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Life is Strange True Colors Review

Life seems to be turning around in a new town for Alex Chen, the only exception is that her life is about to face tragedy in the fourth game of the Life is Strange series, Life is Strange True Colors. This review will go into detail of the storyline gameplay and DLC content of the game.

From Orphan to New Beginnings…

alex chen true colors

For nearly 8 years bouncing between group homes in the state of Oregon, Alex Chen is now getting ready to start adulthood by reuniting with her brother Gabe in the small miners town of Haven Springs, Colorado.

Alex’s past is never far behind her in remembering the history of a mentally abusive relationship with her father to the point on him walking out on her and Gabe while they were in their early teens to getting into fights and other troubled history while on the move from one group home to another that affects her status of finding a new home with a foster family.

On the up-and-up, Alex is ready to start fresh with the small town vibes even with the potential of finding success in one day making a career out of the music industry if she wants to while Gabe is potentially starting family life with Charlotte and potentially a fatherhood to her son Ethan…not to mention possibly becoming a successful business partner at the Silver Dragon if he wanted to.

Unfortunately, Alex and Gabe’s lives would be turned upside down quickly in Haven Springs because of one company’s agenda to protect a past coverup from being exposed in Haven Springs to the point tragedy would strike in such as small town…

Typhon Mining Coverup

diane jacobs true colors

Sponsoring the Spring Festival to buying up land for opening new mine shafts to further boost local town economy in Haven Springs is only the tip of the iceberg behind the power and bankroll of the Typhon Mining Company except there is more to this mining company that meets the eye.

From not answering an important phone call to call off a blast zone up in the mountains that would prove to be “fatal” to the rumors of employee abuse behind the scenes…Typhon’s image may not be what it seems to a small town.

The other major piece to the Typhon puzzle is the past history and story on how Jed Lucan (the current owner of the Black Lantern bar in town) single-handily saved a number of men from a flooding accident at one of the mines in the mountains during a mine expansion assignment. The question to this part of Typhon’s story is it “true” or not…only Jed Lucan knows the truth to what happened.

For Alex, it means becoming a private investigator to uncover whether Typhon’s actions are all accidents behind the town’s recent tragedy or if Typhon’s actions are a bunch of “red herrings” that coverup the truth of the past and present actions from being told to the public.

Life is Strange True Colors Gameplay

empathetic powers alex chen

With much of the same mechanics as the previous 3 Life is Strange games, the main character (Alex Chen) has a miraculous superpower to assist in making decisions both good and bad that will affect the outcome and chemistry of others as the game follows to the end.

Alex’s superpower is the power of empathy which is used to read other people’s thoughts and their emotions that will give clues as well as unlock new dialog choices to say when communicating to people. However, this ability is not always a good thing when taking away another character’s anger or fearful/anxious emotions that instead affects her to showing the same emotions she took away from the affected individual.

When triggering Alex’s empathy powers, Alex can firsthand read each available individuals emotions in the game’s empathy mode or view based on the color aurora highlight around the character

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The interaction menu appears to be the same as previous LIS games with the exceptions that Alex must use her empathy sometimes powers to unlock additional interaction options

in order to predict what to say in how to change an individual’s emotions or unlock additional dialog when interacting with another character in the game.

For instance, a character is highlighted in red indicates the individual is feeling frustrated/angry while an individual say is highlighted with a “purple” aurora would indicate the character is showing an anxious, guilty, or scared emotion.

There is also a “blue” aurora which would indicate the individual is concerned or sad and a bright “white” or “light-yellow” aurora that obviously indicates an individual is showing an happy or enthusiastic emotion.

Besides interacting with a journal and text messages, Alex can also access a local town social media app and site called “MyBlock” on her phone to check out interactions from the other characters in the game and announcements coming from Haven Springs in general.

Around the town, Alex can take part in 5 side quests to help out some of the town’s citizens such as a scenario of helping one individual find a lost dog to helping someone identify the lyrics to a song on the  jukebox at the Black Lantern in order to unlock the achievement/trophy for completing the quests if going for that 100% completion.

