The Life Is Strange series is one of my favorite episod­ic graph­ic adven­ture games, so I was excit­ed when Square Enix announced a new title. What’s more, it was being made by Deck Nine who I thought did an excel­lent job with Life Is Strange: Before the Storm. I was not com­plete­ly dis­ap­point­ed with True Colors.

First off, the sto­ry is quite good. You start off see­ing Alex Chen, our main pro­tag­o­nist, sit­ting in a chair in front of an emo­tions poster. She’s talk­ing to psy­chol­o­gist in the group home that she’s cur­rent­ly stay­ing at, plead­ing her case to be released to her broth­er. Obvi­ous­ly, she is released, and takes a bus to the small town of Haven Springs, Col­orado to meet her broth­er, Gabe. From here, you meet his friends (which even­tu­al­ly become your friends), and begin set­tling down in this qui­et min­ing town. Of course, dis­as­ter strikes, but since I’m not one to ruin a sto­ry for oth­ers, you’ll have to play it your­self to find out more.

Life Is Strange: True Colors Review - Emotions Lead The Way
Alex arriv­ing to Haven Springs

I will say that unlike oth­er games in the series, True Col­ors relies heav­i­ly on this dra­mat­ic beginning–with most of the game deal­ing with grief. It hard­ly breaks from this nar­ra­tive, so it can feel drain­ing at times.

It does play exact­ly like the oth­er games, were the deci­sions made affect the out­come. How­ev­er, since Alex’s pow­ers are com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent than any­thing seen before, it makes those choic­es a bit hard­er. Alex can read peo­ple’s emo­tions and with that comes a snip­pet of their thoughts. Because it’s impos­si­ble to have an emo­tion with­out a thought behind it. 

Life Is Strange: True Colors Review - Emotions Lead The Way
Just one of many major decisions.

The deci­sions giv­en are just so dif­fi­cult because the knowl­edge received from this pow­er. You know what these peo­ple are think­ing about. Like why they are scared, what is mak­ing them sad or angry. So, go with the option that push­es your inner emo­tion­al but­ton? Or the one that’s more log­i­cal or in line with you moral com­pass? It was def­i­nite­ly the hard­est choic­es I’ve had to make in the whole series, and I audi­bly groaned at a major­i­ty of them. 

  • Life Is Strange: True Colors Review - Emotions Lead The Way
  • Life Is Strange: True Colors Review - Emotions Lead The Way
  • Life Is Strange: True Colors Review - Emotions Lead The Way

As far as the visu­al qual­i­ty, most of the main char­ac­ters are well flushed out in gen­er­al, but a few can look a lit­tle funky here and there. How­ev­er, as usu­al­ly, the NPCs are a tad ridicu­lous. The ones in the unplayable areas tend to get trapped walk­ing in one spot, or against each other. 

Life Is Strange: True Colors Review - Emotions Lead The Way
Alex in the town’s park.

Over­all, True Col­ors does adhere to the typ­i­cal Life Is Strange art style. How­ev­er, the Col­orado moun­tain set­ting, the col­ors of the shops on main street, the inter­est­ing out­fits Alex has, and the min­ing his­to­ry in the town does dif­fer from the oth­er titles. To me, the pre­vi­ous games were far more sub­dued in most visu­al aspects. 

  • Life Is Strange: True Colors Review - Emotions Lead The Way
  • Life Is Strange: True Colors Review - Emotions Lead The Way
  • Life Is Strange: True Colors Review - Emotions Lead The Way
  • Life Is Strange: True Colors Review - Emotions Lead The Way
  • Life Is Strange: True Colors Review - Emotions Lead The Way
  • Life Is Strange: True Colors Review - Emotions Lead The Way
  • Life Is Strange: True Colors Review - Emotions Lead The Way

Cutscenes for the most part look great, but I did have one instance of Alex pop­ping into the “T” pose com­ing out of a cutscene. If you don’t know what a “T” pose is, it’s when an NPC or char­ac­ter stands straight and holds their arms out from their sides to make their body look like a T. It did­n’t last long and I thought it was fun­ny more than any­thing. Hon­est­ly, it would have bro­ken up the gloom of the game if she had got­ten stuck in that pose for a bit.

Anoth­er strange visu­al occur­rence was at the very end of True Col­ors, when the game was try­ing to switch between sev­er­al cutscenes. It would try to load the scene, but then would go black, just to start play­ing that scene short­ly after. It did that for every cutscene at the end. 

Alex was my favorite ele­ment of the whole game. She reminds me of myself and peo­ple I know–so she’s relat­able. From the trau­ma of her past, she is rather reserved, espe­cial­ly to those she does­n’t know. But, inside Alex’s head, you get to hear her ridicu­lous­ly cheesy jokes, and goof­ball com­men­tary. She’s an endur­ing character. 

I also appre­ci­at­ed the shift to an adult per­spec­tive. See­ing your char­ac­ter be able to actu­al­ly drink at a bar legal­ly and talk open­ly about smok­ing weed is a much bet­ter expe­ri­ence. I don’t mind being remind­ed I was once a teenage girl, but I imag­ine it would be rather strange for some people. 

In the end, Life Is Strange: True Col­ors was a great game. It has its quirks, but the amaz­ing moments out­weigh them. The one thing I wish Deck Nine would have done was give us more of the game. It was short in com­par­i­son to the oth­er titles in the series, even when com­par­ing it to their pre­vi­ous game–Before the Storm. That was my one gripe and, unfor­tu­nate­ly, I doubt there will be any more titles involv­ing Alex. I would still rec­om­mend play­ing True Col­ors, but maybe wait for it to go on sale.

* Reviewed on PS5