Help Alex Chen solve the mystery of her brother’s death and navigate her supernatural abilities, which let her experience the thoughts and emotions of others. Life Is Strange: True Colors is a third-person adventure game and the third game in the mainline series. It was developed by Deck Nine and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, but I’m reviewing the PC version. The Life Is Strange series continues to evolve and improve the accessibility in each game, and True Colors does not disappoint in that regard.
Life Is Strange: True Colors (abbreviated as True Colors going forward) lets you control new protagonist Alex Chen as she explores the town of Haven Springs. You can use her empathic power to experience the intense emotion of others and manipulate their thoughts. This is represented by colorful auras surrounding characters that Alex can interact with at certain moments in the game. These moments unlock new dialogue choices you can use to make important narrative decisions, help characters through their trauma, and solve a variety of puzzles.
I’m happy to report that for disabled gamers with fine-motor impairments, True Colors ensures a laid-back experience with many options available for support. Controls can be completely customized at any point in the game. Interacting with objects and making dialogue choices make up the majority of gameplay in True Colors; however, you are never required to press multiple buttons at once. The jogging button and the empathic superpower button can be toggled between tapping or holding the buttons down instead. One great new feature in True Colors is the option to turn on “Skip Gameplay Prompt” under the accessibility tab in the options menu. When enabled, the game offers the option to skip QTEs and any gameplay that requires quick movement. Even better is that if the player chooses to skip, the game still gives you the advantage in each scenario (so for mini-games the odds will always be in your favor). Some dialogue choices have a short time requirement, but True Colors also lets you customize this by turning on “Longer Choice Timer” which lengthens the amount of time if you prefer. The autosave in the game isn’t always consistent, but you can reload from the last checkpoint if need be.
Like I mentioned earlier, True Colors lets you use an empathic power represented by colorful auras, but these auras are color coded to represent different emotions (blue = sadness and red = anger). Thankfully, the game has a robust colorblind mode under the accessibility tab in the options menu. This color filter changes images in-game to accommodate three different kinds of colorblindness: Deuteranopia, Protanopia, and Tritanopia. What’s great is there’s a filter slider you can customize and visual examples that change instantly as you adjust settings. True Colors also has a brightness scale and a “Brightness Warning” which, when enabled, lets the player know when an intense visual experience is about to take place in the game. Deaf players have a variety of accessibility options to choose from when it comes to subtitles in True Colors. Not only are there consistent subtitles throughout, but there are also captions that describe background dialogue and sound effects. In the options menu, you can turn on a dark background for subtitles and speaker names can also be enabled. True Colors lets players customize subtitle sizes not only for dialogue, but also for background text and signs. There are three subtitle sizes to choose from in the game: Default, Large, and Extra Large. You can also customize different sound levels like the volume for dialogue, sound effects, and music.
Life Is Strange: True Colors takes you on an emotional journey, and the empathic power lets you gain new perspectives from different kinds of characters. Optional button toggles are available, as well as the ability to skip QTEs, so those with fine-motor impairments should have an easy time playing the game. Colorblind players have a filter they can customize, and deaf players have different subtitle sizes that they can turn on in the options menu. I can definitely say that the accessibility in Life Is Strange: True Colors will help many disabled gamers experience the game.