonFuch says:

    A lot of what Pip says is very true, however there were some fun uses of the time travel power which showed a sort of “nasty” side to the main character. The screencapped John Lennon quote where you basically mirror your teacher’s opinions to succeed in the class, snooping on the pregnant teenager but rewinding so she doesn’t know you violated her privacy, snooping on the security guard’s camera setup but rewinding so he doesn’t see you do so. All weirdly invasive uses of the mechanic which also are our first instincts when playing such games as you’re trained to search every nook and cranny for usable items/secrets in such games.

    If the other episodes can comment on this and blur the lines more morally speaking we could get something very interesting out of it. At the moment it’s intriguing and worth playing but never becomes special.

    • skittles says:

      Yeah, could turn out to be quite an interesting series, depending on how they push and explore this element. I have my doubts whether it is on their mind at all though.

    • Monggerel says:

      They could go full on Gyges’ ring with it.
      But they won’t. This is videogames.

  2. Excelle says:

    I really enjoyed the first episode – it was slow paced, but in a relaxing way. However, looking at the end-of-chapter summary, it seems I still missed out quite a few things despite being slow and deliberate. Nothing too plot-changing, but still.

    I take the point about there seeming to be a ‘right’ choice, although quite often I found myself role-playing and deliberately not taking a particular route because that was not the character I took Max to be.

    Being a big fan of Twin Peaks, there are a LOT of strong threads running through that link in. Strong use of colour (in this case blue instead of red), mysterious woods, a missing girl being the centre of the mystery. Hell I’m 99% certain I caught a glimpse of one of the characters having TWN PKS as their numberplate!

    Altogether a good start for a low price. I’ll be picking up the rest of the episodes.

    • emptyskin says:

      I caught the twnpks license plate as well.

      I thought the game was fantastic. Having just graduated and dated a girl like max when i was a jr and she was a sophomore, the reminiscence felt authentic. However, that may just be my patheticism (I also assume Max’s name is a blatant reference to Catcher in the Rye).

      There seem to be major and minor consequence trees. I missed almost all of the minor trees. I’m hoping that they will make a difference in the latter episodes. If they do then this game will, in terms of depth, trump anything Telltale has done. “I don’t see that pregnancy test…” haha

      Also, Philippa, that third screenshot is full of spoilers for people who have not played the game. I played it yesterday and would be thoroughly peeved if I’d come across that picture before I’d played the episode. Just an FYI.

  3. RaoulDuke says:

    It sounds alright, I got a Fahrenheit/Heavy Rain vibe from the trailer but I thought it might be quite limited given the price tag. Heavy Rain is linear as well of course but the sheer wealth of pointless interactability must have be good for something, as I enjoyed both of those games more than any of the Telltale games.

    In Telltale games, I can see the paths of the story but my choices don’t often give the expected results, to keep it exciting of course. Though imagine if you actually got real dead-ends and you had to jump back, you could save everyone or let everyone die and it simulated it, within reason I guess. Some people have to die to keep it exciting, but it would be great if you were punished for making wildly silly by getting a dead end.

    So, I think the limiting factor in these games is always going to be how much of the world and how many of the choices the devs decide is/are available. What we really need is a AAA massive budget version of one of these games and then we could evaluate it next to the details of, for instance – AC: Unity or DA: Inquisition’s worlds and see what we get when they are given 3 years and $100m to make a ‘life-simulator’.

    • ribby says:

      (Heavy rain spoilers)
      I enjoyed Heavy Rain up until the reveal… Then it really irritated me because it made NO SENSE

      Seriously, the game has literally been lying to you. You hear Scott’s thoughts! and he thinks about the murder case, so all those thoughts were BS. Then there’s the fact that he must have murdered the man in the shop (though he definitely doesn’t have enough time to do that and call the police). Yet when he discovers the body he gasps and says ‘oh my god’ despite the fact that Lauren isn’t in the room yet. The only person he’s trying to trick at this point is the player.

