Narrative adventure games have experimented with all manner of different subgenres, settings, and narrative frameworks over the years. Whether its the docile life of the titular Firewatch, or the existential dread of sentient androids in Detroit: Become Human, the genre is certainly flexible and brimming with potential. One of the narrative adventure series to gain a ton of traction early-on was Life is Strange; an equal parts time traveling superhero tale and coming-of-age drama. The time-travelling adventure of the first entry seemingly set a precedent, but Life is Strange 2 flipped expectations in numerous ways, meaning the next game may also change the formula.
In the wake of the second entry, it's clear that Life is Strange is certainly not constrained by a certain superpower when crafting its narrative adventure games. Time travel just happens to be one of the more commonly utilized and often depicted superpowers in media, next to things like flying or various degrees of elemental manipulation. The original Life is Strange was defined by its ability to rewind time and adjust narrative choices made by players in key moments. Life is Strange 2 took players outside of the shoes of a superhero, but rather a formative influence on a burgeoning hero with telekinetic powers. Now, Life is Strange 3 could involve any manner of superpower.
The inaugural entry in the indie-to-AAA narrative adventure series ended up being far more groundbreaking than expected. Life is Strange, though the tiniest bit dated if looked back on in 2021, was one of the first indie-like games (though published by Square Enix) that broke through an at-the-time obscure genre of games. Obviously now, indie games like Hades and Cuphead gain traction because of widespread awareness and exposure of indie developers and outstanding games. However, back in 2015, Life is Strange broke new ground in a way that bridged the gap between AAA and indie games. At the center of that was its core mechanics of time travel and "Rewind."
Indie games like The Walking Dead were impactful for choice-based narratives, but Life is Strange's superpower-branded adventure was unique. Being able to rewind time in certain (but not all) key moments in the story to explore narrative options was something no other game had done previously. Max Caulfield's capability of time travel, coupled with the steadily increasing stakes of the game's drama and coming-of-age story, made it immediately endearing to critics and fans. Many expected similar Rewind-style mechanics to come in Life is Strange 2, but the game ended up shifting perspectives not only to a new power, but a non-powered protagonist altogether.
While many fans had speculated what kind of time-traveling hero would've been in the next Life is Strange game, Life is Strange 2 blew that notion out of the water. It was clear that Life is Strange, as a franchise, was capable of more than just time-travel-based narratives. The next Life is Strange game not only featured a completely new superpower, but it also showed that the "hero" of the game isn't necessarily the one who's no mere mortal. Now, with an upcoming reveal for a potential Life is Strange 3, the theoretical possibilities of characters and story may seem endless. However, there are several ways to narrow down what superpowers are plausible for Life is Strange.
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