Overnight, Square Enix shared a first look at Life is Strange: True Colors in action, teasing another dose of the series’ unique approach to the narrative adventure genre (with some new twists), and introducing some of the characters you’ll meet in Haven.
The scene sees Alex—who’s just moved to a small town to reconnect with her brother, Gabe—visiting Gabe’s favourite record store in search of a gift. A chance encounter with a local park ranger and bird enthusiast who swears he doesn’t work at the store but seems quite comfortable letting himself behind the counter sets Alex on the right path to finding a record Gabe has on hold, but only if she can find a way to move the cute but grumpy cat using the hold list as a bed.
It’s the quintessential Life is Strange, an adventure game with a light puzzle element, but one that’s mostly about exploring the location, taking in the little details, and making low-stakes narrative decisions that help define the kind of person Alex will be. It’s overflowing with that indie rock spirit that runs through Life is Strange‘s DNA—it’s set in an independent record store, after all, complete with its own recording booth and hand-drawn section signs—and a focus on appreciating the mundanity of everyday life.
But it also teases the game’s supernatural element: when the store’s actual owner comes out of the recording booth in the middle of a heated phone call, she’s surrounded by a red aura, and Alex gets visibly upset. Alex’s “power”, after all, is the ability to see, absorb, and even manipulate other people’s emotions. And while we only get to see a small piece of this power, it teases what looks like an interesting dynamic that should put a fresh spin on Life is Strange‘s narrative adventure core.
Life is Strange: True Colors is being developed by Deck Nine, the studio behind Life is Strange: Before the Storm. While not the same developer as the “main” games (that’s Dontnod Entertainment), with Before the Storm, the folks at Deck Nine proved their ability to both capture what makes the series special and also pull it in interesting new directions. Historically, Life is Strange games have been released episodically, but True Colors will launch as a complete, standalone game.
Life is Strange: Colors is coming PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC (Steam), and Google Stadia on September 10, 2021, and to Nintendo Switch later this year. A Life is Strange Remastered Collection, including remastered versions of Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm, was originally due to release alongside it; however, it’s now been pushed back to early 2022. The remastered collection is still included with the Ultimate Edition of True Colors, but it obviously won’t actually be available until its release next year.