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RttP: Life is Strange - This Action Will Have Consequences (Open Spoilers)

Episode 1: Chrysalis - Monday 7th October Part 4
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    Hey maybe something's gonna happen to Nathan after all? Anyway, now that we're outside, our good classmate/friend/stalker Warren texts us, asking for his flash drive back. Which means a trip back to the dorm rooms. Unfortunately, Queen Victoria Chase is blocking our path with vicious put downs (Seriously, 'go fuck your selfie' is amazing.) But vicious put downs are no match for our COMPLETE MASTERY OF TIME AND SPACE, so after sabotaging a nearby paint can, we get Victoria covered, drop some sass of our own, and make our way into the dorm to find something truly remarkable.




    Functioning mirrors! Life really is strange. We also get a text from mom about the whole Nathan situation, looks like that may not be working out in our favour. But given Max's taste in films, maybe she deserves it. That's Life is Strange, Published by Square Enix, for you.




    Flash drive in hand, we head on off to the parking lot, where it turns out people really cannot park, and meet Warren, narrowly avoiding an awkward hug situation. I actually really like Warren, and identify with him way too much, which is probably a bad thing. The clumsy nerd type who's way too forward at best and creepy at worst? Yeah, I get that. Painfully so.



    Our lovely chat about movies (Warren has decent taste) gets interrupted by Nathan, who somehow figured out it was us who reported him (ripping up one of our photos in the bathroom was probably not the smartest idea). But Max isn't gonna back down to a bully, even if he's rich and untouchable and comes to class with a gun. What could go wrong.



    Warren jumps in and starts taking a beat down, while we're saved by that blue haired girl from the bathroom, who turns out to be...



    Oh Chloe Price, you so wonderful. A complete disaster of a human being, sure, but still truly wonderful. She might be one of my favourite characters in video games, and is wonderfully played by Ashly Burch. That surprised me a lot, given that she had previously played Tiny Tina from Borderlands 2, which I hated. Turns out she's a little pissed about us not calling or texting or anything for five years, even being back in Blackwell Academy for a month. Great way to treat your old friend Max. But she's happy to let us use her stepdad's tools to fix our camera at least, broken in the scuffle with Nathan.


     
    Episode 1: Chrysalis - Monday 7th October Part 5
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    Chloe's room and the Price's house is a masterpiece of design, there's so many interactable objects that tell the story, revealing the insights and details of these people's lives, the mundane despair of circumstances. I love it. Good environmental storytelling can add so much to the overall story, showing you details rather than awkwardly telling you, prevening the writers from having to shoehorn in stuff like 'The Price's are broke.'

    While Chloe gets high, I'm left to explore the house at my leisure, checking each room, ostensibly to get some tools to fix my camera, but really we're just gonna peak into the Price's lives. We learn a fair bit actually. Chloe Price and Rachel Amber were really good friends, Chloe's stepdad is David, the security guard at Blackwell, and David's got a lot of surveillance photographs of Kate Marsh hidden away for some reason. Seems very dodgy.




    Even with the tools, the camera's cerealously broken, so Chloe, remembering Max's birthday, gives her her dad's old camera. This after realising that Max was responsible for saving her life earlier that day (Hella Count: 3).



    We get to some thrashing, and Max drops her amazing dance moves. Shine on you crazy diamond, shine on.



    At least until the step-fuhrer interrupts and finds Chloe's weed. Wanting to prove ourselves a good friend after all this time, we naturally take the blame for it. Which I'm sure won't have any impact on our record at Blackwell Academy. Urgh, David is awful.




    It's time to blow this joint. We take a trip up to a great spot Chloe knows. The lighthouse.



    I adore the lighting throughout this part of the chapter. Unsurprising for a game so focused on photography, the devs put some real attention into the lighting of each scene, and it really shows, bathing the shots in golden browns and yellows.

    We tell Chloe that David's got surveillance cameras throughout the house (Hella Count: 4), and then Chloe drops the bombshell. Nathan drugged her and took her back to his apartment, but luckily Chloe escaped. Like bloody hell, this game is dealing with some stuff. But Chloe remains hopeful despite it all, and with Max back by her side, maybe the two of them can find Rachel and get out of this hell.




    Destiny has other plans, it seems, as Max gets hit by the vision of the tornado once again. Chloe tries to reassure her (Hella Count: 5), but we discovered exactly when it'd hit. Friday, 11th October. Four days time. And we finish Episode 1 with an impromptu flurry of snowflakes. In October. In 80 degree heat. Hella normal day.




    Episode 1 is a mostly wonderful introduction to the setting, characters and stakes at play. There's some dialogue that's very obviously written by a 30 year old writer, but if I could live with that in Buffy, I can more than live with it in this. The main cast all feel like actual characters, and the locations feel like actual locations people live in, rather than stages to wander around. It's a game that invites introspection, affording you the time to stop and think (the moments of calm are a fantastic addition to the game). Most importantly, it's not letting the sci-fi time travel stuff overshadow the far more grounded concerns of the characters. We'll see how that goes tomorrow with Episode 2: Out of Time.
     
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    Episode 4: Dark Room - Thursday 10th October - Part 5
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    Off to the campus we go, to grab Nathan's phone and figure out what exactly the creep's been doing at the Vortex Club parties. Along the way, Chloe gets way into the dreamy Mr Mark Jefferson, and who can blame her really? Kate helps us with the room number, and we break into Nathan's room.



    Nathan's room is disturbing, to put it mildly. But what we find while looking for his phone is worse.


    On our way out with the goods is the perfectly dramatic time for Nathan himself to show up, so of course he does. But we have our own hero to save us, it's time for Warren to GO APE.



    Nathan's armed, but that's nothing to Warren, who goes to town on him. Apparently we can intervene to stop him beating Nathan down too badly. Weird option that one. I guess maybe they wanted to let people rewind to watch Nathan get beat down again?



    Outside, we take stock after leaving Nathan a bloody mess in the dorm. Chloe proves deeply perceptive about Warren, she must be psychic!