5 GAMES THAT NEED TO BE MADE - LIFE IS STRANGE
(This new article series “Games that need to be made” is where I pitch 5 games that need to be made in a particular franchise, company, genre etc... If you enjoy and want more of these lists let me know in the comments on social media! Tell us which of these 5 was your favorite, and what franchise or theme you want to see next!)
Life is Strange is one of those games that came out of nowhere and blew us away. We didn’t know much about it when it was announced, and it’s art style and narrative focus was just a little bit disarming. You just didn’t think you were walking into a 10/10, Top "10 All Time" level game. You didn’t expect to meet fantastic loveable characters, and more importantly didn't expect to experience a gut wrenching, tear jerking, jaw dropping story.
Today, as I started preparing this article, I watched the March 18th Square Enix Presents event and with it two huge pieces of Life is Strange news! We are getting a third major installment titled, “Life is Strange: True Colors” and possibly even more exciting, a remaster of the original! The original is getting enhanced graphics and animations. I am very excited for this excuse to play it again. I didn’t enoy Life is Strange 2 very much, but the original is such a masterpiece; that I am still very much excited for the future of LIS. That is why I thought it would be perfect to write a “5 Games” article where I discuss 5 pitches for where LIS could go next! One thing to note, LIS is always about an emotional story about friendship, loss, and more. They tell very human, deep, stories that just happen to have a “super power”. These aren’t just games with different super powers. In them, I will also have a protagonist and an overview of the emotional story being told as well.
5. Life is Strange Sequel - (Invisibility)
Life is Strange 4 takes place in a larger city than previous installments and follows the journey of a young female protagonist, Vanessa, in high school. She is a awkward, bullied daily at school and nightly via cyber bullying. She is unable to escape the torture of his classmates. She is made to feel invisible and ugly, until one day he realizes that she can literally turn invisible. Her ability to disappear manifests in a scene where she is being chased by her bullies only to have her vanish.
Vanessa goes on a journey of perspective. Able to see the world and how it behaves when people believe no one is looking. She learns people she thought were friends we actually disloyal behind her back. She finds empathy for one of her bullies when learning her bully is also mistreated by her parents.
There is an overarching story of trust, ethics, and a mystery to solve. In the end, Vanessa uses her ability to protect good people and stop the abuse of others.
4. Life is Strange Sequel - (Teleportation)
Imagine waking up in a different place each morning and not understanding how you wound up there. That’s what life was like for recent college graduate Mike. When he falls asleep, he wakes up in a different part of the world each day. He has no idea how he got there.
Mike’s adventure takes him all around the world on an adventure, meeting people from many different cultures. However, as a mysterious man keeps showing up at all locations; he grows suspicious someone is following him. When confronted by men, government men, Mike is able to disappear when awake. He teleports to another part of the world. Mike is a teleporter.
His adventure cumulates in being restanded in a government fascility where his pursuers want to study and steal his abilities. He is able to escape and jump away.
3. Life is Strange Sequel - (Speedster/Time Slow)
This Life is Strange sequel follows to adventures of Shay, a young African American teen boy. He struggles from ADHD and struggled in school. He is hyper active and more interested in sports and girls than academics and his life. However, it turns out his hyper active personality is related to a repressed ability. He is a speedster. He isn't hyperactive and unfocused, his body just wants to move faster than the rest of the world. At the realization of his power, Shay sees the world seem to come to a crawl around him. Everything freezes.
While at first his super speed abilities are sporadic and hard to control, eventually Shay learns to control his ability to stop the world around him. Along his adventures he saves people, and solves an overarching mystery to the game.
One of the best parts of this game, is how well motion blur and other time stopping, fast moving effects looks really cool in the Life is Strange universe. When time is stopped and Shay is moving around the world, he is able to learn so much about his environment and see interesting physics effects as motion is altered from reality.
2. Life is Strange Sequel - (Multiverse Travel)
Seemingly, Everytime Jason blinks, a tiny detail of the world around him seems to change. Only he is the only one who notices the change. Often the detail is unremarkable, far away, unnoticed. He goes about his day with only the occasional detail missing. His parents and his doctors tell him he has a problem with his memory. He is being forced to take ADHD medicine and struggles in school.
But Jason knows something is wrong with his reality. Sometimes, not often, but a noticeable change happens. Someone’s name, or job, or the location of some item is changed. He knows it changed. Only he is the only one who notices. Until...a tragedy strikes. Sarah, his long time girlfriend and love is killed in a crash. In a fit of rage and anger, Jason focuses hard and this time, makes a change happen. The world around him is different. The tragedy still happened...but it’s worse. Sarah is still dead but now more people died. Jason discovers he can trigger the event to be closer, bigger, more controlled?
Jason learns he can trigger a jump but it takes a whole game to control it. He jumps across the multiverse in an attempt to undo the tragedy, often times making things worse, deviating farther and farther from the world he knew. He loses friends, family. The world around him seems to keep worsening in an attempt to save Sarah. In the end he keeps jumping to worse and worse realities. It is not until he learns control that he ends up finding a universe most similar to his home, but where Sarah is alive.
1. Life is Strange - "Epic Ensemble" Game
Max, Daniel, Jason, Vanessa, Shay, Mike, and Alex are slowly brought together by a unifying plot thread where all the super powered characters in the Life is Strange games are brought together in an "Avenger’s" style team up. They realize they are not alone. They realize they have powers for a reason. They realize they have a common enemy. In this epic conclusion, the threads of the anthology finally intercept and have a final unified story. It doesn't have to turn the franchise into a mindless action game, but having all these threads over the years cumulate into a game where all characters meet and overcome a common antagonist or threat could offer a greater direction and meaning for these otherwise unconnected games. If they aren't building towards...something, I just question where all these stories are going. How do all these unconnected adventures relate. There may be no rule that says that they have to, but that doesn't make it any less of feeling that they "should".