Unlocking the Past – Memory Collectibles

memory collectibles true colors

The collectibles have been changed up once again for Life is Strange True Colors being that the player can unlock memories from an object that would uncover backstories from a characters past including one backstory moment of how Gabe put a hole in the wall in his apartment out of frustration when he was trying to find Alex in the orphanage system.

There are 25 collectibles in the game with 5 collectibles found in each of the 5 chapters (there are no collectibles in the DLC content).

The Life of a DJ – Wavelengths DLC

steph gingrich life is strange

It’s unfortunately a storyline that is not linked back to Steph Gingrich’s times at Blackwell Academy before the events of Life is Strange: Before the Storm or before meeting Chloe Price…

Instead, Steph’s story is told after leaving Arcadia Bay for a long-term career as the new day-to-day manager of the Rocky Mountain Record Trader store and as Haven Spring’s new DJ for KRTC radio.

From her Indie Rock band days, Steph’s world as KRTC’s DJ is to bring a whole different way of bringing her own taste of Indie Rock to Haven Springs while connecting to all who call into the radio station both from the locals to the occasional weirdos…

The Wavelengths DLC starts from Steph’s rough first day on the job as KRTC’s DJ and progresses through every season/holiday all the way up to the point of Alex Chen arrival in the record store with Gabe on her first day in town…not to mention a familiar character from Before the Storm makes an appearance in the DLC who attended Blackwell Academy with Steph.

While there are no collectibles in the DLC, you as the player behind Steph can go through the average day as a DJ completing Steph’s tasks around the store and in the booth such as answering calls and reading advertisements (even getting creative to predict outcomes based on what Steph’s D20 die comes up with…sorry Steph but you’re not Max),  putting a new song together, and fulfilling song requests/orders for customers.

In addition, Steph’s story goes back to recounting the past events heard from the final outcome of the original Life is Strange game (whether Chloe Price or the town was sacrificed) that brings up her memories of events that took place.

Life is Strange True Colors Personal Views

gabe and alex chen

The Life is Strange series has not changed much as far as the game mechanics and pros/cons style gameplay as before which is not necessarily bothersome to say that change is necessary in the Life is Strange series.

However, Life is Strange True Colors is the first game in the series that I can recall where the character has already discovered their supernatural ability before the game has kicked off whereas from the original LIS game to Life is Strange 2 games previously where the characters did not know they had supernatural abilities until actually portraying the ability in-game.

On a general note, I do tip my hat to Square Enix and Deck Nine Games for releasing the full game instead of previous times (when it was Square Enix partnered with Don’t Nod Entertainment) where everybody had to wait a 3-4 months for the next episode to be released.

So, I do give high remarks for them taking their time completing the whole game and releasing True Colors as a completed game and not a partial game starting out as before.

For the gameplay in True Colors itself, I’m reminded of playing the original Life is Strange title where Max Caulfield had to play as the Private Investigator to find out what happened to Rachel Amber (as well as who was drugging other innocent kids) as Alex Chen had to put on the same P.I. hat to solve the mystery of events that happened in Haven Springs.

Just like how Max Caulfield turned negatives into positive, Alex Chen in True Colors proved the same case turning a bunch of negative emotions into positive emotions with Haven Springs citizens that itself makes me hope that there are more LIS storylines just like this that make the game worthwhile and the hours to play…most of all True Colors “hits home” emotionally just as Life is Strange 1 proved to be.

If anybody like the first LIS title, then they would be impressed with True Colors as far as the storyline…

Life is Strange True Colors Photo Gallery

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Review Summary

  • Keeps Same Decision Making as other LIS games
  • Improved Graphics
  • Episodes Still Released in Parts
  • Long Wait time for New Episodes

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About The Author

Chief, Author/Writer for TornadoTwistar Gaming. 15+ year gaming experience. Always a big fan of most first-person and third-person, action/adventure, and racing games from Forza Motorsports to Rainbow Six.
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