Life is Strange Remastered Collection Review
Life is Strange is an absolutely incredible game. It is one I usually end up playing once a year just because I love the setting and characters so much. All of that is preserved. However, this is not a great way to play these games. This collection suffers heavily from bugs and tends to put the negative qualities of Life is Strange and its prequel Before the Storm in the forefront.
If you already own Life is Strange or Before the Storm, you are perfectly fine to skip this collection. It offers nothing that is worth dropping $40 on. In fact, this collection is actually the inferior way to enjoy these fantastic games in some ways.
The most noticeable change is obviously to the graphics. Life is Strange and Before the Storm already have very strong art styles that allow them to still look excellent today. You would think upgrading them would only make them look better, and for the most part, that is true. The issue is that clearly not all scenes were upgraded. That means you will be playing and randomly get a cutscene that is a blurry mess and just looks terrible next to everything else.
Don’t get me wrong, the upgraded scenes to look terrific and improved animations are very apparent. They are just unevenly applied. Since Life is Strange has the enhanced animation, it makes Before the Storm look absolutely stiff and janky in comparison. It would be much better if these upgrades were more evenly applied. Having them randomly applied throughout the games just makes the lesser moments really stick out.
Life is Strange Remastered Collection is Bugs Galore
The pretty graphics are also really hampered by bugs. If you need subtitles to understand what is happening in a game properly, Life is Strange Remastered Collection is absolutely unplayable right now. The subtitles stop working after chapter one in the original Life is Strange. That is just an unacceptable oversight. Some people need these to play.
The subtitles aren’t the only thing that is broken. There are many graphical bugs that I simply didn’t experience in the original game. Before the Storm is particularly bad in this area as characters will sometimes just have shining lights on their head that makes them impossible to look at. I’m a big believer that a Remastered Collection shouldn’t introduce more bugs to a game.
Great yet Flawed
The Life is Strange Remastered Collection isn’t all bad, however. The story is still excellent and is helped along with better animations in the original Life is Strange. The writing is easily the best part of Life is Strange and Before the Storm, and that is generally unchanged here. I did find interacting with items in Life is Strange to be somewhat more difficult than I remember. The mouse was really picky about when it would pick up I’m trying to interact with something, and I often had to select my choice multiple times.
This isn’t a big deal as time isn’t really a factor, but it was slightly annoying. Before the Storm fixes this by using WASD instead of hovering the mouse over an option.
Well Written Adventure
The story of Chloe and Max is an absolute classic in my mind. Max moves back to her old town for high school to pursue photography. There, she is reunited with her best friend, Chloe, where she ends up saving her life and realizing she can rewind time. The story has its slow points, like collecting beer bottles. Every fan knows about collecting those stupid beer bottles. That said, the chemistry between Chloe and Max is so good that it doesn’t matter. I’m so eager to continue the story that I don’t even care when it slows down. I just want to see these two interact. Add on a great supporting cast, and Life is Strange is a hard game to put down. Max being able to rewind is a fun game mechanic, but honestly, it isn’t even necessary.
That isn’t to say the rewind ability is bad or poorly executed. It is fun to talk to people and rewind once you learn more to steer the conversation in a different direction. It’s also used well in a few different puzzles, and it serves as a great safety valve. I’m never afraid to experiment and try stuff because I can always rewind if I don’t like the outcome.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Before the Storm. The prequel explores the relationship between Chloe and Rachel, who is missing in Life is Strange, while adding some great context to the original game. Rachel and Chloe still have great chemistry, but I found the writing not as engaging, and I just can’t get over the voice acting. A different person plays Chloe, and it isn’t that she is bad, but it is clearly not Chloe. I can get past that but, I just can’t get over how it lacks the same interest as Life is Strange. It isn’t a bad game, but it is a real step down from the first title.
Life is Strange Remastered Collection is only good because Life is Strange is so good. The upgrades are nice, but they aren’t evenly applied and sometimes make the game look worse. It also has an inexcusable number of bugs. Life is Strange and Before the Storm are great games, but this collection is lacking. I recommend just picking up the original versions. You can probably find them cheaper than this collection, and they offer just as good an experience. They offer a better experience in some ways.
Life is Strange Remastered Collection is available now on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and a Switch version is coming later.
***PC code provided by the publisher***
- Writing and characters are excellent
- Great art style
- Exploration is constantly rewarding
- Too many bugs
- Some scenes are graphically terrible
- Controls and animations are clunky