How all the Life is Strange games are connected

How all the Life is Strange games are connected
NEWS Jan 31, 2022, 4:59 PM

After a long wait, the Life is Strange Remastered Collection finally releases tomorrow. By now, Life is Strange is a proper franchise consisting of five titles and a handful of DLCs. And while each game is a standalone story that can be enjoyed on its own, each one contains narrative elements and even characters related to previous games, creating connective tissues throughout the franchise. Here’s a summary of how each of the Life is Strange games are connected. If you haven’t played these games, note that there will be minor spoilers ahead.

Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm 

The original Life is Strange sets the tone for all the other games that came after it. The story follows Max Caulfield, a high school senior and budding photographer who discovers she has the ability to rewind time, which she uses to prevent the murder of her estranged best friend Chloe Price. Together, they attempt to solve the mystery of a missing girl: Chloe’s confidante, Rachel Amber. 

 

 

Life is Strange introduces the format of a riveting and emotional narrative-driven game where your choices affect the story, including a final choice that determines the ending that you get. The succeeding games remain true to this format, including the prequel, Life is Strange: Before the Storm.

Before the Storm takes place three years before the original game. This time, the story focuses on a younger Chloe Price, a troubled teen grieving the loss of her father, and her fateful first-time meeting with the enigmatic Rachel Amber. They find themselves embroiled in the secrets of the Amber family after Rachel discovers her father having an affair with a stranger newly arrived in Arcadia Bay. 

 

 

Being a prequel, Before the Storm has strong connections to the original, particularly when it comes to Chloe and her deep relationship with Rachel. Having left Arcadia Bay for Seattle, Max does not show up as a character for most of the game. Her presence is still felt through several mementos in Chloe’s room, in Chloe’s unsent letters, and their saved text messages from years before. During Chloe’s nightmare, Max also shows up in a disturbing image in Chloe’s journal.

Finally, Max appears as a playable character in Before the Storm’s bonus episode, Farewell. This is apparently the last time we can play as Max Caulfield in this franchise.

Life is Strange 2

 

 

An original story, Life is Strange 2 follows the Diaz brothers, Sean and Daniel. After a tragic incident in Seattle violently awakens Daniel’s telekinetic powers, Sean takes his younger brother south, hoping to escape the police by crossing the Mexican border.

Narratively, Life is Strange 2 doesn’t connect with the games that came before it. However, the entire town of Arcadia Bay does show up during a cutscene in the first episode. Arcadia Bay’s appearance depends on the state you left it in Life is Strange 1.

A character from Life is Strange 1 also makes a cameo in Episode 5 of Life is Strange 2: David Madsen, war veteran and Chloe’s foster father. This makes him the only character to have ever made a physical appearance in three Life is Strange games. Depending on the ending you got in Life is Strange 1, David may receive a call from Chloe later in the game. The ending you got also determines what you see in a picture of Chloe in David’s trailer.

Life is Strange: True Colors

 

 

Life is Stange: True Colors has a more pronounced relationship with Life is Strange: Before the Storm in returning character, Steph Gingrich. An openly gay young woman who settled in Haven Springs, Colorado, Steph works as a small-town DJ and is a possible romantic partner for the main character, Alex Chen. She also stars in her own DLC for True Colors, Wavelengths, where her connections to Arcadia Bay are briefly explored.

If you’re keen, you may also spot several easter eggs from previous Life is Strange games scattered around True Colors, such as Hawtdog Man, the Blue Butterfly, the Wolf Brothers, Firewalk, and the Eye of Providence.

Out Tomorrow

If you have yet to play the first two Life is Strange games, Life is Strange Remastered Collection is the best way to experience them, given its enhanced graphical quality and motion capture that hews closely to the emotions portrayed by the characters. It comes out February 1, 2022, though there is a small delay for the Switch version. Get a Life is Strange Remastered Collection PC code today.

 

  • Sacha Loric

    I'm a part-time writer and a full-on tabletop/video gamer who belatedly realized he can combine those two passions. Every day, play is work and work is play.

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