Life is Unusual: True Colours evaluate: An emotional triumph

MSRP $59.99

“Heartfelt and poignant, the one factor Life is Unusual: True Colours journeys over is its personal phrases.”

Execs

A relatable story

Heartfelt moments

Joyful characters

Cons

Haphazard pacing

Cringeworthy dialogue

Unimpressive visuals

In the event you’re searching for a narrative about psychological well being, discovering one is as simple as logging onto Twitter and scrolling for a bit. Media, no matter its format, now has some technique of representing the large swath of psychological well being points. The problem of widespread despair or anxiousness has grow to be accepted, and is now represented via the characters within the video games we play and exhibits we watch. Sooner or later, numerous us realized that, internally, one thing isn’t proper, one thing’s not good.

Life is Unusual: True Colours facilities round that notion — that we’re all, in our personal distinctive approach, damaged or fallacious. Nonetheless, the story it tells isn’t merely about dealing with each day life. That’s not a wholesome method to stay anyway. It’s about embracing these imperfections, tackling them head-on, and in some instances preventing to ensure life is what it must be.

That message involves life via the sport’s fantastic forged of characters, every with their very own experiences and trauma. It’s virtually unattainable to finish Life is Unusual: True Colours with out regarding both Alex or considered one of her associates. Even with staggered story pacing and typically off-putting dialogue, the sport managed to connect with me in a approach not many have earlier than.

In another person’s footwear

Life is Unusual: True Colours places gamers within the footwear of Alex Chen, a girl who’s seemingly been via all of it. A big a part of her life was spent within the foster care system, which I don’t find out about first-hand, however am all too acquainted with as a result of an in depth good friend’s experiences. By taking a look at her cellphone, gamers can see that even the few social relationships she’s managed to develop throughout her time within the system didn’t pan out. One ends with Alex ghosting a boy who begins to anticipate intercourse from her after a number of hookups, one other ends as a result of Alex seemingly “freaked out.”

That freak-out was brought on by Alex’s latent energy, which isn’t something as spectacular as flying or capturing laser beams. As an alternative, she’s an odd combine between a telepath and an empath (a telempath, if you’ll). She will see how folks really feel, visualized via colourful auras that seem round their our bodies. When somebody feels one thing, she will be able to faucet into it and perceive the reasoning behind their feelings. Total, it’s a strong device, one which lets her, together with gamers, get to the core of any character’s motivation. If somebody is performing out of worry or rage, Alex can inform and dredge that deep-seated emotion to the floor.

Nonetheless, when she’s actually reaching into somebody’s feelings, Alex’s powers can take her some other place. As an alternative of merely seeing how somebody feels — albeit at a deeper degree than most — she will be able to see the world via their eyes, filtered by their feelings. At instances, this expertise is whimsical, bringing Alex right into a Dungeons & Dragons-esque world imagined by a baby. Different experiences aren’t as nice, however nonetheless poignant. Certainly one of these sections has Alex wanting via the terrified eyes of a girl slowly dropping her reminiscence to a “situation,” via the lens of her worry of finally not remembering basic items, just like the face of her personal granddaughter. These moments ended up hitting near dwelling for me as terrifyingly good representations of the worry, rage, and anxiousness I’ve felt via my very own life.

At instances, this expertise is whimsical, bringing Alex right into a Dungeons & Dragons-esque world imagined by a baby. Different experiences aren’t as nice, however nonetheless poignant.

The detrimental feelings gamers expertise all through Life is Unusual: True Colours are equally balanced by moments of tenderness and real pleasure. The sport begins with Alex arriving within the city of Haven Springs, Colorado, to maneuver in along with her brother, Gabe. The primary day they’re collectively is one healthful second after one other, with the quiet, reserved shell that Alex has constructed up over years slowly chipping away as she’s reintroduced to her brother and the tightknit discovered household he’s constructed within the small city.

Discovered household

That excellent day ends with Gabe’s dying, an occasion that places the remainder of the sport’s plot into movement. Alex and her two finest associates, Steph (who makes a return from Life is Unusual: Earlier than The Storm) and Ryan, start investigating a mining firm that’s been within the city and set off a blast that induced Gabe’s dying. Nonetheless, this story of company espionage and intrigue largely falls into the background throughout 4 of the sport’s 5 chapters. There are moments if you’ll focus immediately on this plot, however for a lot of the recreation, the highlight is on Alex and her sluggish however positive acclimation to a spot that’s protected to name dwelling.

