‘Life is Strange 3’: Could the new game return to Blackwell Academy?
Square Enix finally fulfilled its long-standing promise of releasing Final Fantasy VII Remake. Naturally, it’s time to appeal to the red-headed step child of their catalog: the Life is Strange franchise. Teasing a new installment, Square Enix updated all the Life is Strange social media accounts with info about Life is Strange 3.
A full reveal of the new game is coming during Square Enix Presents on March 18th, but fans are already making assumptions about what to expect from a new game. While the second installment was well received by critics, fans weren’t as happy about the game’s change in setting & characters.
From Arcadia Bay to road trip
Part of what drew people into Life is Strange in the first place was the use of a loner teenage girl trying to deal with new powers. Max Caufield wasn’t a fan favorite just because of her relationship with Chloe Price (though that definitely didn’t hurt). She was a fan favorite because as outlandish as the plot of saving her hometown was, it felt realistic.
Meanwhile, two brothers running from the police to Mexico seems like it should be realistic. Sadly, while Life is Strange 2 nails the troubling setting, Daniel’s telekinesis powers feel too deus ex machina like. Of course, the way the boys abuse the powers couldn’t be more accurate.
A new hero emerges
Though Life is Strange: Before the Storm returns to Arcadia Bay, the Life is Strange franchise was designed to be an anthological series. When teasing the launch of Life is Strange 3, Square Enix said “On March 18, we’ll reveal the new #LifeisStrange game at #SquareEnixPresents, which will feature a brand new cast, power and story.”
Based on the tweet, it’s safe to assume Square Enix plans on continuing the trend of telling a brand new story with Life is Strange 3. Leakers have even claimed the new protagonist is a bisexual Asian-American named Alex whose power is reading and controlling the emotions of others.
Whether or not the leakers are right, we’ll get to meet the franchise’s newest hero on March 18th. However, there’s a portion of the fanbase convinced we’re actually not getting a new hero, but returning to a certain town on the coast of Oregon.
Max Caulfield: Back in Action?
After the split reaction to Life is Strange 2, there are some fans convinced Life is Strange 3 will return to Arcadia Bay and feature Max Caulfield as the protagonist once again. However, instead of returning to eighteen-year-old Max, we’ll meet a new, adult version of the character.
While the teaser image released by Square Enix gives little to work with, fans think it’s just an older version of the Max we grew to love in the original Life is Strange. There isn’t much pointing towards that except for the hair being a shorter version of Max’s bob.
Even if the new character is in fact an older Max, that still leaves a lot of room for new material. The original Life is Strange has two very different endings, with Max losing her rewind powers at the end regardless. So it’s hard to say what a sequel to Max’s story would look like, and more importantly, which ending they would base it on.
More progressive themes?
No matter who the new character is, fans are hoping Square Enix continues the tradition set by previous games of delving into deeper topics. The original Life is Strange tackles suicide, sexual abuse, and bullying, while the second game handles immigration, police brutality, and grief.
If the rumors are true, having an openly bisexual protagonist paves the way for tackling gay rights, while having an Asian-American protagonist could focus on racism and stereotyping as well. In terms of emotional manipulation, Life is Strange 3 could also focus heavily on mental health issues.
While we know not every theory will get an answer on March 18th, we’ll definitely have a lot more answers about Life is Strange 3 after Square Enix Presents. Are you excited for the fourth official installment in the franchise? Let us know below.