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10 Must Play Story-Heavy Games Like Life is Strange

March 22, 2019
11 min read

Life is Strange is one of the best walking simulators ever released, thanks to its compelling story, great soundtrack and laid-back gameplay. Unlike more mainstream offerings like the Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead series where the consequences of your actions are minimal, you have to be careful about everything you do in-game as making one wrong move could cost a character his or her life. If you want to be taken back to your high school days while being driven into a sci-fi and crime story, Life is Strange is a beautiful title that will offer all of that to you. And if you are looking for similar experiences, we’ve got a some recommendations for you. Here is the list of video games similar to Life is Strange that are our recommendations. You can play these games like Life is Strange on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, iPhone, Android, mac or even online.

10. Heavy Rain (2010)

Quantic Dream is known for some fantastic titles like Fahrenheit and Detroit: Become Human, but one of the games that really defined the PS3 era of walking sims is Heavy Rain. The game does have some plot loopholes that you might want to ignore, and some uncomfortable scenes that you have to get through as well. However, if you ignore its flaws, it is a truly enjoyable experience even though the story is a bit depressing. You get to play as multiple characters who are drawn into the tale of the ‘Origami Killer’, who is kidnapping and killing children all over the city. From a distraught father whose son has been kidnapped to a private detective, a cop who is dealing with drug issues to a journalist who finds herself caught between all of it. The best part is that one of the characters you play as is the serial killer himself, which makes things even more interesting as you keep guessing who is it. The game was remastered for the PS4, and you can pick it up for quite cheap rates during sales.

9. The Walking Dead: New Frontier (2016)

Unlike the other Walking Dead games that focus on Lee Everett and eventually Clementine, New Frontier is a heart-wrenching tale of two Mexican brothers who find themselves in opposing sides of the zombie apocalypse. While one brother is constantly fighting for survival, the other is part of an elitist group of survivors who are not much better than the zombies themselves. However, the fate of the brothers is left to you. It is easily one of the best games in the franchise. When it comes to mechanics, the gameplay is fairly simple as you get to walk around and interact. There is a small amount of combat as well to make things more interesting. You do not necessarily need to play the other games in the franchise to make complete sense of the story as this is meant to be a standalone game. However, Clementine does make an appearance in-game, and it offers a sneak peek into the final season of The Walking Dead.

8. What Remains of Edith Finch? (2017)

What Remains of Edith Finch is one of the most compelling walking sims ever made. Unlike Life is Strange where your actions have consequences, What Remains of Edith Finch is a much more relaxed experience. You simply explore the stories in-game and eventually come to your own conclusion. As the last surviving member of the Finch family, you get to go back to your home and explore the unnatural deaths of your family members. All you are told is that there is a curse in the family that takes everyone in the house and you start questioning if you will face the same fate. Whether it’s really a curse or just a case of not taking responsibility, is up to you to decide and come to a conclusion.

The game takes under three hours to finish, and it is one of the most fun experiences you’ll have playing a walking sim. The art and sound are just breathtaking, and each of the stories is told using its own visual design. You can explore the stories in any order, but the outcome will be the same. There are no quick time events or any other serious gameplay mechanics, and all you need to do is walk around and interact with objects and uncover stories.

7. Guardians of The Galaxy: The Telltale Series (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy went from being one of the most underrated franchises to being among the most entertaining and loved series of movies and games. Telltale Games did justice to the Guardians of the Galaxy game franchise with its implementation of classic Telltale mechanics like branching dialogues and consequences. While none of us have forgiven Star-Lord just yet for his antics in the previous Avengers movie, it’s fun to see the gang together with Drax, Gamora and our beloved Groot. If you want a very light-hearted experience in a walking simulator, this is the one to pick up. It is unfortunate that Telltale Games will not be developing more of their games with the studio shutting down as they were unable to keep up their profits, which means there will be no volume 2 of the GotG game and this is the one and only one of its kind.

6. Detroit: Become Human (2018)

Detroit: Become Human is Quantic Dream’s latest title and quite possibly their best work till date when it comes to implementing branching storylines. Unlike games like The Walking Dead where the end outcome is going to be the same with just a few minor differences from Life is Strange, Detroit is far more flexible. There are three major storylines that you follow three Androids who were designed to serve humans. The most important of the three characters is Connor, an Android designed to capture ‘deviants,’ who are Androids showing signs of their own will.