      Also Madison freaks out when she finds the identity of the killer, yet she’s never met Shelby. The origami Ethan wakes up with is never explained (also the origami killer has been around far longer than Ethan has been having blackouts, so it makes little sense for him to suspect that he is the killer).

      There are other flaws too- like the fact that the memory cards show Ethan’s kid progressively getting closer to drowning, yet one of the last cards is hidden inside the gun that Ethan had all along

      • draglikepull says:

        Yes! I had exactly the same reaction to Heavy Rain. I loved it up until the reveal, but as you say, the game only manages to conceal its secret by lying to you. It’s not clever, it’s fraudulent.

  4. 9of9 says:

    All in all, I found the game rather more nuanced and charming than I’d expected. Regarding the somewhat tropey characterization of some of the NPCs I did like the comment made by one of the developers: since it is an episodic series with somewhat of an ensemble cast, it made sense for then to start with familiar archetypes and expand on them as it goes along. It remains to be seen how well they will ultimately succeed, but I’m hopeful – especially as there are a few simple but nonetheless nice touches such as the possibility to be nice to your built and seemingly drive toward reconciliation, which reminded me of the way similar are handled in Cinders, which I think it’s probably the closest point of comparison to a games like this (though less linear, I think).

    The way that rewinding choices is implemented actually strikes me as a pretty inspired mechanic. I don’t think the game pushes you into paying Max in a particular way at all – instead it seems to play devil’s advocate and tries to tempt you towards seeing what the other outcome would have been. It seems to me like Max ultimately has doubts about whichever outcome she goes for, just to highlight in some cases that even with absolute control over the decision there’s not necessarily a right way to go about it. What I really liked though was that some decisions are clearly set up with short term gains but unknown long-term consequences and Max’s prompting clearly seems designed to underline that. You see the effects of some of these choices come into fruition towards the end of the episode already and it will be interesting to see how much branching they will commit to later.

    The puzzles left me a bit underwhelmed on the other hand, which is my biggest criticism, and the rewinding when used freestyle can be a little flakey, having gotten me stuck in a closet once.

  5. phlebas says:

    I don’t know about Catcher in the Rye – if it’s Max Caulfield that suggests Maxwell Caulfield (of Grease 2, Dynasty and Empire Records) to me. I guess Holden is a better thematic match, though.

  6. LennyLeonardo says:

    I played the demo and everyone said “hella” a lot. Does this continue? Also, do people still say “hella”? I’m old so I don’t know.

    • 9of9 says:

      Maybe it’s an Oregon thing?

      • tasteful says:

        i’m from seattle and use “hella” all the time without thinking about it
        everywhere north of the bay area on the coast uses bay area slang

    • *Junon says:

      Maybe the demo has a different script or something. I recall hearing ‘hella’ three times, all from Chloe. Far from the most awkward and stunted bit out of the script, in any event.

      • epeternally says:

        Yeah, agree about it being awkward. It’s not that hella isn’t appropriate lingo for the under 25 crowd, it’s that the writing was using it an inappropriate times and it just ended up feeling weird. There were places, including the uses of ‘hella’, where the script felt like it was written by a 35-40 year old trying to sound hip (quite possibly because it was, I don’t know about the age of the devs) and it’s jarring. At least for me. Which is not meant as harsh criticism, it’s still the most interesting and provocative game I’ve touched since Bioshock Infinite and I don’t for one second regret already owning the entire season. It’s fantastic, just with a few flaws, awkward bit of dialogue being one of them.

  7. Messofanego says:

    It’s probably the most fully realised vision of a school world I’ve seen in a game, more so than Bully or Persona. So many details and so much to interact with or understand with environmental storytelling that is completely optional and missable (especially at Chloe’s house in the backyard). Such as how Max is playing the same song on her guitar that is on her hi fi system. The great thing about the time rewind is getting to see various reactions without having to reload saves

    What I love is how even the meanest of characters have some depth to them. Like, Victoria the mean girl queen. She’s not as popular as Dana, she has less followers online. She fails at sucking up to the teacher, her photos got rejected by an art gallery even though her family has loads of money and owns a famous art gallery, and she is appreciative if you comfort her for dunking her with paint. She might hate Rachel Amber, but there’s something brewing inside.

