Life is Strange: True Colors developer Deck Nine reveal more details about Alex’s power

Life is Strange: True Colors
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Life is Strange: True Colors developer has given future players more of an insight into how Alex’s power of Empathy will work in the upcoming game. 

In an official PlayStation blog post, Deck Nine Narrative Director Johnathan Zimmerman explains: “In Life is Strange: True Colors, Alex’s psychic power of Empathy is brought to life through unique gameplay and cinematic experiences.” 

“We wrestled with the question of how to capture something as abstract as emotions.” He continues, “we found ourselves pushing the conventions of traditional Life is Strange storytelling" and ended up employing audio-visual signals to represent each emotion in the game, with the aim of encouraging the same response in its players. 

We got to see Alex’s powers in action during the latest Life is Strange: True Colors gameplay trailer which shows the power of Empathy as a colorful aura surrounding each character, depending on what mood they're in. This aura can also explode into a nova which transports Alex to a world made up of that person's psyche if the emotion becomes too overwhelming. 

According to Zimmerman: “Each of these experiences transforms Alex’s world, offering her valuable insights into another person but threatening to consume her own consciousness at times.” The rest of the post works as a guide as to what each color aura means in terms of emotion and how they work in the game. 

First up we have self-explanatory blue for sadness. This colored aura can create a sadness nova which gives Alex’s world a pale, blue, and grey feel, which according to the post is “fluid and consuming.” When experiencing this nova, Alex will also feel as if her world is heavier, darker, duller like on a rainy day. 

Next up we are introduced to fear, which is shown as a dark purple aura. For the fear nova, players will experience a world full of jagged lines and dark shadows and hear the person experiencing the emotion’s heartbeat in their ears. Not only this but Zimmerman has also said that this nova will include jump scares and monsters so that Alex can really empathize with what those around her are experiencing. 

As expected, anger is shown as a violent red aura with a nova that is intense and hot, according to Zimmerman. In this world, the lights and sounds are amped up, movements are sharp and staggered, and the player can hear short, shallow breaths. Finally, the only positive emotion, joy is expressed as a golden aura with a nova that is “full of love and laughter” where colors pop, sounds are rich, and everything feels at peace.   

Life is Strange: True Colors is set to release on September 10, 2021, and will be available on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch

If you want to see more of Deck Nine’s upcoming game, you can watch the opening scene for Life is Strange: True Colors.  

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.