Then you have Marcus, an Android who was wrongly convicted of the murder of the same person he dearly loved and served all his life. Finally, you have Kara, played by Valorie Curry, who did a fantastic job playing the role of an Android who develops motherly feelings for a little girl who is being raised by a violent father. The journey of all three Androids can eventually converge if you make the right choices and it is one of those games that hit close to the heart from this genre unlike many other light-hearted games.

5. Life is Strange: Before the Storm (2017)

We explored Max’s side of the story when we played the original Life is Strange but if you want a deeper understanding of Chloe’s character, Before the Storm has you covered. You get to explore Chloe’s relationship with Rachel and how the two landed in a world of trouble. Unlike Max, Chloe has no superpowers and it’s a fairly straightforward game. As usual, Before The Storm offers a stunning soundtrack. You get to see a different side of a number of characters who made it to the original Life is Strange. The game is a prequel to Life is Strange, but you should play the first game before hopping onto this one as you will miss a lot of context if you don’t. Unfortunately, Max does not feature in the game, but we do get a few references to the character and teasers.

4. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit (2018)

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a game set in the Life is Strange universe, and it’s a free title that any fan of the series should check out. The game is about a couple hours long, and there is some re-playability value as well. Without spoiling the story, the game offers a sneak peek into the main characters of Life is Strange 2. And yes, it doesn’t seem like Max will be the main character of the sequel. The game allows you to play as Chris Eriksen, a boy with an alter ego, ‘Captain Spirit’, whose job is to deal with monsters. It is a very light-hearted demo for the events to come in Life is Strange 2. If you have not played the title yet, you should definitely pick this one up on PS4, Xbox One or PC.

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3. Life is Strange 2 (2018)

Life is Strange 2 is a completely new story that moves away from the tales of Max and Chloe, at least from what we have seen so far. It is unknown if Max will make a return later in the story, but the game has been quite great so far. One of the biggest complaints many players have had about the game is that the developers do not have a proper timeline for the release of the episodes. We only have two episodes so far, and three more are expected by the end of this year. You can either pick the game up right now and play each episode as it releases or you can wait till the end of the year and pick it up during the winter sales.

So far, the story has been spectacular as you follow the journey of two brothers who have no one but each other to protect. We can already say that Life is Strange 2 is going to be an emotional ride. The only caveat to the game is that the episodes are not available separately to users, which has made a lot of players, who do not want to invest their money into an unfinished game with no specific release dates for episodes, unhappy.

2. Vampyr (2018)

Vampyr is not a walking simulator by any means, but it is a game that you might want to try out if you are a fan of Dontnod’s games. The atmospheric game puts you in the shoes of Dr. Jonathan Reed, a doctor who served in the British army and is now caught in a war between vampires and humans. Just like Life is Strange, your choices matter a lot and how you proceed with the gameplay will keep shaping up things. You can either give in to your vampire self and keep consuming blood, which will make you stronger but you keep losing your humanity each time you put someone down.

On the other hand, you can skip all the bloodshed and be slightly weaker, but you will be able to get the “good” ending. Your relationships with people are affected by how you interact with them and you do not want to get on anyone’s bad side except the bad guys, of course. The game’s setting and music are just amazing, and while it might not have the same refined quality of a AAA title, for a mid-shelf game, it is very well made. Combat is not the best, but the storytelling, atmosphere and its novelty carry it through very easily.

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1. Until Dawn (2015)

Until Dawn is one of the most underrated horror games ever to be released. You have Oscar winner Rami Malek along with a number of known faces from Hollywood. The game makes use of motion capture and lifelike graphics to offer a truly atmospheric and spooky experience. While the plot might not be the strongest point of the game, as the title goes through the usual tropes found in B-grade horror flicks, the other aspects of the game carries it through. You have the usual wild youngsters stuck in a lodge with no power trope as the premise, and your goal is to save all of the characters to get the best possible ending. Of course, you can also get all 9 characters killed to get the worst ending if you want to make the already spooky experience even more gruesome.

The game is very short, but that is supported by the fact that you need to replay it a few times to explore all of the characters properly. There are a lot of quick time events that you need to go through and failing them in succession can lead to the death of a character. The game brilliantly manages to blend revenge and supernatural elements. The title is a PS4 exclusive, which is a bummer for many gamers who are invested in the Xbox or PC environment as it is a really good game and also has a VR DLC.

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