Game Analysis

Life Is Strange Analysis

LIS is a episodic graphic adventure which is available on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, iOS, Linux, Microsoft Windows and OS X. It was released on the 30th of January 2015 with the final episode releasing on 20th of October 2015. LIS is set in the fictional town of Arcadia Bay in Oregon. The game’s plot focuses on Max Caulfield, an 18-year-old photography student who discovers that she has the ability to rewind time at any moment, leading her every choice to enact the butterfly effect. One of the themes LIS tackles is depression along with suicide in which the player has chances to help one of the characters called Kate who is a girl suffering from depression along with online and verbal bullying. Whether you help or not depends on whether she jumps off a building or not. Another main theme it tackles is that no matter what you do you cant save everyone and that some things just happen. The main character of the game finds this out when she realises she can rewind time and uses that to save her friends life, however when she comes back to present time she realises how much worse the world is for that one thing not happening. Overall, I like how LIS tackles these more delicate themes by showing the full effect of bullying in schools and more.

The demographic profile of LIS is young adults/adults both male and female as the game tackles themes like depression, suicide, drugs and many more because of the themes this game tackles I personally agree with the demographic profile of the game. LIS also aims at people who have played similar games with a choice and consequence mechanic like The Walking Dead A Telltale Game as well as other games which helped it with a already social following for these types of games. Overall, I think the demographic profile of the game had a positive impact and helped the game be more successful.

 LIS roughly takes between 10 to 12 hours to complete with each individual episode taking about 2 to 3 hours to complete. However, the game had a immense amount of replay ability as you can go through the game multiple times choosing different dialogue and choices which in turn leads to different consequences. Also the game has two different endings which guarantees at least 2 playthroughs to see both endings. LIS has a semi realistic art style with a lot of its models being medium to high poly. Nearly all of LIS’s art was hand painted, also a lot of online reviews about LIS’s art style and graphics note how amazing and colourful it is, for example “The game looks amazing, the cut scenes and art style of landscapes make it feel as if I’m watching a tv series.”

In my experience with LIS, the first few episodes start of relatively easy with a very few amount of problem solving. However, when you get to the last two episodes you start having to do more challenging puzzles that can be made easier if you listened and looked at everything in earlier episodes. I think that LIS has a good difficulty curve throughout the whole game making it not to challenging at the start and more challenging at the end.

One of the things that make the game fun is the rewind ability allowing you to do bad and stupid things and rewind with no one else but you remembering you doing them. Also exploring and looking at everything is fun as the player talks in the form of a monologue/a comic book thought bubble to let the us the audience know what the character thinks about that object or person. Another fun thing about this game is the immersion after playing just a few hours you begin to really feel like you are the main character giving your choices and consequences more of a meaning. Overall, there are a lot of things about LIS that make it a fun and enjoyable game. I personally found the game very fun to play anyway but all of these features just made it more fun and interesting.

One of the key features of LIS is its solid story and characters that are well developed creating a lot of empathy around them. The characters and story are often the most praised part of LIS in reviews for example a review from Metacritic stated “Interesting story and characters, it feels as if I’m reading a book when I play”. Another key feature is its replay ability, this is because of the choice and consequence system allowing you to play through and experience different consequences again and again. The game controls are pretty simple and shown early on as a short pop up tutorial, also a map of them is accessible from the menu. One of the gameplay mechanics of LIS is the dialogue tree that gives you multiple different responses when talking to other characters. In addition to this another main mechanic is the choice and consequence system along with the rewind ability system which both allow the player to feel more immersed in the story and their choices lead to different consequences to what someone else playing the game will have.

LIS is a single player game with the intent to make the player feel as if they are the main character in that world. Although it doesn’t have multiplayer or co-op it is still a amazing game. In my opinion, I believe that a multiplayer or co-op mode would ruin the immersive feeling this game has.

 The unique selling points of LIS was its rewind ability that allowed the player to travel back in time creating butterfly effects along with the choice and consequence system. Also when LIS episode 1 came out there wasn’t really much other competition from games as it was a one of a kind out of the January 2015 releases. However about a week later game of thrones episode 2 came out which although was a similar choice and consequence game it was only the second episode so it wasn’t something very brand new meaning it didn’t really cause any negative effects on LIS. Also in my opinion it was quite similar to all the other Telltale games where as LIS had unique features like the rewind time ability.

Although, LIS didn’t have a lot of competition or any technology problems holding it back, one of its main hold backs was money. LIS didn’t have a lot of money to make the first few episodes and because of that certain parts of the game weren’t worked on as much on purpose. One of these parts is the lip syncing of the characters which was a common negative review up until episode 3 where they had more money to fix it. I personally believe the developers achieved the best they could with the budget they had to make the first episode of LIS.

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Analysis

Skyrim is a RPG adventure game which was originally available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows and was released on November 11th 2011. Skyrim is set in the fictional empire of Tamriel specifically the northernmost province Skyrim. The games plot focuses on the empire of Tamriel being on the edge, the high king of Skyrim murdered and alliances forming as claims to the throne are made. However, in the midst of all this conflict a far more dangerous and ancient evil is awakening. Dragons, have returned to Tamriel after being long lost to the passages of the elder scrolls. The future of Skyrim and the empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of the voice, and the only one who can stand against the dragons. The main themes Skyrim tackles are civil wars, political power which the player can interact with and decide whose side they will take, as well as prophecies about the Dragonborn and dragons. Overall, I like the prophecies the game tackles as I personally find that more interesting than the political problems.

