Warning: The following review will include spoilers for the end of the Life Is Strange Season 1 game.
Life Is Strange has always had the ability to use your own choices to create suspense. Nothing quite makes this clearer than the end of the game, when you are left with the choice of saving the whole town from a giant storm or saving your friend from dying. As much as Life Is Strange is about choice, it’s clear from the attention the developers made to the ending, that the canon ending is when you choose to save the town. Canon or not, some couldn’t say goodbye to fan favorite character, Chloe Price. Life Is Strange: Dust is for these fans.
The Life Is Strange Saga Continues…
Life Is Strange: Dust is the continuation of Life Is Strange Season 1 that fans have been waiting for. Life Is Strange Season 1 put you in the shoes of Max Caulfield, a time traveling photography student. Dust continues her adventure with Chloe Price. Volume 1: Dust is a collection of the first four issues of Life Is Strange, the ongoing comic sequel.
In the game, Max is portrayed as a kind of a blank slate meant for the player to focus on the interesting characters of Arcadia Bay. As a first volume of a series, Dust does its best to keep the focus on Max and Chloe’s relationship, a year after the storm. While Max is shown in the comic to have more confidence in herself, it can’t help but be affected by the shared trauma between her and Chloe.
Chloe Will Remember This
Life after Arcadia Bay sees the two living in Seattle with survivors guilt. Max wavers in denial that her choice had anything to do with the storm, and Chloe feels like everyone she ever knew or loved is dead. They get by with support from a ragtag group of outcasts who formed a rock-band together. The band is fine, as far as new characters go. The problems arises when they don’t add anything to the established dynamic between Max and Chloe.
The duo, instead, take them for granted. This is understandable as Max and Chloe cope with loss. They have been through a lot, to say the least.
On the upside, the duo are more honest with each other than they were in the game. Max decidedly doesn’t time jump anymore, because of a promise she made to Chloe. That doesn’t stop her from seeing visions of a present that never was. Even stranger, Chloe can sometimes see these visions too. Max and Chloe may have to make sense of everything by going back to place they fled from.
This Is Only The Beginning…
To say anymore would spoil what is honestly an intriguing set up. Because this is the only volume of the Life Is Strange comic, Dust must be judged on what it is: Act 1 of a story not yet complete. Issues five, six, and seven are due out in the coming months. I won’t say anything that will spoil the ending of this act, but I must say that the premise for the upcoming series has much promise.
Life Is Strange: Dust doesn’t so much change the rules of the time travel from the game, but rather evolves it in a way that keeps things fresh and interesting. One can only imagine what the rest of the series has in store.
How Dust Works As A Comic On Its Own
I’m not going to lie. The story is very faithful to the characters that we knew in the game. Honestly, the dialogue is much better written than in the game. Emma Vieceli, when writing the story, did away with the game’s cringeworthy, out of place 90’s lingo. Vieceli has the distinct advantage of having fully fleshed out characters at her disposal.
We already know Max and Chloe. Never once, in the comic, did their actions feel like something they wouldn’t do. Seeing as this is Volume 1, I can only hope the two’s relationship evolves further in the future.
Their relationship hasn’t really evolved in the year since the storm. They are so distraut from loss that they remain in the dynamic of Chloe needing her “Super Max” and Max being unsure of herself. Things look like they will in the next issues.
Another aspect that hits the nail on the head is the interior art by Claudia Leonardi, and the coloring by Andrea Izzo. The style is subtle with everyone looking like they are supposed to. One might think that turning 3D characters into 2D might be jarring, but Leonardi pulls it off quite well. I also applaud the coloring of Izzo, because Dust uses color to great effect. It really paints the mood of each scene. This makes the personable moments tender and the Trippier moments more surreal.
Life Is Strange Volume 1: Dust is the sequel that we’ve waited years to see. It only becomes hampered by the fact that the story is not yet complete. The fun dynamic shifts look like they are going to be saved for future issues. As a great beginning to a new story with old fan favorite characters, time will tell if Dust was worth the journey.
Life Is Strange: Dust is from Titan Comics. If you want more reviews from me and the rest of the awesome people here at Culture of Gaming, you can find more at OpenCritic.com!
Helps give closure to characters fans love.
Uses time travel powers in a different way we haven’t seen from Max yet.
Leaves you wanting more.
This is only Act 1.
Misfit friends don’t really change the dynamic at all.
Life Is Strange has always been about possibility. Dust is one such possibility for the fate of Max and Chloe. The evolution of Max’s time abilities has much potential. The artwork and story are very in tune with the game’s world. Dust leaves me wanting to read the rest of this series, which is all you can really ask for.
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I’ve been writing almost as long as I’ve been playing video games. I also do standup and improv. The game that made me realize that video games could be more than just a toy, was Metal Gear Solid 2.
One of my favourite comic book series was What If? by Marvel Comics. In every issue they would explore controversial scenarios playing them out to their fullest. What if Spider-Man had joined the Fantastic Four? What if someone else besides Spider-Man had been bitten by the radioactive spider? What if Conan the Barbarian walked the earth today? What if Gwen Stacy had lived? These and other curious questions would be answered in the series which took place in an alternate Marvel universe, an alternate timeline.