In "My Favorite Features" I examine features I encountered in different games and explain why I like them. This post is focused on the Time Rewind Feature in Life is Strange.
Warning, slight spoiler in the text for "Life is Strange" (2015)
How it works
In the very first “Life is Strange” season players have the power to rewind time.
How exactly it works can be bound to the needs of the story, but usually, it always works the same way.
With the press of a button, the time gets reminded and actions taken and choices made get undone and can or have to be made again.
Players are free to change these how they see fit within the options the game provides them.
When rewinding the time the player stays unchanged as do things they have on them.
Important points in time are marked via dots on your rewind spiral
Players can not rewind indefinitely but have a limit on how far they go back in time.
Again this can be changed for story reasons.
Usually, players also have the chance to stop the rewinding that is happening whenever they want.
When players have rewind back to a scene that they have already seen, they also get the chance to skip over it to the point where they have to make a decision.
Why I like it
What I love about this feature is how much it makes you own your choices.
You are given the chance to test out at least the short term reactions to all actions/choices and then chose the one you think is the best.
A nice side effect is that you see much more of the content the game has to offer.
In other story games, I sometimes miss clicked and made a choice I did not want to make, usually in situations under time pressure. It just made me upset and I was taken out of the experience.
Having and being used to the rewind feature also makes situations where you can’t use it so much more impactful.
Implementing the rewind into the game's narrative allows for unique puzzles as well as the unique handling of fail-states. In story-based games where you can fail along the way, you usually get set back to a point in time before you made that decision, here you can simply rewind time to get out of it.
This not only skips over the annoying loading times that come with it but also doesn’t take you out of the game.