"It was a dark and stormy night." So wrote novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton, creating the writing cliche to end all cliches, and inadvertently describing Life is Strange's opening scene. There's also a lighthouse in this scene, that old signaler of melodrama to come, rising above you amid the falling rain. The torrential imagery bookends the first episode of this five-part adventure, but most of the drama is of the teenage type. There are snotty girls to contend with, and privileged jocks accustomed to people bending to their will. Students fuss passive-aggressively on social media, and older adults are either mentors or bullies. This is the world seen through a young adult's eyes, a world in which every sight, sound, and whisper is full of life-ending, life-making meaning.
The particular young adult you play is Max Caulfield--no relation to The Catcher in the Rye's Holden Caulfield it would seem, though Life is Strange’s references are not subtle, so I presume that Max’s similarities to her namesake are not accidental. Like Holden, Max attends a private school, though her primary interest is photography and not football or fencing. She’s back in her Oregon hometown to attend school after spending the last several years in Seattle, where life wasn’t quite what she had imagined. "When we would play pirates in our room and in the woods, it seemed like Seattle was that fabled faraway island of treasure and adventure that we were always seeking. With coffee shops," writes Max in her diary. "But Seattle wasn't like a fable."