    “Nothing’s changed. Except for me and Chloe.”
    I love that the game is about change when you revisit nostalgia like she does with her childhood friend, Chloe. Reminded me of how I estranged myself from childhood friends who had gone down different paths that I didn’t want to follow. Early 2015 GOTY contender for me.

  8. thedosbox says:

    I’m willing to bet that most people took that bathroom screenshot for their steam library <3

    I noticed the not so subtle steering towards particular choices, but like the rewinding mechanic as it allows for experimentation before settling on the desired short-term outcome. The ability to skip cut scenes you've seen before is helpful for this too.

  9. HyenaGrin says:

    Easily one of the most meaningful games I’ve ever played. Granted, I’m an easy target for them – sincere nostalgia about being a teenaged girl is gonna get me every time, and the indie film aesthetic matched the theme in so many layers.

    In terms of art direction, the whole thing seemed more nuanced and smart than almost anything I’ve played, drawing from film more than from the direction we tend to see in games.

    I also enjoyed how much was conveyed through imagery and quiet moments. I spent a good two or three minutes just sitting playing guitar or sitting on a swing in the back yard of a childhood friend, and empathized more with Max than I probably had with any expositional scene that I can recall in any other game.

    Were there stumbles? Maybe. The voice acting was well above average on the whole, but there were a few moments where the actors couldn’t match the intended energy of the scene. And a few lines felt a little clunky – usually the grammar of the conversation felt pretty natural for awkward teens.

    The review speculates about whether the awkwardness was intentional or accidental, and I look at the art direction of the game (I would call it masterful) and it is hard to believe that the awkwardness was not a deliberate attempt to capture that snapshot of life. The snapshot we remember, the sunny summer snapshot that brings back a wave of memories all seemingly filtered through a golden lens. We aren’t remembering a cold reality, we’re remembering how we felt, and filtering those memories through a self-conscious adult mind and all of its experiences. The game comes off very much that way – it is equal parts nostalgic and awkward self-reflection.

    It just makes the better choice of not acting too self-aware of the fact. That would steal too much away from the honesty and sincerity of the characters and their stories, and would put too much emphasis back on the writers as if to say, ‘Look how clever we are being!’

    This is an artistic game dripping in aesthetics and it is has the self-confidence to not be utterly self-absorbed. It puts a huge amount of faith back in narrative, character-driven games, for me.

  10. elsparko says:

    At first I was a little disappointed because the game turned out to be a little different from what I expected it to be. But the fact that I’m still thinking about the story, it’s characters and the choices I made seems to imply that it left a bigger impression on me then I was aware of.

    Overall I liked it despite a lot of the characters being very very archetypal. I could have done without supernatural powers in exchange for a clearer explanation of the main character’s motivations. I don’t buy “I’m a photo nut, that’s what I want to be”. That is too one dimensional for my liking. Why did she do what she did in the past? How does she truly feel? But yeah of course those would the questions any teenager might end up asking themselves, too… So maybe she is portrayed exactly right?

    What I really hated was that you could accidentally wander off right to the dorm building if you went to far on a certain screen. In all other instances the game asks you to acknowledge a screen transition but in that case it took some part of the story away from me and also robbed me of choices I could have made. Of course you can’t go back afterwards and on your second passing it just skips that section of the school completely. It made me sad that in the listing of minor choices I could read afterwards what kind of choices the game made for me just because I wasn’t able to talk to certain NPCs. Why is that necessary? Why couldn’t I just go back and look around once more? Why take away control of my character and forcefully walk me over a “point of no return”-mark?

    About the feeling of choices loosing their consequences with that rewind mechanic: It has some kind of quicksave-feeling behind the covers. You just quickload and to the thing again like in other games. What made it feel this way was that Max seemed to loose her memory too because every time she acted as if stuff would happen to her the first time. Also it didn’t help that with binary choices her commentary about the outcome of either choice always suggested that the other one would have been better. I especially disliked her constant “I’m gonna loose my stipend”-whining when she actually did something good and not egoistic.

    edit: On top of that what made me really think is that when I compare this game to “the walking dead” somehow the choices there felt more real to me. What’s wrong with me when zombie apocalypse feels more relate-able then high school?

