There were some big hits this year in gaming like The Witcher 3, Metal Gear Solid V, Fallout 4, Halo 5 and a few more here and there. Of course we couldn’t decide on just one game for the whole site to agree with for the game of the year so we decided to write on our GOTY separately. This is so we can all fully express our opinions on the games that we fell in love with in 2015. My pick is one that came out of nowhere and was definitely the “sleeper” hit of the year; Life is Strange.
Life is Strange is a downloadable episodic adventure game developed by Dontnod Entertainment, the same guys who worked on Remember Me. The first episode of the game sneaked onto digital platforms back in January and each episode after that was released about two months apart. The finale was just released in October and that was when I knew that this game was oh so special to me and that I will always remember it for its’ indie aesthetic, believable relationships and heartfelt story.
The game revolves around Max Caulfield, an average student who is studying photography at a prestigious art school. She finds herself with time-rewinding powers which turns out to be a curse and not a gift at all. If you don’t like a choice that you made during a conversation then you can go back and change everything. This makes for some nail-biting choices that had me pausing the game to think about the consequences of each outcome. Dontnod Entertainment truly made me care about what happens to Max and Chloe (her best friend). They also had a strange intimate relationship with each other which was handled beautifully if you ask me. The game never forces anything and the word “gay” is never used. No terms are used at all. This is how all types of relationships should be dealt with in video gaming and media in general. It should just be a normal thing, no conversations about it, no backlash or change to the story because of gender. TellTale Games also did a great job with this in their recent Tales from the Borderlands.
Life is Strange really got me towards the end of the game where you are forced to make one final decision that will ultimately change everything in the story. The decision I made was the right one, I think, but it had me crying my eyes out because of what Max had to give up. Each episodes ending had me craving the next episode immediately. The best video games to me are the ones that make me feel something deep inside. One that makes me think about life, and what it all means to be alive/human. It doesn’t necessarily have to make me cry, but give me something meaningful. This is what Life is Strange tried to do, and it succeeded.Sure, the game doesn’t look that amazing and the characters mouths aren’t synched to the voices but who cares? The developers decided early on that most of the budget be spent on the writing and voice actors. This is most important when it comes to making a video game in my opinion.
My game of 2015 is indeed Life is Strange. If for some reason you have not downloaded this game yet, please please go and do that now. All of the episodes are already out which means that you don’t have to wait to play it all. I promise you that playing this will be a delightful palate cleanser compared to all of these big open world games that have come out. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself with Life Is Strange.
What’s your game of the year pick?
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