Alex Chen has a singular energy — she’s an empath in essentially the most literal sense of the phrase. Life is Strange: True Colors follows Alex as she leaves the foster-care system and strikes to Haven Springs to stay along with her estranged brother, whom she’s been separated from as a result of of that system.

The game itself begins on Alex’s first day in Haven Springs, reuniting with Gabe after eight years and establishing store in an area that she simply would possibly be capable of name residence. She’s attempting to stay a traditional life — one balanced by freedom and connection — unhindered by her empathic skills that permit her to really feel (and generally overcome by) different individuals’s robust feelings.

I wasn’t essentially satisfied by the ability of empathy when the game was first introduced; it felt a bit tacky, and I couldn’t actually place the way it could possibly be used in an fascinating means in Life is Strange: True Colors. But I used to be improper. Empathy completely works in a means that showcases Alex’s story and fleshes out this quaint mining city. Because of that energy, we’re aware about arduous selections and unanswerable questions that we the gamers are compelled to reply: Is it OK to faucet into somebody’s fears? Does that change if it’s to assist them? Should you are taking away somebody’s worry or anger? Where is that line?

Life is Strange: True Colors offers with grief and anger, but additionally pure pleasure. Though there are robust moments, it feels pure that the characters can nonetheless, after all, expertise sophisticated pleasure. But there was one element that I couldn’t let go of, one thing that made me query how a lot I actually appreciated the game. As it seems, that query does have a solution. It was simply partially hidden inside the game’s environmental clues, and I missed it.

a festival with string lights and people all around

Image: Deck Nine/Square Enix

[Warning: This story contains full spoilers for Life is Strange: True Colors.]

This half isn’t actually a spoiler, as a result of it’s in the trailer and most advertising and marketing across the game, however Gabe dies on Alex’s first day in Haven Springs. A gaggle of associates, Alex and Gabe included, are in the mountains on the lookout for a misplaced baby on the evening of a company mining firm’s deliberate blast. The mining firm says it can delay the blast, however goes forward with it throughout the search anyway, killing Gabe.

Over the course of the game, Alex and associates discover out that the blast that killed Gabe was a cover-up for a second, secret blast meant to cover proof of an accident: A unique mine collapsed a few years in the past, killing just a few miners. The mine proprietor was attempting to cover the reality of that accident.

closeup of character alex chen with a bloodied face

Image: Deck Nine/Square Enix

Here’s the large spoiler and large twist: One of these miners was Alex and Gabe’s dad, who presumably ended up in Haven Springs on the lookout for work after leaving the household all these years in the past. (Earlier in the story, it’s revealed that their mom died of most cancers and their father deserted the household shortly after her demise, leaving Alex and Gabe alone.)

This reveal didn’t actually hit proper with me; as a substitute of feeling shocked, I simply felt confused. What are the probabilities that Alex and Gabe each would find yourself in the identical small city, a number of states away, as their now-dead father? Did Alex’s energy lead her there? It simply didn’t make sense. But I let this go and ultimately completed the game after which began investigating. Was I the one individual confused? Bewildered? Rolling my eyes?

But it seems that I missed a key a part of that story that tied every little thing collectively. At the start of Life is Strange: True Colors, Alex strikes into Gabe’s condo, and he or she’s capable of examine and really feel recollections from a bunch of things across the place. There’s a crack in the wall Alex can examine in the primary chapter, and that’s when you learn that Gabe came to Haven Springs looking for his dad, and confirmed that he did certainly move by means of right here. The crack in the wall was a results of Gabe kicking it out of frustration.

“He’d been in town for a week, and all his free time went into finding Dad,” Alex writes in a journal entry after experiencing the reminiscence. “It was useless, of course. Dad had disappeared from here years before.”

Yes, possibly I may have inferred that Gabe was on the lookout for his dad, however not one of the proof had pointed to that earlier than. I’m glad to have came upon after ending the game that it wasn’t some mystical energy that led Gabe and Alex to the small city; it was a key beat in Gabe’s emotional narrative that I discovered simple to overlook, and a element that allow me settle for Life is Strange: True Colors’ massive reveal.