TellTales ‘The Walking Dead’ was one of the biggest gaming surprises of the decade with a game company choosing such an archaic method, the point and click adventure, to convey character development and arcs while keeping the spirit of the source material and telling a truly compelling story. It is a feat they have repeated many times over with Back to The Future and more recently with HBO’s Game of Thrones. Life couldn’t be sweeter but history has a funny way of repeating itself.
Earlier this year a game called Until Dawn showed that it was taking the point and click to the slasher film genre to mixed reactions. Upon further investigation and many playthroughs with friends Supermassive had created this year’s party game as word of mouth allowed this game to grow into the best original AAA title in a long time, how many conversations like this have you heard ‘I found out how to save all of them’, ‘No you didn’t it’s impossible’ etc.
Both these games are fantastic but if you make a decision you think might come back to bite you in the future you have to wait and see, one other game thought to change that. Square Enix and Dontnod Studio’s Life is Strange may well be my game of the year for all the reasons I’ve mentioned before but there’s one very clear difference. While all the games mentioned rely on player choice LIS goes one step further by giving you time traveling powers to actually go back and see what might have been, by creating this super power and plot device they allow you the absolute freedom to change everything to the way you want it.
Today Life is Strange released it’s final episode and it’s absolutely fabulous, due to the player’s consistent time traveling the fabric of reality has started to break down and chaos is taking over. There is major fourth wall breaking and a dream sequence that is, in my opinion, better than the Scarecrow levels in Arkham Asylum. Spoiler’s are hard to avoid but what I can say is if you don’t like how the story ends, you can just go back and fix everything. After all it’s player choice.
While Telltales stories and characters might have a longer staying power it’s not a one horse race anymore and I can’t wait to see who will break onto the scene next.