    • BTA says:

      I agree with the anger about that transition – I got robbed of stuff on the left side of that area, which was especially annoying as I was trying to see everything I could – but I feel like rewinding after seeing things was handled ok. Max usually commented on doing things a second time, though I agree that big choices kinda lacked that awareness (or even should have given you a new third choice at times), and also sometimes it was unclear whether you would retain information when rewinding if the new comment didn’t clear it up.

  11. DanMan says:

    I’m worried that this is too teeny for a guy at 30+. Can anyone confirm this?

    • kael13 says:

      Can confirm. It’s a load of childish bollocks. Possibly acceptable if you’re 16-21 and like that sort of thing.

      • thedosbox says:

        The same can be said for many games.

        I fit into the demographic of a 30+ guy and had no issue identifying with the experiences of a shy teenager, even if the gender was reversed. It’s all about the willigness to suspend disbelieft. If you need a power fantasy to do that, then this game definitely isn’t for you.

        • kael13 says:

          God no, I don’t have the level of empathy required to suspend my disbelief to that degree.

      • Dale Winton says:

        This should have been the review instead

    • Robert Post's Child says:

      From the little bit I played in the demo, it seems like it might stick too much to how high school is portrayed in movies and not how it actually is. Cliques and mean girls and pervy teachers and all that. Which, I mean, that’s fine for what it is, and I’m still interested in playing more. It certainly comes off as less grating absolute bullshit than, say, Bully was. Whether that’s a ‘teeny’ problem or an ‘adults have warped perceptions of anyone under 25’ problem is up to you.

    • FearlessMilo says:

      38yrs here and thought story, choices, mechanics, world were a great evolution of the Telltale style of adventure games. Thoroughly enjoyed the episode

    • DanMan says:

      Cheers, people. A sale pickup it is then.

  12. Gargenville says:

    The controls make a lot more sense on a control pad, where different actions just get mapped to face buttons. I think the ‘Max’ folder on that dude’s USB drive was just a directory that had a couple movies he specifically wanted you to see, like he also left you a post-it mentioning two specific films but apparently there are tons more on there.

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    Angstsmurf says:

    Just started playing this, but first impressions are awful. Why on Earth does it begin with inner monologue describing exactly what we see onscreen? “Trapped in a storm? How did I get here? And what is ‘here’?”

    Who thinks like that? Who talks like that? How could this be considered good or even acceptable writing?

  14. draglikepull says:

    I’m amazed at how well received the game is. I’ve only played about an hour, but it has some of the most unnatural, unbelievable writing I can remember coming across in a game; certainly among the worst in a game that takes its story seriously. The characters are awful. The dialogue is awful. I cringed multiple times while playing.

    Most of the time it feels like the characters are talking to me, not each other. For example (minor spoiler), if you try to turn in the rich kid after the bathroom scene, the principal says something like “That kid belongs to one of the richest families in the county and has a good academic record so I don’t know if I can believe you.” Ugh. UGH. Let me find those things out naturally through the story, don’t have a character hit me over the head with it.

    I really wanted to like this, as I’m a fan of narrative-driven games (I love Walking Dead, Dreamfall, etc.), but I just can’t listen to these characters talk. The writing is terrible.

    • maninahat says:

      I’m similarly inclined – the writing feels very stilted and unnatural, and it isn’t helped that they are basing he story around high school kids (the use of slang instantly makes it sound dated). Plus the pace is a little slow – I’m playing as a person who can bend time, but that hardly seems like the focus of the story. Rather, they want to focus on slice of life, banal teen drama and nonsense point and click adventure puzzles.

