Life is Strange: True Colors Wavelengths DLC impressions

Truly Amazing Colors: Life Is StrangeIt centers on Alex Chen’s once estranged brother Gabe. Life can be strange: WavelengthsThe October DLC refocuses the story. True Colors’ important side character, Steph Gingrich. People who have played It’s Strange Life: Before the StormShe is someone you will get to know well. True Colors

There is almost more to an epilogue Before the StormThis is more than a prologue True Colors WavelengthsThis is Life is Strange’s best, fleshing out the supernaturally speculative world with characters grounded in reality. Wavelengths It is much less memorable than True ColorsThe film is set in the Haven Springs record shop Alex has grown to love and trust. It’s an intimate look at a period of change in Steph’s life. She moves to the charming, rural town on a whim — or rather, a bet — after leaving Arcadia Bay for Seattle.

inside the record store, with a pride banner

Image: Deck Nine/Square Enix

Wavelengths begins on Steph’s first day as the new local DJ Manager of the record shop. Steph controls me. I play music and answer calls. The record shop is managed by me. It’s all very simple and well written, a quiet slice of Steph’s life that belies the isolation Steph feels as a queer woman in a rural town that’s supportive, but doesn’t quite get it. The trauma from surviving Arcadia Bay also adds insult to injury, as it leaves a trail of death that you can’t choose.

Wavelengths focused on a theme that frequently intrigues me in games, movies, and books: How do the regular people in those worlds, the ones without powers and major storylines, cope with the trauma left in the wake of someone else’s story? The answer is in Wavelengths, where Steph recognizes that she hasn’t faced down her past; she’s simply left it behind. We see this through Steph’s reflections and ruminations as she’s working in the booth and at the record store, in sometimes stilted and flirty conversations on the dating app, or in answering questions as a “radio psychic” on her DJ shifts.

steph in a radio booth inside a record store

Image: Deck Nine/Square Enix

These stints as a “psychic” feel particularly clever — instead of having Actual psychic powers, which wouldn’t necessarily be surprising in a Life is Strange game, Steph uses her d20 to roll for folks’ futures, and I get to interpret that outcome myself. On-air conversation reveal much about Haven Springs’ residents, as well as about living life in a small community and running from your past.

It’s a short, precise experience with none of True Colors’ big twists and turns, but feels just as impactful as that main story — reminiscent of True Colors’ masterful live-action role-playing sequence, which again tosses supernatural elements aside to focus on sheer human nature. Wavelengths ends up right where you’d expect it to, right when True ColorsIt all begins. Steph somehow feels exactly the same, and yet is forever different.

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