Life is Strange: Double Exposure has one big challenge to overcome

Tyler Constable

Life is Strange: Double Exposure has one big challenge to overcome

Deck Nine Games

One of the biggest surprises of Summer Game Fest was the reveal of the next Life is Strange title but Double Exposure will have a major challenge to overcome as it lets fans step into the shoes of the series’ first protagonist. 

The original Life is Strange launched back in 2015 in an episodic manner where players got to experience the story of young photography student Max Caulfield through 5 gripping episodes.

Max quickly discovered she had the supernatural ability to rewind time before reconnecting with her former best friend, Chloe Price. These events lead the teens to band together to figure out how and why Chloe’s friend, Rachel Amber, had gone missing six months before.

Though it was far from perfect, the narrative adventure captured the hearts of fans worldwide and led to a full-fledged franchise spawning out of what may have been a hidden gem.

A decade on and Double Exposure will continue Max’s story as she embarks to prevent the death of her friend Safi. She’ll have to wield her powers once again if she wants to solve and stop the murder.

While the sequel is certainly an exciting prospect – who doesn’t love revisiting a beloved video game character? There is one bit of apprehension in the air, though. How can Double Exposure honor the choices players have already made?

Life is Strange: Double Exposure has one big challenge to overcome

Deck Nine Games

The Bay or the Bae 

The ending of the first Life is Strange cumulated in the player having to either save Chloe’s life or prevent Max’s hometown of Arcadia Bay from being devastated by a storm.

While saving Chloe (commonly referred to as the Bae ending by fans) is the choice that a lot of people opt for, considering how beloved a character she is, it’s still a massive emotional dilemma as you reach the end of the story. 

Now that we know Double Exposure is revisiting Max, we can’t help but wonder how Deck Nine could address the crucial choice players made in the original game — and whether it can be done right. 

Related:

Stranger Things VR review: Vecna isn’t mad, just disappointed

Where in the world is Chloe Price? 

Life is Strange: Double Exposure has one big challenge to overcome

Square Enix

We know Max still possesses her rewind powers in Double Exposure (as evidenced in the first line of the trailer) but she’s vowed never to use them again, presumably after the devastating events of Life is Strange’s ending. 

Chloe is nowhere in sight, though, which begs the question: Is she alive or not? 

Obviously, including her in the initial reveal trailer would utterly ruin any element of surprise (and fan service), and this is undoubtedly a Max-centric story. To ignore the impact of that final choice, however, would seem like a disservice to the fanbase, so how could it potentially play out? 

Split timelines 

Life is Strange: Double Exposure has one big challenge to overcome

Deck Nine Games

Details about Double Exposure are still a bit scarce, but we know that split timelines will play a big role in the story. It’s all about Max using her powers to investigate parallel timelines to prevent her friend’s murder, and these timelines could directly reference past decisions. 

Chloe could be alive in one timeline and not in the other, meaning maybe you’ll have the chance to see Arcadia Bay if you originally choose to save the town. This could be a perfect way to appease fans, no matter which ending they choose. It could also mean they wouldn’t have to make one of the endings canon – something that would detract from the emphasis on personal choice the series provides. 

Alternatively, a prompt at the beginning of Double Exposure that simply asks players what option they picked at the end of Life is Strange could impact things – perhaps reordering the events of the game, pertaining to which timeline you start in before hopping between realities after discovering Safi’s body. 

To really cause some chaos, what if the only timeline where Safi can survive is the one where Chloe’s dead? Ultimately forcing Max to choose between two loved ones. It would certainly be an intense choice that wouldn’t be unusual for the franchise to present fans with.

Regardless of the direction Double Exposure heads in, I’m as excited as I am apprehensive about it, and I hope Deck Nine can pull things off in a satisfying way. One thing’s for sure, I can’t wait to step back into Max Caulfield’s shoes this October. 

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