Life is Strange Remastered - Game Infinite Review
I’ve never done a “split score” review before, but that was the only solution I could think of for this impressions review. How do I review a greedy cash grab 4/10 “remaster” of a 10/10 game? Technically, yes, it’s improved, technically it’s “better” sure; but this remastered collection is a DO NOT BUY in one particular way.
I was super excited for Life is Strange to get a remaster because any excuse to revist one of my favorite games is a reason to celebrate. Life is Strange is one of my all time favorite games, and an experience I recommend any gamer have. It is a 10/10 game with a intriguing story and fantastic characters. I love it.
However, with releasing “way back” in 2015 doesn’t feel like it’s that long ago, It was shocking to admit that this game is somehow 7 years old. How is 2015 seven years ago? That being said, the slightly more artsy animated art style of Life is Strange ages very well. It doesn’t feel like a 7 year old game and still holds up well. Surely of course new technology and advancements have come around and the game could be updated. It’s not that they did a remaster, it’s how they priced it.
Here’s why I say this remaster is a DO NOT BUY. This is why I did a split score. I am talking to the people who have played the original. If you haven’t played this game, for sure, this is a 10/10 that you need to try, and the remastered collection is technically the best experience. However, for those of us who did play the original, this is a blatant cash grab.
I had to go on youtube and watch a side by side to even see the difference. It’s there, barely, but it’s so minimal. I was playing the game, and I remember thinking, it’s great to play this again but it doesn’t feel any different. The facial animations are a tiny bit better if you watch them side by side? It is single handedly one of the smallest differences between a remaster and original I have ever seen.
Here’s where they really dropped the ball. I understand this is a 7 year old game; so I don’t expect upgrades for free. But they charged 40$ as a full standalone purchase, and offered existing owners NOTHING. This REALLY should have been a 10$ upgrade for existing owners MAX, and I think that’s being generous. Charging 40$ for this tiny remaster with barely noticeable difference is just indefensible. At the time of writing, the game isn’t even optimized for Series X? I bought it on PC, but the lack of native current gen optimization support is even more insulting. On PC it’s not worth 40$, but it’s not even able to take full advantage on current consoles? Maybe if it had curent gen console optimization AND better animations; I could maybe justify 20$ for new owners and 10 for existing. But it’s just a Xbox One game over there. The lack of upgrade path and over price nature of this upgrade is a huge fail. They could have added a photo mode, or more in game collectibles, or something to add value to this remaster other than minor unnoticeable facial animations.
While some companies are charging a ridiculous 10$ for current gen upgrades on games less than a year old, this is a 40$ “upgrade” that doesn’t even optimize for current gen? Let’s compare this to say, the Mass Effect Legendary Edition.
They charged 60$ for 3 games, not one. Mass Effect 1’s remaster was borderline remake with instantly noticeable improvements. It came with a bunch of DLC and a long list of improvements. That’s how you remaster a 10/10 game. Imagine if ME looked virtually the same and you had to youtube the difference, gamers would have rioted. I think that if Life is Strange was even more mainstream and larger in it's fan base, more people would have talked about this, but it just managed to fly under the radar.
This is such a shame because Life is Strange is a 10/10 game. The story, the characters, the art style, the time travel elements, the twists and turns, the emotions, are all just phenomenal. This game is so amazing, I couldn't just leave a low score review over this blatant cash grab from re-release. Dontnod and Square Enix both have lost a lot of my respect over the years, and this is only my latest disappointment in them, but I can't deny they created a masterpiece back in 2015. It is an amazing experience, so if you never played the original, then you should go back and play the original or wait for a huge discount on the remaster.