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Life Is Strange: True Colors showcases how “Empathy Powers” work

Life Is Strange True Colors key visual

Life Is Strange: True Colors is the next game in the critically-acclaimed Life Is Strange franchise.

The defining factor of the newest Life Is Strange is the protagonist Alex’s unique ability. Her psychic power is that of Empathy, allowing her to vividly see how others feel. This doesn’t mean she has high points in perception. She can literally see how people feel.

Deck Nine Narrative Director Jonathan Zimmerman shares in a PlayStation Blog post how these will look like. “As a dev team, we wrestled with the question of how to capture something as abstract as emotions,” says Zimmerman. “We found ourselves pushing the conventions of traditional Life is Strange storytelling, employing the tangible audio-visual representation of emotive sensations to drive the same response in the player that Alex herself feels each time.” He then went on to show off how different emotions would look like in Alex’s perspective in-game. These manifest as auras around characters, giving players a very visual cue on people’s feelings. For example:

  • Sadness – a blue aura that is fluid and consuming
  • Fear – a purple aura that jumps and spikes, like an EKG monitor
  • Anger – a violent red that flickers like a flame
  • Joy – a golden aura that radiates like the sun’s corona

Being a game that involves a lot of decision-making around other characters, seeing other people’s emotions is a nifty trick. We’ll get to see how this actually affects gameplay and the narrative experience when Life Is Strange: True Colors releases on September 10, 2021, on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Stadia, and the Nintendo Switch.