The demographic profile of Skyrim is young adults/adults both male and female as the game tackles quite adult themes as well as all the blood and gore there is in the game because of all this I personally agree with the demographic profile of the game. Skyrim also aims at people who have played the previous elder scroll games as well as other RPGs which helped it gain a following easier with there already being a fan base from the previous elder scroll games. Overall, I think that the demographic profile of the game had a positive impact and helped the game be more successful.

Skyrim roughly takes about 33 hours to complete the main story and up to 107 hours with all the main story and extras. Skyrim also has a large amount of replay ability as there are choices the main character can make as well as different playstyles and many sponsored mods for the game. The games art style is very realistic with a lot of its models being medium to high poly. A lot of online reviews compliment Skyrim for its realistic art style saying it “helps keep the realism for roleplaying”.

In my experience with Skyrim it is quite an easy game with there being a few puzzles that aren’t that hard to figure out as long as you pay attention. I think that Skyrim has a good difficulty curve in the fact that you can change your how hard the enemies are in the options.

One of the things that make the game fun is the amount of side quest in the game as well as the ones that focus around comedy for example the quest named a night to remember in which you trace back your steps after a drinking competition the previous night. Another fun thing about the game is the immersion which is helped by the game being a RPG in which you can play in first person. I personally find the game quite fun to play especially with the addition of sponsored Bethesda mods.

A key feature about Skyrim is its stories and characters that the main character interacts with as well as the open world which is often one of the most praised parts of the game. For example a review from IGN stated “Amazing open world I love just walking around and finding caves and tombs to go into”. The game controls are quite simple and shown at the start as little pop ups, they can also be looked at any time in the menu. One of the gameplay mechanics of Skyrim is character creation that allows for you to create your own character choose what it looks like and what starting class skill it will have.

Skyrim is a single player RPG game with the intent to immerse the players into the world of Skyrim. Although it doesn’t feature co-op or multiplayer it is still a great game and in my opinion would be ruined if it had these modes in it.

One of the unique selling points of Skyrim was its open world full of caves, tombs, holds and many more. When Skyrim released there wasn’t a lot of competition for it as it was one of a kind for when it released. I also think that because of the elder scrolls series already being quite popular it helped Skyrim gain an initial burst of fans.

Although, Skyrim didn’t have a lot of competition there were a few technological problems like the AI for the NPCs being a bit odd at certain points as well as a few other problems. Another problem was the that a lot of the voices were re used as there were only 70 voice actors meaning a lot of the characters the players interact with sound the exact same. However, I personally believe that for the time period Skyrim was released in that the game was made quite well.

Decision

I have decided to make a sequel to Life Is Strange as I find it more interesting than I do Skyrim. I also feel that there would be more for me to explain and talk about.

Sequel Life Is Strange After The Storm

LIS After The Storm will be another episodic graphic adventure which will have 3 – 5 episodes that will take between 2 to 4 hours to complete one. It will be available on next gen consoles as well as PC. The games plot will focus on Max and Chloe after the events of the storm that hit Arcadia Bay at the end of the last game. The game will be set outside of Arcadia Bay in Oregon with the characters returning back later in the story and seeing how different everything is. The game will take place a few months after the storm hitting at the end of LIS. There will be new characters as well as old recurring characters. Empathy will be very important in this game especially with the recurring characters with seeing how their lives were affected by the storm. The game will remember your choices from the first game if you played it, this will create some different choices and cutscenes allowing those returning players to feel like it is a continuation form their first game. It could also make new players want to but the first LIS and play through that first. This game will be the end of Max’s story but will leave the possibility to another game following a new protagonist and new place.

The demographic profile will still be young adults/adults both male and female as it will again tackle possible upsetting themes with some being depression, family loss and drugs.

The choice and consequence feature will make a return being just as important as the first game with a few choices having even bigger consequences like some reviews wanted from the first game. Also the rewind ability will be making a return with a few new bonuses to it like being able to rewind just one object rather than everything but you and being able to go further back in time using photos and many others as well as some improved mechanics of it. Furthermore, the soundtrack of the first game was very well praised from reviews and because of that we will do a new soundtrack from the same producers as the last one with a few favourites returning, including many other feature to try and make the game just as fun and enjoyable/interesting as the last game was. Also we will try to make it similar to the last in difficulty curves with a few more brain thinking puzzles.

The game will be developed for next gen consoles meaning we will be able to make the game run faster and smother with better graphics. Most of the controls will be the same with a few new ones which will be used when using the new rewind abilities. Although, most of the controls will be the same they will be made more smoother as there were some negative reviews in the first game about how twitchy they were at times. A lot of the gameplay mechanics will be quite similar with some new challenges as well as objectives and conflicts. However, this time we will focus more on the smaller things like making sure lip syncing is better than the last game as well as the subtitles not matching exactly what is said.

LIS After The Storm will stay a single player experience as it worked perfectly before in creating a sense of immersion making the player feel like they are actually the main character. Also LIS was very praised on its single player experience and story and because of this I think adding a co-op or multiplayer would harm the game.

At the minute there are still a lot of fans of LIS waiting for the next game. Also the bonus of shooting for a slightly early next gen release means there wont be much competition in terms of similar games as the Walking Dead Season 4 will have been out for quite a while and no other games that are similar are planned to come out.

One of the main unique selling points of the sequel will be the new and improved rewind with many new abilities that will change how you play the game based on what you do, as well as a new interesting and emotional story which will carry on the story of Max and Chloe which will remember your decisions from the first game and adapt to choices you made. Also the improved graphics as well as it running smoother and looking better than ever before on the new next gen consoles.

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