Life is Strange Trademark is yet another of Telltale’s episodic interactive movies with the amazing twist that it wasn’t made by Telltale. The game was developed by DONTNOD Entertainment, the studio responsible for Remember Me, a game which may be the worst thing in the world or better than the world itself. I never got round to playing it because it costs £23 and I have important things to spend my money on, like crisps and DLC for Crusader Kings 2.
This shit-pit has taken away everyone I’ve ever loved. . . I’d like to drop a bomb on Arcadia Bay and turn it to fucking glass. . .
In The Walking Strange Trademark you play as Max Caulfield, a teenage photography student who I would call a hipster if I didn’t have the exact same interests as her. One day whilst taking a photograph of a bucket Max discovers that she can do something magical, she can break a Polaroid camera with astounding efficiency! Also she can turn back time.
If you know me, which is statistically improbable, then you know I’m a sucker for time travel. I even went to the extreme point of buying Singularity to get my fix of paradox-y fun time.
Unfortunately, with time travel must come plot holes, and in Life is Strange there is one tiny thing that will haunt me until the end of my days. It is explained that Max can take items she has collected in the future back in time with her, which allows some nice puzzles that I approve of, however, when faced with the option of taking a photo of a shy girl being harassed or intervening I had the rather obvious idea of taking a photo and then going back in time to intervene.
This should leave me with a photograph of this event that no longer happened and a happy shy girl, yay time travel! This was not the case however, as when Max’s bestest fwiend asks her about what happened I discovered that photographs don’t go back in time with you. Now this is the first episode in the game so I won’t burn it at the stake just yet. But if this isn’t addressed I may be forced to gather my pitchfork and excesses of lighter fluid.
The characters in The Life Among Strange Trademark are rather likable, each having their own motives and personalities, however, they suffer from a condition popularly known as “Dear god she really did just say Awesome Sauce didn’t she?” But aside from the horrific language that I know to be typical of people my age I really do like these people, they remind me of the kind of awful twats I met in high school and college, giving me a combination of nostalgia and pure burning hatred which I found rather refreshing.
The time travel mechanic’s main purpose is allowing the player to go back on decisions they make, either allowing them to change their mind or use information they only discovered after making a decision. This feature has its ups and downs, one of the main ups being that it fixes the LA Noire problem of doubting the statement of a sweet old lady and Cole shooting her in the face with the sheer force of his aggression, because after this happens you can turn back time and decide instead to stroke the kind old lady’s face and tell her a story. You can then decide that this is an overly creepy response and proceed to destroy the old lady’s face again.
I look forward to seeing what the rest of the episodes hold, the mechanics have great potential for hilarious stupidity and clever puzzles. The first episode has provided a solid foundation upon which you could build a game to not quite take Telltale’s crown.
Overall I give it ‘It’s not finished yet, give them time’ Out of Ten.