I’m not sure why I had such a hard time putting words to this. Wavelengths is a phenomenal piece of content; a great way to get into the mind of a fan-favorite character and figure out what she’s been up to since the last time we saw her.
I am, of course, referring to one Steph Gingrich, who we last saw in Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Deck Nine’s first entry in the Life is Strange series. Steph was a student at Blackwell, Dungeon Master, lover of cult classics, queer and proud, and a fierce friend.
I thought about the books If I Stay and Where She Went after playing Wavelengths, the first expansion of Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Deck Nine’s latest story. After what happened in Arcadia Bay, either end you chose the first Life is Strange means heartache and trauma for Steph. What did she do?
Her first stop was Seattle, then on the road with her band, and finally, Haven Springs because of a bet and a bad breakup. We know from True Colors that she was making plans to leave the quaint Colorado town as well. In Wavelengths, you play around with a dating app as you piece together the story of how her past and the people she’s lost along the way have impacted her dating life.
Anchored by a standout performance by Katy Bentz, Wavelengths is a short but sweet slice-of-life experience. (And proved that Life is Strange doesn’t necessarily need a supernatural or strange power hook to succeed in the future.) Over four seasons in Haven Springs, we learned a lot more about our favorite Dungeon Master, and the revelations about life in the immediate aftermath of the storm at the end of Life is Strange momentarily took my breath away, and that’s where Bentz really shined.
The gameplay segments follow along with the seasons; Steph starts her job in the Spring, brings Pride to Haven Springs in the Summer, rocks a hoodie in the Fall, and celebrates the New Year in the Winter. (We also get re-introduced to the adorably stubborn Valkyrie.) Each section is similar. You’re in the booth, playing music, answering calls, and doing ad-reads with lists of tasks to accomplish.
Wavelengths takes a fan-favorite character and adds even more depth to her, and, in my opinion, makes her an even better choice for Alex in True Colors. Wavelengths’ singular story makes it worth going back to Haven Springs, answering (some of the) questions left from Life is Strange and Before the Storm.
Steph’s an incredible example for LGBTQ characters in games, and we need more like her.
- Tight, focused story