      Over all, I’m being reminded a lot of “The Girl Who Leaped Through Time”, only that film was fun because it basically showed how time travel would be abused in an reckless yet plausible manner (eating the same pudding over and over, or trying to dodge an awkward conversation that keeps coming up). Meanwhile, “The Shadow” had a radio episode in which a guy invents a time machine just so he can repeatedly go back and murder the same enemy over and over – that’s a ridiculous premise, but also a more interesting use of the time travel plot. They both seem like more interesting concepts than using time travel to figure out how to make a girl budge over on a step.

    • bwuceli says:

      On the writing: some dialogue isn’t quite up there, but I wouldn’t pass it off as incompetence. I think the reason why some people don’t like the characters is because they are not all the way out there. I believe most gamers have grown accustomed to “being special”. I like the understatedness of the story. It’s not in your face the whole time. There is also not a story changing moral choice every 5 seconds (I’m looking at you again Telltale) and when there is, you can play them all out (see them all through time rewinding) and THEN decide which option you want to go with. I was getting sick of: “THIS IS STORY CHANGING MORAL DILEMMA NR. 75, YOU HAVE 2 SECONDS TO DECIDE!”
      Again, I love the way this story is playing out, I hope they can keep it up.
      And about that name dropping movie conversation, that’s actually how a lot of teenagers discuss movies. They drop names to impress each other (if you ever hear a discussion about metal bands amongst teenagers, be prepared for lots and lots of names) that doesn’t mean they have seen them, but that doesn’t stop them from naming them and pretend.

  15. somnolentsurfer says:

    I saw the promotion on Steam before it came out, got pretty curious, and came and read everything RPS had written so far. I’ve only just got round to coming back to look at how it was received, and am thinking I should probably pick it up. It looks like my MacBook will struggle though, so it might have to wait.

    Main question: has Adam escaped the hat supper?

  16. SlimShanks says:

    Huh, it’s really interesting seeing the conflicting opinions here. There doesn’t seem to be anyone who thought it was just ok. That’s good, wildly differing impressions suggests that the writing has some depth and character. People are often turned off by writing that isn’t totally milk-toast. In any case, looking forward to playing it.

    • *Junon says:

      “Just OK” is pretty much my take on episode 1. Hoping that things open up quite a bit in later chapters as the major missteps in this one all feel related to establishing the story elements in a somewhat hamfisted manner. Things might smooth out once it’s off the ground.

  17. LennyLeonardo says:

    Reading about this makes me long for a Telltale-esque Buffy adventure game. It’ll never happen, but it totally should.

    In any case this should lead to a new subgenre: the “point-and-clique adventure”. Ha ha no.

  18. BTA says:

    As someone who’s really into weird time travel nonsense, especially in games, I loved how they implemented it here. I was worried that they would make it cutscene-only but instead they give you a lot of free reign, and even let it impact choices. Which, yes, does make it feel a little weird: why would you let something bad for you happen if you can undo it and keep the information? Hopefully that’ll be handled better (or those choices will be revealed to be meaningful, even if only subtly so) in later episodes.

    In any case, as a Telltale fan, they’ve taken their formula and done something far more interesting, if not necessarily better, with it than Telltale’s done in like… ever.

    The characters are ok so far, in my opinion, but the slang is definitely a bit much at best and completely wrong and/or outdated at worst. Though so much of my feelings could change in future episodes, since a lack of growth would sour me on them. Max feels very realistic but in the sense that she’s what people were in high school – a good person who acts/comments based on internalized misogyny at times, who’s unaware of the pressure Warren’s putting on her – and whether they let that be or try to say something about it could change a lot. (So… please let us reject Warren and please let us call him out when he immediately whines about the “friendzone” afterwards.)

  19. gbrading says:

    I loved Remember Me so I’m sure I’ll play this at some point. An episodic adventure game is always a difficult thing to get right, and I thought the characterization in Remember Me was possibly its greatest strength.

  20. bwuceli says:

    I love this game’s first episode: they have taken what Telltale has done, ran with it, expanded it and it turned out amazing. It’s refreshing after playing The Walking Dead, The Walking Thrones, The Walking Borderlands and The Walking Wolf. Also there is a bit less railroading than in Telltales games, there’s at least an illusion of freedom. Also the story unlocked some kind of nostalgia in me, I loved it.