Scroll To Top
Geek

Life is Strange: True Colors Is The Must-Play Queer Game Of 2021

'Life is Strange: True Colors' Is The Must-Play Queer Game Of 2021

'Life is Strange: True Colors' Is The Must-Play Queer Game Of 2021
Courtesy of Square Enix

The latest entry in this popular LGBTQ+ inclusive game series is earning rave reviews.

rachiepants

Exploring queer narratives in video games is an emerging trend, thanks to titles like The Last of Us Part 2 and Gone Home, and at the forefront of that inclusive shift is Square Enix’s Life is Strange series, which has featured a queer lead character in each of its games. The fourth and latest installment in the franchise of interactive adventures, Life is Strange: True Colors, continues that legacy and earning raves from the critics. 

As in the previous games, this latest outing centers around a young queer person with a psychic gift. This time around, that lead character is Alex Chen, a young Asian-American bisexual woman with psychic empathy. Alex is able to see what the people around her are feeling in the form of colorful auras, and can also manipulate emotions. In some cases when the feelings are strong enough, Alex can visualize the cause of others’ emotions. This gift comes in handy when, after reuniting with her brother Gabe after eight years apart, he dies mysteriously, leaving Alex to discover the truth behind what happened to her sibling. 

Along the way, Alex meets Ryan and Steph, who become her allies in the investigation but also serve as her potential romantic partners. While it’s becoming increasingly common thanks to games like Mass Effect and Assassin’s Creed to have “playersexual” characters — meaning you can select the sexuality of your character — Alex is specifically bisexual. While you as the player can opt to pursue either partner, your character’s sexuality remains queer. Stacy Henly, writing in her review of the game for TheGamer, explains why that distinction is so important. “You aren’t deciding if Alex is Straight, Actually, or in fact a Massive Gay. She’s bi, whether she chooses to kiss Steph, Ryan, or nobody,” she says. “It’s refreshing to see a character written from the ground up in this way, with all of the dorky shyness, raised guard, and I Am Extremely Online energy that comes with being a 20-something bisexual in the 21st Century... Whichever choice you make for Alex is the right one — not just for your Alex, but for every Alex out there.”

Life is Strange: True Colors

The game is also getting high marks for its emphasis on empathy. Alex’s power enables her to understand people and get to know them on a deeply personal level, and reviewers note that this game excels in those interactions, particularly around the tougher subjects it addresses. This title also asks players to consider the ethics of manipulating others’ emotions. 

Another aspect earning the game high praise is its stellar soundtrack. Australian duo Angus & Julia Stone created an entire album — the eponymous Life Is Strange — to go along with the game. It’s moody and atmospheric, all breathy vocals and plucked guitars. In other words, it’s perfect for the game’s mountainside location. 

What ultimately makes this game a standout in the eyes of critics is that it’s the full package: a good story, with great, diverse characters, and something important to say. In other words, it’s the must-play queer game for both avid and casual gamers alike.

Life is Strange: True Colors is available on Playstation, XBOX, Switch, and PC. Watch the trailer below: 

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

author avatar

Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.