This finally ends up making for an odd imbalance in a narrative that I usually loved and ended up connecting with. Alex’s struggle towards the mining firm, Typhon, feels prefer it ought to take heart stage always. Nonetheless, it as a substitute gives an ominous backdrop for Alex’s personal story of private betterment, and the way she involves phrases along with her new position in Haven Springs as an individual who acknowledges themselves as damaged however feels the necessity to repair others.

For a majority of the sport, gamers stroll across the small, idyllic city, interacting with its locals and serving to them with their very own points. It’s via these small interactions that Alex builds up her personal discovered household, slowly changing the one which’s both died off or deserted her.

Whereas a majority of those moments are touching, they’re additionally the place Life is Unusual: True Colours‘ writing is at its worst. At instances, every little thing the sport’s characters are saying is highly effective and relatable, however at others, the phrases ring hole (and are typically downright inappropriate). Alex, a 21-year-old, doesn’t must spout off internet-age memes when taking a look at random objects within the setting. It makes her come off as much less of a relatable instance of individuals my age (which can be a stretch, since I’m the ripe previous age of 25) and extra of a caricature.

Life is Unusual: True Colours‘ story, though sluggish for its majority, is satisfying. It’s not plodding, however extra of a pleasing stroll, one thing to take pleasure in at a leisurely tempo. That feeling adjustments totally throughout the recreation’s final act, although, when issues take a particularly sharp flip. The story pivots totally from Alex’s acclimation to her new setting straight to her battle towards Typhon. It’s a dramatic flip of occasions, one which’s genuinely gripping. Whereas I may cease enjoying at any time throughout the recreation’s early chapters, I needed to end after hitting the fifth.

Whereas a majority of those moments are touching, they’re additionally the place Life is Unusual: True Colours‘ writing is at its worst.

It’s additionally throughout this last chapter that gamers will get one of many recreation’s six endings. Right now, I’ve solely labored my approach via the sport as soon as, nonetheless, I’ll possible give it one other run to expertise all of the issues I had missed, which the sport generously exhibits on the finish of every chapter. I don’t assume it’s doable to get a really “dangerous” ending, however there are some that may be worse than others, not less than to me. I attempted to get Alex to finish up with one of many recreation’s two love pursuits, and succeeded in that regard. There are another necessary choices gamers could make about Alex’s future as effectively, however I received’t get into these spoilers.

Our take

There isn’t a simple method to suggest Life is Unusual: True Colours. It, like the remainder of the Life is Unusual franchise, isn’t a typical recreation. It’s extra akin to a visible novel or point-and-click journey. The sport is a sluggish, satisfying expertise, excellent for if you need to wind down for the night time or stand up within the morning.

Greater than that, although, it’s an emotional triumph. Experiencing Alex’s journey and seeing the world via her excellently crafted perspective is a pleasure that hit me tougher than I anticipated it to. I’ve typically written off the Life is Unusual franchise as unrelatable, by no means giving it the prospect it deserved. Nonetheless, Alex’s story, and the trials of these round her, ended up ringing true to me. Their fears, anxieties, and different feelings are all private and are available from a spot that I contemplate frequent floor. Worry of previous age, anger at firms and their never-ending greed, and unhappiness and rage after the lack of a cherished one aren’t unique to this recreation’s characters — they’re common emotions. Life is Unusual: True Colours, even with its imbalanced story and typically cringeworthy dialogue, wields its emotional heft masterfully.

Is there a greater different?

Telltale’s The Strolling Useless nonetheless reigns supreme on this style. It’s an ideal emotional story for these looking for a extra mature recreation.

How lengthy will it final?

My playthrough of Life is Unusual: True Colours took round 10 hours, however that was only one run. Gamers can undergo the sport a number of instances for his or her supreme ending.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. Life is Unusual: True Colours is relatable on virtually each degree, providing a strong expertise for individuals who like slower, extra relaxed video games.

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