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Don't worry, Life is Strange: Double Exposure won't canonise either ending of the original game, Deck Nine says

Did you save Bae or Bay? Either way, your choice will still count when Max Caulfield makes her long-awaited return to the franchise this October.

Max holds her right hand out in front of her in the classic Life is Strange superpowered pose, as the world around her blurs and brightens.
Image credit: Deck Nine / Square Enix

Life is Strange: Double Exposure will respect the player's final decision from the first game and won't be declaring either original ending canon, Deck Nine has confirmed.

Following the game's initial reveal at the Xbox Games Showcase last weekend, an extended livestream aired last night, which included interviews with key developers and Max's returning voice actor Hannah Telle, plus 15 minutes of gameplay. The stream dug into details about the new setting, Max's new powers and, crucially, the way in which the game aims to stay true to the player's choices from previous titles.

Two console generations and nearly 10 years on from the first Life is Strange release, it's unsurprising that you don't import your save info from LIS1 directly into Double Exposure, but Deck Nine has a plan to ensure that your experience in the latest game still reflects those long-ago choices. While previous follow-ups Life is Strange 2 and Life is Strange: True Colors both straight-up just asked you which ending you got in the original game, Double Exposure will be taking a slightly more organic approach for this direct sequel.

The reveal stream showed a snippet of conversation between Max and new friend Safi, where the latter queries the picture of Chloe that grown-up Max still keeps in her wallet. The player has the option to describe her as an old friend or a high school sweetheart, allowing you to feedback whether you pursued a romance between the two or kept things platonic. Presumably, setting up the eventual fates of Chloe and Arcadia Bay from your playthrough will be handled through similar dialogue choices.

It's good news for fans who were hoping that Life is Strange wouldn't break its long-standing commitment to ensuring there's no such thing as a non-canon playthrough for any of the games in the series. But still, not everyone's thrilled, since this open-ended way of constructing a sequel means that even if Chloe survived in your game, her absence suggests that she and Max went their separate ways in the intervening years; especially as it's also been confirmed that Max will have new optional love interests who are pretty certainly not Chloe and Warren from the original.

Instead, the stream implies that Max will have the option to pursue a punky librarian type, presumably a colleague from her new job at the fictional Caledon University in Vermont — which I'm not exactly against, personally, but this new girl's going to have to be pretty amazing to win over all those ardent Pricefield shippers who've had nearly a decade to get extremely invested in their One True Pairing.

But take heart: even if your ship's just been sunk, Chloe is clearly still very important to Max if she's keeping her photo close after all these years, and even the end of their potential romance doesn't have to mean that Chloe's influence is entirely absent from the newest game. It's people who got Max and Warren together you've got to really feel for - nobody seems too concerned about explaining where he's got to these days.

Life is Strange: Double Exposure is due to release on October 29 for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S, with a Nintendo Switch port planned for an unknown later date. The Ultimate Edition will include two weeks' early access to Episodes 1&2, alongside a slew of cosmetics and an exclusive side-story about a missing cat — but has been criticised for costing a whopping £25/$30 more than the standard edition.

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