Life Is Strange Ep 1 Now Free, Available On Mac/Linux

Time-altering teenage dramathon Life Is Strange [official site] has just made its first episode free to download forever and ever, while also making the whole story playable on Mac and Linux. For those of you who don’t remember, it is the story of photography student Max and her tough toque-wearing friend Chloe. It’s an adventure game by Dontnod (the studio that made sci-fi action adventure Remember Me) with hints of Heavy Rain and Telltale-style decision-making. Look, they’ve created a new trailer to show off bits of the whole saga. Be warned, though, there are some spoilerish things involved.

The writers here at RPS are in almost universal agreement about how interesting the story of this teen duo is, naming it one of the best games of 2015 and cooing about it all day and all night. I myself played the game non-stop for…

*checks Steam*

37 minutes!?

Oh, that’s right. I thought it was rubbish. Every time one of the characters spoke I cringed so hard I looked like a meme face. The teacher was nice. The students were nice. Even the nasty kids with guns felt like they tidied their rooms every day. I played the first 37 minutes and thought: “Wait. I remember what being a teenager was like and I remember hanging out with all my scummy teenage friends and we were all horrible and we did not speak like this at all.” You know when people say they “bounced off” a game? Well, I bounced off Life Is Strange like it was made of trampolines.

But maybe I was too quick to judge. Maybe I am awful. Not only does a big portion of the RPS team vouch for it, it even won a BAFTA. Perhaps it is time to rewind my own life a little and return to Max’s story. Any other fans (or anti-fans) out there who can enlighten me?

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14 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    caff says:

    Really recommend this. I’m not a teenager, and I don’t think if I were I’d relate to this, but it’s a sublime story in of itself.

  2. jellydonut says:

    I enjoyed this game, and I was an awkward teenager so these awkward teens totally fit me.

  3. JRay says:

    “The teacher was nice. The students were nice. Even the nasty kids with guns felt like they tidied their rooms every day.”

    I guess I see where you’re coming from, but that changes pretty quickly. Without giving anything specific away, sexual assault, murder, and suicide all get woven into the narrative within the first few episodes. So if you felt like things were too light, the story gets pretty dark, pretty quickly. As for the dialogue, the game is self-aware and the characters frequently make fun of the way they talk. I found it endearing (even if it wasn’t relatable). All that said, I strongly recommend it with the following caveat: It’s a time travel story, so prepare for all of the usual time travel tropes.

  4. Neuromancing the Boil says:

    I literally just had the same experience yesterday. Hey! This is free!? Why not?

    Cut to 30 minutes later, and it’s already scrubbed from my drive. It felt like being trapped in a “Donnie Darko” outtake. The first scene of dialog is in a film class (uh-oh) about how Hitchcock movies (of course) are all about (here comes the thesis!) interactions between snippets of time. And my face is already melting off.

    I’ve gotten to the point where I instantly turn off any movie that openly states its too-clever authorial ‘premise’ in the opening scene, on the grounds that it will surely just be smug, inchoate, Nolan-y pseudo-philosophizing; ends up I have the same reaction to video games.

    Anyway, thank you for reading my pointless criticism of a game I barely gave a chance. In my defense, the “Donnie Darko” fumes were so strong I almost passed out.

  5. tehfish says:

    On one hand i’m thinking:

    “resist you fools, if you play one you’ll want to play them all”

    On the other hand i’m thinking:
    “godammit you fools, play them all, they’re awesome”

    So to sum it up: GO PLAY IT, YOU FOOLS ;)

    • tehfish says:

      Slightly less silly reply:

      Yes it has it’s faults, but i reckon the game itself far outclasses them.
      I’d recommend it, 100%
      One of the rare games i hand to alt-tab out of decisions because i really didn’t know what i wanted to do…

  6. Scrofa says:

    In the beginning I didn’t get it and was very skeptical, episode 2 made me interested, but today I went through episode 3 and it’s pretty good after all and doesn’t deserve all the bashing. It’s actually not a game about pseudo-philosophy, hipsters and other cringy stuff. And I don’t care about repeating tropes. It’s the whole point of tropes – you can’t get away from them and they are what they are for a reason.

  7. DanMan says:

    Linux version, ey? Nice touch, although a bit too late for me.

    Highly recommend it. Don’t let Alice’s traumatized childhood tell you otherwise.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Yes, hooray for Linux support! Now I plan to play this game soonish, rather than after I’ve finished a bunch of other games in my backlog.

    • elderman says:

      I was delighted to see Life is Strange being released for Linux. It’s been on my wishlist for a while now and I’ve been looking for the opportunity to play it.

      However, going to install the game from Steam, I was presented with an seemingly endless EULA, clearly written with other games in mind. I lost fifteen minutes of living time trying to parse it. Among a bunch of objectionable and irrelevant clauses I’d be binding myself to in perpetuity, is this gem: “unconditionally and irrevocably agree to the terms of the Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy as varied and/or amended from time to time.” That looks awfully like a blank check in my inexpert view. No thanks.

      Then I went and installed Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball which I just bought through the Humble Bundle. Five minutes later, it’s on my hard drive and there was no contract to sign at all.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      I’ve who in the what now?

  8. Premium User Badge

    Thirith says:

    While I came to like Life Is Strange well enough, I’m a bit puzzled by the number of people who describe Max as one of their favourite characters ever. I found her bland and milquetoast, vague and generally uninteresting. I don’t mind insecure characters at all, but Max I found relatively grating. Of course I wasn’t a huge fan of the game’s dialogue writing overall, but other characters came to life much more strongly. Max, though? I found her pretty blah throughout.

  9. MajorLag says:

    Huh. You know, given that nearly every framework or engine I’ve worked with lately has been inherently cross-platform, I think I’ve fallen into the habit of assuming all games are until proven otherwise, so I’m always a little surprised when announcements like this happen.