Life is Strange and The Walking Dead are similar in that they both provide choices that greatly effect the story. In both Life is Strange and The Walking Dead, the line between right and wrong gets blurred. In Alishia Karabinus’ article “Life is… Tough”, she talks about how a game should challenge “our boundaries and perceptions, and the things we take for granted, a game that troubles our notions of ethics, character, and narrative and that drags us beyond our expectations of games and into new, unexplored territory.” And I agree. Far too often the choices you make in a game don’t matter, or you can’t even make a choice. When a game such as Life is Strange or even Until Dawn comes out it’s so refreshing. In those games, most decisions have an impact, and sometimes not in the way you expect.
The Walking Dead is also a decision-based game, yet it is slightly more predictable. If I’m nice to Kenny I’ll get a positive effect, he’ll stick with me and be on my side in any arguments. Unlike in Life is Strange when sometimes I’m nice to people (or I think I am) and it has negative outcomes. (Such as the unbelievable amount of times I rewound with Kate!) The Walking Dead does question our ethics and what we take for granted. For example, the player has to decide continuously whether or not to reveal Lee’s past to other characters and it’s up to the player to decide if that really matters in the scenario or not.
All games don’t have to fall into the greatness that is Life is Strange and The Walking Dead. Some games need to just stick to one story with very little if any decisions to be made other than which weapon to pick up, and those can still be fantastic games.