“Life Is Strange: True Colors” was a captivating, entertaining and even briefly thrilling experience. I reviewed it here on InReview, rightfully giving it a solid grade.
At least, that applies to the base game. The base game itself released on September 9th. Along with it, DONTNOD announced that a DLC expansion titled “Wavelengths” or “Steph’s Story” would be launching three weeks later, on September 30th.
Steph’s Story, as the title suggests, places Steph Gingrich into the lead role. In fact, she is the only character that actually appears apart from a very brief virtual face chat she has with one of her friends. The setting takes place roughly a year before the events of the True Colors’ base game take place, so the base game’s Alex Chen hasn’t arrived in Haven Springs yet.
So, how did it go?
It went quite poorly, unfortunately. Let’s discuss further as to why that is.
It is simply a boring experience
Gameplay around Steph involves her working her job at a radio station that doubles as a record store. The player will take live phone calls while Steph is on the air, interact with listeners, read off advertisements, and periodically do housecleaning around the shop. …
… and that’s it. Nothing actually interesting takes place. The closest thing is a brief scavenger hunt around the store Steph undergoes to locate a New Year’s gift that the town’s local bar gave to her. Beyond that, dialogue is boring, side quests are just tedious, and the fact that DONTNOD thought flipping through what is basically Steph’s Tinder account would be entertaining is just baffling. Things could’ve maybe had potential if Steph’s dating and/or hookups actually played out on screen. But as we can see from her text conversations, they take place entirely off in the background.
This was a costly expansion
If Wavelengths had been entirely free, it would’ve been a little more forgivable. Still, for roughly two hours of dull gameplay, you have to spend $12.99 which is very overpriced. If you’re reading this and haven’t gotten around to buying Wavelengths, do yourself a favor and find a different game or hobby to spend your hard-earned cash on.
The gameplay is quite unrealistic
Ordinarily, if Wavelengths had been a fun experience, gaffes in realism would’ve been overlooked and probably not noticed. Unfortunately, when it rains it pours, and all mistakes will shine very bright. As a radio DJ, Steph is very unprofessional and seems to lack any sort of cordiality addressing her viewers.
She outright calls one an asshole (even if he did deserve it), drinks champagne inside of the radio booth and can potentially end up leaving the booth unattended for a really long time. In no small way would she have been verbally torn apart by the station’s program director, and would probably have been fired on her first day at the station if these events actually played out in real life. That, and, asking someone who is tending to a live radio show to also simultaneously manage a record retail outlet is completely asinine, and Steph no doubt would have had someone around to help her if this was real life.
Again, this would probably have been overlooked if Wavelengths itself wasn’t such an overall abysmal experience. Yet, here we are.
Wavelengths as a whole was just a disaster, and looks like it was put together in a hurry and done up in about half an hour. It gets a grade of an unsurprising F, and is reminiscent of the garbage that was “Life Is Strange 2.” I still recommend purchasing True Colors for the base game itself, but definitely don’t feel the need to purchase Wavelengths as well.