Turn back the clock
Because Life is Strange, the brand new, episodic adventure game from Remember Me developer Dontnod, isn't taking the grandiose, superheroic approach to temporal tomfoolery. Rather, it integrates its clock-bothering malarkey into an otherwise entirely naturalistic tale of estranged childhood friendships, troubled parent/offspring relationships, and the strains of becoming an adult amid the numerous traumas of school, small towns, and non-ideal peer groups.
There is a central mystery at the core of the story, namely one relating to the recent disappearance of a local girl, but however that plays out, the game's refreshingly matter-of-fact, personal, and introspective treatment of its content already gives me high hopes for an unusually engaging tale. Playing like a quiet, sedate version of Telltale's The Walking Dead, it concentrates its time-warping not on epic, world-saving situations, but on the fixing of minor but important mistakes.
The careless screwing over of a friend with a panicked, badly thought-out dialogue choice can be undone. The whole preceding scenario can be struck from the record by going back a little further. Environmental puzzle solutions can be reverse-engineered by coming to understand their causality backwards. And all of this is wrapped up in a quietly thoughtful--but thankfully non-angsty--vibe of underplayed humanity. However much the game's core mechanic might flagrantly break the fundamental laws of physics, it's all to the end of making little, but hopefully far reaching, improvements in its very real characters' very real lives.
The games two leads are Max and Chloe, former childhood friends who lost touch when Max left town
In the preceding five years, Chloe has changed drastically, going off the rails after her fathers death
In addition to the core mystery, theres tension with a gun-toting, drug-dealing bad kid at school
The games important story triggers seem to lead as much to quiet, emotional revelations as major story progression