Life is Strange Wavelengths Preview: Once more with confidence

Get ready for a charming slice of life.

The sheer popularity of Life is Strange Before the Storm side character Steph Gingrich made her a perfect choice to be upgraded to a series lead in Deck Nine’s Life is Strange True Colors. Later today, an upcoming piece of True Colors DLC titled Wavelengths takes this one step further by placing the player directly into Steph’s shoes.

Steph’s voice and motion capture actor, Katy Bentz, returns to reprise her role, and told Stevivor why she thinks the character has resonated with fans as part of a special hands-off preview opportunity connected to the DLC.

“She is a rock and she’s so sure about who she is in Before the Storm,” Bentz said.

“With Wavelengths and True Colors, we get to learn a little bit more about her; get to know a little bit more inside information about who she really is. She does have more than just that cool chick vibe to her. She has insecurities, she has fears, she gets excited over silly things.”

“I think something that we found super early on, back on Before the Storm with Steph, was just how much she seemed to have it figured out and just how fun it was to write her dialogue,” Deck Nine Senior Narrative Designer Mallory Littleton added.

“Typically, a good rule of thumb is that if we’re having a really fun time making something, people are probably going to have a fun time playing it,” Littleton continued. “To see our little unique character from Before the Storm received so well and that we could mature the character and bring her back and continue to write more fun Steph stuff that we loved? It’s just really been a blessing; it’s been a blast.”

Wavelengths is a prequel to True Colors, set one year before Alex Chen arrives at the sleepy town of Haven, Colorado. As briefly seen in its announcement trailer, it starts as Steph begins the process of taking over Haven’s record store and radio station. There’s no nefarious, shady enemy needing to be taken down; instead, Steph needs to recatalogue albums and figure how out to actually produce a radio show. With the opportunity to pull out her smartphone and start a Tinder Smolder dating profile, Wavelengths looks to be a somewhat cruisy, slice of life-style game.

“I think ‘slice of life’ is really right,” Littleton said, agreeing with my assessment. “That’s what we were aiming for.”

“Especially within queer communities, dating apps are how you meet people like you that you can hang out with and have shared experiences with, that you can’t share with most people. We really wanted to capture that and bring it to players in a slice of life kind of way,” Littleton continued.

“I’m not going to say [Steph] doesn’t struggle, or like Katy said, [doesn’t] have fears or insecurities but she’s living her best life.”

Players will also have the opportunity to play a tabletop game with Before the Storm‘s Mikey, another fan favourite character. While it’ll likely prove to be as fun as True Colors‘ LARP, it also provides the opportunity for Deck Nine to showcase what makes Steph special.

“I do think Steph has a certain kind of superpower,” Littleton said when asked if the lack of world-changing ability made Wavelengths different from the likes of True Colors.

“I think that creativity and that care that she brings — particularly [to] things like the LARP or the DnD from Before the Storm — can really create experiences that take people out of themselves and teach them about themselves.”

Life is Strange Wavelengths will be available later today and is accessible through Life is Strange True Colors on Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5 and Switch.

Life is Strange True Colors

10 September 2021
PC PS4 PS5 Switch Xbox One Xbox Series S & X

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About the author

Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.