The Life Is Strange franchise has had a turbulent few years. Following the hit 2015 coming-of-age game and its prequel, Before the Storm, it seems things had only been going downhill – Life Is Strange 2 received mixed reviews citing the lack of a stable supporting cast (cutting out what was probably the original game’s greatest strength), and early this year it was announced that developers Dontnod had parted ways with Square Enix, leaving the franchise’s future up in the air. Now, however, the developers of Before the Storm are taking the reigns of the series with the latest title, Life Is Strange: True Colors.
At today’s Square Enix Presents show at E3, we got a closer look at our main character Alex Chen and the powers she’ll use to unravel the mystery at the game’s core. Alex has the power of Empathy – the psychic ability to perceive, experience and even influence the emotions of those around her. Visually, these emotions are represented by an aura of color surrounding characters, and analyzing them will open new dialogue options with that character. When Alex encounters a character with particularly strong emotions, she can attempt to connect with them by creating a ‘nova’ – a supernatural phenomenon that transforms the world around her into a manifestation of that person’s mental state. Here, Alex can experience the person’s thoughts and memories – surely a useful ability when delving into a murder mystery.
Life Is Strange: True Colors takes place in the small town of Haven Springs, where a web of secrets and conspiracies surround the death of Alex’s brother. This return to small-town mystery will no doubt be a welcome one for fans of the series, as Life Is Strange 2 took a controversial turn towards a road trip setup rather than the Twin Peaks-inspired thriller and diverse cast of developed side characters that brought great success to the original game.
Life Is Strange: True Colors launches on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC and Stadia on September 20th, 2021. Pre-orders for the game are live now.