I can’t assist however be drawn to Steph Gingrich. Like many followers, I beloved her when she first appeared in Life is Unusual: Earlier than the Storm as a passionate dungeon grasp and gifted artist. Chloe Worth might need mentioned it finest in her journal when she wrote that she couldn’t inform if Steph was the best or nerdiest particular person in Blackwell. That’s a part of Steph’s attraction and attraction; she utterly indulges in her pursuits with out caring what different individuals assume.
When Deck 9 introduced Steph again for True Colours, she reached a brand new degree of superior, nonetheless utterly throwing herself into roleplaying, but in addition pursuing her ardour for music by working within the report store and DJing for Haven Springs’ native radio station. The brand new Wavelengths DLC serves as a True Colours prequel to bridge the hole between Steph transferring to Haven Springs after the occasions of the unique Life is Unusual and Alex Chen’s arrival within the small Colorado city. Deck 9 as soon as once more excels with witty and relatable writing, whereas discovering intriguing methods to contain the gamers in Steph’s story that do justice to her character and pursuits.
Wavelengths has you dwelling out days in Steph’s life over the course of 4 seasons, seeing her settle into her new life and develop as an individual as she confronts her previous and future. The DLC takes place a 12 months earlier than Alex reveals up in Haven Springs and places you proper within the DJ sales space as Steph begins her job as a number for the native radio station. You carry out the essential features of the gig, resembling selecting the music, studying ads, and answering telephone requires music requests and recommendation. You even have some downtime to get Steph’s relationship profile activated and swipe for matches to resurrect her love life.
Having to carry out Steph’s job day-in and day-out has its benefits and downsides. Operating a DJ sales space is thrilling at first; I used to be continually queuing completely different data to spin, and I loved that dialogue choices let me add taste to how Steph learn the on-air adverts, however the tedium of the job quickly units in. I ended queuing up a singular playlist, and the gig began to really feel like I used to be simply going by way of the motions of finishing an annoying guidelines of duties from my employer. A part of that is little doubt the purpose. It showcases Steph entering into a snug rhythm with the job, going from a fumbling rookie to a relaxed and picked up professional, and it is smart for the long run choices she makes. Nonetheless, the dearth of selection in her day-to-day life did not hold me engaged, and I longed for just a few extra surprises alongside the best way.
That being mentioned, controlling Steph’s relationship profile was a pleasant reprieve from a few of her DJ duties, and I assumed it was a intelligent strategy to implement participant selection into the expertise. Generally studying textual content convos can really feel like a slog, however Deck 9 makes these interactions partaking and memorable, because of some humor and all-too-real relationship app fiascos. As an example, at one level, I noticed I used to be speaking to a bot. Just a few different instances, I didn’t hit it off with somebody and found I had been ghosted. These exchanges symbolize the awkwardness of relationship apps, whereas additionally showcasing the sudden connections individuals could make by way of them. I gained’t spoil the place a few of my relationships went, however I discovered it refreshing how the writers explored widespread relationship points like miscommunication, whereas additionally representing extra private struggles resembling identification and psychological well being.
These on the lookout for extra callbacks and connections to earlier Life is Unusual entries will discover a terrific deal extra right here than they did in True Colours. I do advocate being aware of Earlier than the Storm and the unique Life is Unusual earlier than taking part in this DLC. Steph has a connection to Arcadia Bay with Chloe and Rachel Amber, which isn’t ignored in Wavelengths. An excessive amount of the expertise touches on Steph coming to phrases with what occurred in her hometown, and it’s carried out in a method that feels very true to a teen going through their first large tragedy and realizing the fragility of life.
What’s most admirable about Wavelengths is the way it stays true to the character of Steph and finds cool methods to symbolize hobbies, character, and identification into the expertise. As an example, you resolve methods to craft a music she’s writing, from the devices to the tone of the break. The story additionally discusses her life as a queer girl, resembling having her mirror on her reminiscences of Satisfaction by way of the years and the way she feels remoted in a small city that lacks a various neighborhood. I loved listening to her perspective and studying how she’s grown to turn into the extra assured particular person she is in True Colours.
Wavelengths does loads properly to make an already nice character much more intriguing. It touches on Steph’s previous and the place she’s headed, giving me a brand new appreciation for the position she performs in Alex’s journey. I felt it was a terrific encore to True Colours, capturing an analogous cleverness and depth. This DLC is definitely worth the return journey to Haven Springs, particularly to see issues from Steph’s perspective. There’s a motive so many individuals have latched onto her as a personality, and Wavelengths solely additional proves why she’s so charming.
Wavelengths is now out there for PS5, PS4, Xbox Sequence X/S, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and PC.