Calum Petrie reviews Life is Strange #1…
*SPOILER WARNING* is now in effect.
The continuation of Dontnod’s story follows the original duo of Max and Chloe, continuing on from ending of the game in which Max and Chloe stayed by each other’s sides and left Arcadia bay behind. The characters are trying to adjust to their new lives after their consciences are still reeling from the events a year ago. Max decided to damn the entire Arcadia Bay the moment where she could actually play god: save everyone from the hurricane and let Chloe die, or save Chloe and let everyone suffer.
The issue opens with the ever familiar interpretation of Chaos Theory. Max is pondering over the guilt of someone who causes death and destruction without meaning it, before coming to terms with her part within the madness of everything that happened. The scene quickly shows the lives of Max and Chloe now a year down the line from game’s ending, living in Seattle with Max’s parents. The story throws in hints and teases what has happened in the past year year, with conversations pointing to those people who survived the hurricane.
Max and Chloe are getting friendly with an up-and-coming indie band whom Max is photographing, who appear to be using the story of the two survivors as inspiration for their music. Music had such an impact on the games, but it does not properly translate to the page. The solitary moments spent sitting in a bedroom listening to indie rock and reflecting on the choices were some of the most human moments in Life is Strange. These are quickly implemented in the issue’s opening with Chloe tagging a wall and listening to some appropriate music in turn.
The story then turns to the topic of Arcadia Bay, and the wealthy Prescott family who vow to rebuild the town to honour their innocent lost son Nathan. This makes the two women retreat to the bathroom to regroup. Chloe lets slip that she feels like she is wandering about not supposed to even be alive, while Max tries to dispel the thoughts – though the reason Arcadia Bay was destroyed was this exact reason.
The issue rounds up with a pirate-themed music event in a grungy Seattle coffee shop, and my cliche sense is tingling here. Max starts to encounter strange experiences where her realities are overlapping – even though she has stopped using her powers the world is messing with her. Chloe steps in as things start to get out of hand, and they decide they are going to return to Arcadia Bay.
The issue is a must for anyone who experienced the original Life is Strange story. The artwork is not overtly adult, while not exactly being childish either; it instead hits that middle ground much like the characters who are not adults and not children either. I very much look forward to following the story to its conclusion, just as I’m also sitting patiently waiting for the next episode of Life is Strange 2.
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