Life Is Strange True Colors on Nintendo Switch is a great narrative-driven hit
This story-driven adventure has been cut down in size to cram neatly onto the Nintendo Switch and the developers have done a good job in maintaining its narrative heart.
True Colors reviewed well on the Playstation and Xbox consoles but this handheld rival doesn’t quite pack the same amount of computing power.
So the decision was made to reduce the visual detail within True Colors, dropping polygon count quite dramatically, rather than sacrifice any content elements of the gameplay itself, like character performance capture and facial animation.
And the resulting product shows you can effectively reduce graphics fidelity of a title without losing the appeal of the original game.
In this award-winning narrative adventure, players take on the role of Alex Chen, a young woman with the secret ability to absorb and manipulate the strong emotions of others.
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When her brother dies in a so-called accident, she must embrace her volatile power to find the truth – and reveal dark secrets buried by the town.
It plays like an old point-and-click adventure from that genre’s PC heyday in the 90s but with all the elements of a modern day Netflix-style high-spec telly drama.
Alex’s supernatural ability to read people’s emotions turns the mystery into a real Sherlock Holmes style clue hunt at points and the branching and evolving narrative sees you make build a tapestry and make choices that, over the course of the game, dramatically shape the storyline.
There are multiple endings depending on how you behave as Alex and what decisions you choose to make, meaning there’s plenty of reason to come back for more several times after you finish the game for the first time to see what you could have done differently.
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The acting is excellent, full of heart and drama, and the pacing of the story is confident enough in its script that it slowly builds into a huge adventure mystery with bursts of action that hit hard.
There’s so much to explore and learn about the citizens of Haven Springs that you can really walk away from the game after many hours of play with a sense of total understanding that a TV show would never have time to flesh out.
Despite the obvious visual cutbacks, the game plays well and the graphics overall look bright, colourful and vibrant, particularly on the new OLED Switch screen.
There’s a fair bit of texture popping in and out of scenes, load times can be quite long and sometimes the game can jar between cut-scenes. At worst that is a real distraction, however the story remains gripping enough that it never really ruins things for the player.
A more frantic game would break under this pressure but because the pacing is gentler it’s okay.
For the Switch, it is a lovely change of pace from your usual Marios or free-to-plays like Fortnite.
Well worth a digital download.
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