Weaving a story that dances between happiness and grief, this story is emotionally gripping and beautifully presented, making it an artistic achievement for mature players. While Life Is Strange: True Colors stands on its own, it's part of a popular and acclaimed franchise. The original game, Life Is Strange, was released in 2015 and has become a cult favorite. This story doesn't directly connect with the events of the first, aside from one crossover character (Steph is originally seen in Life Is Strange: Before the Storm) and a few subtle references hidden in some of the game's locations. Despite this, the relationship that LIS: True Colors has with the rest of the franchise is palpable. Usually, players aren't asking for more of the same when a new title is released, but in this case, True Colors immediately feels as beautiful and familiar as it does uniquely heartbreaking. There are a few areas where Life Is Strange games, especially this one, do "choices matter" adventure games better than anyone else.
The environment designs show exceptional attention to detail that makes all the difference. The designers expertly uses spaces like apartments, stores, and the local bar to communicate Haven Springs' personality and collective memories through objects and feelings associated with them. Additionally, the use of "MyBlock," a mock social media site, along with an interactive backlog of text messages on Alex's phone, gives away incredible secrets and insights on events and relationships. With story presented this way, players feel connected with characters immediately. The balance between a breathtaking setting and its underlying darkness provides the narrative with an emotionally rich backdrop as early as the opening scene. The game paints a starkly beautiful picture of how trauma and pain can coexist with joy and healing. Some choices presented may seem inconsequential in the moment, but others are clearly uncomfortable and difficult to deal with. While this may be a helpful tool for teenagers making sense of complicated emotions such as grief, loneliness, and betrayal for the first time in their lives, it's equally relevant for mature players to be reminded of the people and adventures that make living through this trauma and pain so worth it. This may sound vague, but some experiences are best firsthand, and this is one of them. Overall, existing fans of Life Is Strange will see True Colors as a must-play. All of what made Life Is Strange a huge success feels emotionally present, but this is also a totally new story with a singular tone, setting, and cast. New fans will likely also be captivated, as LIS: True Colors continues in the path of its predecessors to challenge the depth of emotions that video games as a medium are capable of portraying.