Life is Strange Remaster Looks A Bit Strange

The updated visuals are, as we say, a mixed bag.

I love the original Life is Strange. Even after the wonderful improvements that came through Life is Strange 2 and Life is Strange: True Colors, that first game and the relationships at its center still hold a special place in my heart. So I’m excited to replay it when the Remastered Collection brings both it and Before the Storm to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia next week on February 1 (and Switch sometime later). But man, I’m not sold on the latest look we’ve gotten at the game’s facelift.

Square-Enix has released a set of screenshots, which directly compare different shots of characters as they appeared in Life is Strange (2015) and how those same screens compare to the remaster. There’s some more expression on characters’ faces, but it seems to lean hard into how a lot of remasters just blow out the lighting in some areas, and the new lipsyncing updates are still clearly working in the confines of something that wasn’t as expressive as more recent Life is Strange games. Like this early scene where protagonist Max Caulfield witnesses a terrible crime in her school restroom.

Check out the trailer, and the comparison screenshots below:

More Life is Strange:

Ultimately, I’m still excited to revisit the game, as I haven’t played it since it ended back in 2015. Though Before the Storm was more recent and fresher in my mind. But between this and some of the artistic decisions made in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, it still feels like video games are trying to find the sweet spot when it comes to maintaining ambiance and artistic style in remasters.

For more on Life is Strange, check out Fanbyte’s review of True Colors.