Life is Strange Remastered Collection graphics comparisonTake a look at some of the visual upgrades in the remastered versions of Life is Strange vs the original games.
The release of Life is Strange Remastered Collection is but a few days away! It is - as a certain Chloe Price might say - hella exciting.
For those very late to the party, the original Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm have been remastered, with improved textures, lighting, animations and more.
But you may be wondering: how do the updated visuals compare to the original release? What does the Remastered Collection look like vs the originals?
Well, we can show you! Whilst nothing compares to seeing the game in motion (which you can check out on our YouTube and social channels!), here’s a detailed look at some screenshots from the original release of Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm and the Remastered Collection versions of each game.
Life is Strange Remastered Collection comparison screenshots
The first two games in the Life is Strange series have been enhanced with a host of visual improvements. As you peruse the shots below, here’s just some of what you’ll see:
- Native 4K rendering in Unreal Engine 4 and Unity
- Updated 4K-ready character models with increased polycounts
- More detail on character models, including updated fabrics, tears, injuries and more
- More expressive animations
- A brand new lighting system
- Motion-capture on faces in Life is Strange
- Improved lip-syncing
- Improved hair physics
- Deluxe content for Life is Strange: Before the Storm included as standard (additional outfits for Chloe and the ‘Farewell’ bonus episode).
Let’s take a look at some of the characters across both games:
Max (Life is Strange)
Lots of love was given to Max’s character from head to toe. For example, she now has smoother, more natural hair that has movement physics. In addition, her most prominent freckles have been kept, and some additional subtle ones have been added to give her face a more realistic appearance.
Even her hoodie has been given attention. As you can see, the ambiguous white line on her hoodie is now clearly defined as a zipper!
You can also see the more realistic expressions. In this emotional scene, when Max wakes up in the classroom after rewinding time for the first time, you’ll notice the tip of her nose is red, and her eyes are glassy with tears.
Chloe (Life is Strange)
In addition to smoother, more natural-looking hair that moves realistically, there’s much more definition on Chloe’s face. For example, she now has more defined eyebrows, small freckles on her cheek, chin and forehead, individual eyelashes, visible furrows in the irises of her eyes and subtle textures on her lips.
Her clothes also have more realistic details, such as raised edges where seam lines would exist and rounder, smoother geometry for her necklace. Her beanie also has a subtle fabric texture too!
Joyce (Life is Strange)
Joyce’s hair has been split up into finer strands that have movement physics. Her face has also been given upgrades including freckles, subtle make-up blush on her cheekbones and eyeshadow and lipstick that matches her style from the original game, but with a more natural application to suit the more detailed models.
Her skin also has a subtle pore texture to make it look more realistic, and the geometry of her face has been adjusted to slightly round out her cheeks.
Mr Jefferson (Life is Strange)
In this scene, Max is being told off by her teacher, Mr Jefferson. His expression has been adjusted - his eyes opened slightly to give him a more alert look, and his eyebrows narrowed in anger as he expresses his annoyance at Max.
In fact, his character model is now more detailed and defined than before. His teeth shape has been tweaked, and realistic shadows added to his mouth. More volume has been given to his sideburns to create a smoother progression from hair to beard.
His hair has retained his ‘cool guy’ style but also given a more naturalistic cut, and the arms of his glasses have been slimmed down to better suit the new model’s fidelity. Finally, his clothing has also been given extra detail, with new textures, shadows, and buttons added to his collar.
Kate (Life is Strange)
During this scene, Max is standing up against David’s harassment of Kate. Notice Kate’s expression is more nuanced, now filled with a nervous defiance to match her dialogue.
You can also see general updates to her character model, including smoothed out hair, and altered clothing textures, with a more realistic bag strap location and shoulder geometry.
The team has smoothed out Victoria’s hair and given it natural strands, along with an adjusted, more photo real color.
The collar of her shirt now has a defined pattern, and the buttons and pearls have been rounded out and slightly defined. Her cashmere jumper also now has a subtle fabric texture to it.
Her new eyeline here sees her glaring directly at Max, and her expression is also more nuanced as she sasses Max for being, “Totally stuck in the retro zone, sad face.”
Warren (Life is Strange)
Poor Warren’s showing off his fresh black eye to Max, received after getting into a fight with Nathan. His expression has been updated to make him look a lot more sympathetic, with a wry smile, creased brow and more squint to his eyes as he braces himself for her reaction.
You can also see how the lighting has been reworked to give the scene a more cinematic look that matches its tone.
More general changes to Warren include reworked hair, with completely redrawn textures. The jagged geometry has been removed to smooth out shadows, while still retaining his original style. His clothes have also been upgraded with fabric textures, raised edges and stitch lines.
Ms Grant’s hair has been entirely remodeled, and there are also clothing improvements, including stitching on her shawl, definition added to her sticker, textures added to her pink jumper, and edges smoothed out on her white tie.
Nathan (Life is Strange)
Here you can see what the improved expressions add to scenes, as Nathan now has wide eyes and an open mouth that signifies his panic, as he tries to calm himself down before he confronts Chloe with a gun.
His character model has received many upgrades. His hair retains its original style, but now sports a more defined hairline at his temples, sideburns and the nape of his neck. His ear has also been remodeled and has more natural shadows.
His varsity jacket now has increased fidelity fabric textures, with chunkier, shiny buttons and a more defined front pocket.
Samuel (Life is Strange)
As well as an uplift to skin textures and materials, Samuel’s expression is also more nuanced now, as he chats to Max in a calm manner, with a gentle smile and slightly crinkled eyes.
His hair, eyebrows and beard have all been redefined and the geometry of his glasses has been smoothed out and given a metallic shine. His clothing has seen some subtle adjustments too.
Daniel (Life is Strange)
The team made a real effort to retain Daniel’s painterly style, while giving his model some high-fidelity upgrades.
His hoodie has been given a subtle bump map to make it look like real fabric, and the collar of his t-shirt has realistic weathering to indicate that it’s well-loved and often worn. His skin was also given a subtle texture, and his ears now have a more realistic shape and shadow.
Note how his expression is more hopeful in the Remastered shot, as he politely asks Max if he can draw her portrait.
But perhaps the most obvious change is in the background, with the new vegetation introduced across the Blackwell campus, including the tree behind him and the grass, which now has greater variation, definition, and texture.
Hayden (Life is Strange)
Even tertiary characters like Hayden have seen subtle upgrades. For example, he has been given more realistic textures on his clothes, with realistic seam lines especially noticeable on the shoulders, around the neck and on the sleeves.
His expression is more relaxed in the Remastered Collection, which matches his laid-back attitude when he chats to Max.
Speaking of Max, you’ll spot loads of character detail in this shot for her too, including realistic folds on the back of her pants and hands which have a more realistic shape and pose than before. Note, too, the buckles on her bag, with new metallic textures and rounded geometry.
But it’s not just the characters who have been upgraded - you can also see how much work’s gone into enhancing the environments of Arcadia Bay. Take a look at the trees, which now have realistic patterns and bumps. You can tell without a doubt that these are birch trees now!
Taylor (Life is Strange)
Taylor’s hair has had a complete overhaul, with individual strands now drawn. This is especially noticeable when it sits against her neck and over the back of her shoulders.
Her eyes have also been lit to make them look more focused and her teeth have been remodeled to give her mouth a more realistic shape.
Her clothes have been given an update too, with improved textures, stitches added to seams, and her necklace geometry rounded out.
Chloe (Life is Strange: Before the Storm)
Chloe takes center stage as the playable protagonist of Life is Strange: Before the Storm, and her character model has been greatly updated.
As with her appearance in Life is Strange, her face is now much more clearly defined, with extra detail on her face, improved hair and more.
Also in this scene, you can see how foliage in the background has been altered to create more visual interest.
Rachel (Life is Strange: Before the Storm)
Rachel already looked good, so her changes are subtle - but they add a lot!
She now is affected and lit by the new global illumination, giving her more subtle shadows across the face and neck. Her earring has been given a texture upgrade, with the strands of the feathers being drawn out.
Her makeup style has been retained from the original game, but defined more naturally, while the blurry eyelashes have been replaced by individual lashes for more realism. She’s also been given some subtle freckles to her forehead and cheeks and some very subtle textures on her face to make her look more human… albeit with a really good skincare routine! Her hair has also been remodeled and smoothed to remove jagged lines.
In the scene below, her irises are now lit up and her eyeline corrected so she's looking directly at Chloe during their intense chat in the truck.
David (Life is Strange: Before the Storm)
David’s model has been given a subtle re-sculpt, retaining the key features that make him recognizable. Bump maps create a realistic stubble texture on his chin and neck, and his skin now has pores.
His hair has also been completely remodeled, moving from a rough representation of hair to individual fibers.
In the scene below, more light has been brought into the eyes to create a focal point and emphasize the emotion of the situation.
Steph (Life is Strange: Before the Storm)
Steph’s skin has been given some very subtle pore textures and freckles, and her hair has been broken up into more diffuse strands.
Her beanie and t-shirt have new fiber textures, with individual stitches on her collar and a raised edge for the flame patch on her hat. Her dragon necklace has also been given a shiny, metallic finish.
Her eyeline in this scene has also been corrected, so she looks more directly at Chloe.
Frank (Life is Strange: Before the Storm)
Frank’s beard and eyebrows have now been given more defined texture, his chunky hair has been broken up into smaller, more realistic wisps, and even his irises have been resized to be more in scale with his face.
His tattoos are clearer than before, and his necklaces have been rounded and now have clearer designs added to them. You can also see how the brim of his hat has been given thinner geometry, with stitches and seams added.
Skip (Life is Strange: Before the Storm)
Skip’s uniform has been enhanced with new fabric textures and shiny buttons. Even his walkie-talkie looks more realistic.
His hair has been remodeled slightly to give it more shape while keeping the original style, and definition and shadows have been added to his nose and eyes. His eyebrow shape has also been altered slightly to give him a more hopeful look as he nervously asks Chloe if she’d like to listen to Pisshead’s new demo.
Also, check out the trees behind him!
Damon (Life is Strange: Before the Storm)
Damon’s skin has more texture with pores, individual strands of hair are now defined on his head, and his beard lines have been improved.
His necklaces have been refined and given clearer designs and a metallic finish, and his lone piece of gold jewelry has been swapped for silver to match the rest of his gear. Fashion faux pas begone!
If you look behind him, you may also spot that extra foliage has been added to the junkyard to give it a more overgrown appearance.
Justin (Life is Strange: Before the Storm)
Justin is another example of how even tertiary characters have had a glow-up. Check out his garments - his hat, jacket and shorts have all been given natural clothing textures, stitches and seams.
The probably the biggest difference you can see in this image is the grass! It really shows off the major vegetation upgrades from the original game.
As for Chloe herself, you may well notice additional details in this shot, including a more relaxed hand shape and pose and a seam line down the side of her jeans.
You’ll be able to see all these improvements and more first-hand in the Life is Strange Remastered Collection, available Feb 1, 2022 for Stadia, PS4, Xbox, PC and GeForce Now.
To stay up to date with news and information about the game - and to see even more comparisons - make sure you follow Life is Strange on social media: