Collector’s Cabinet: Life is Strange Limited Edition

There’s nothing quite like owning physical goods, but they can be expensive and shelf space can come at a premium. Every month, Hardcore Gamer picks a premium collectible from our cavernous swag vaults and tells you whether it’s worth a spot in your Collector’s Cabinet.

Life is Strange is quite an adored episodic video game series. Since Episode 1 launched on January 29, tons of gamers quickly found themselves enthralled with Max Caulfield’s tale. The series finally concluded late in 2015, and with it came the announcement of physical editions for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Originally, only Europe was guaranteed a boxed copy for PC. When North American fans spoke up about their desire for a PC version too, Square Enix produced a slightly more limited run of limited editions for that platform.

Of course, that means I simply had to grab my Life is Strange Limited Edition copy on PC. The outer box has the same graphics as the rest of them, but comes in the small form factor boxes that PC games used to come in before they finally gave up on cardboard all together for DVD cases. The surprising thing about this box is it somehow manages to perfectly fit its content within. The limited edition includes a copy of the complete game on disc, an artbook and a soundtrack CD. This might not seem like an absolutely fabulous collector’s edition but, then again, it only costs $40 whereas most regular non-special edition games cost $60. All told, it seems like a great bargain for Life is Strange fans.

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Here’s something to note that for whatever reason Square Enix did not state very publicly about Life is Strange’s boxed PC copy. Yes, if you buy it, you do receive a Steam key (it is included within the DVD case). Also included in this box is a disc — and little else. So, this is great for all the Steam fans out there, but what of players who might be hoping for a DRM-free copy? This is where things get honestly a little annoying. Nowhere on this limited edition PC box does it make mention of Steam. Nowhere within the system requirements does it specify that you need a Steam account to access the game.

As such, it seems implied that the Steam code within is just a little bonus perk. That’s not the case. Even if you install from disc the disc then launches a Steam installer for you. So basically, Steam is required no matter what so don’t go in expecting otherwise. Anyway, the DVD box itself features the same cover art as the outer box does. Within the case is just a single page flyer with Steam key and, of course, the game disc. It’s not particularly exciting as to be expected of modern physical manual-less media. Luckily, the Life is Strange Limited Edition includes a neat little artbook.

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This hardback book takes the outward appearance of the journal Max keeps throughout the game. You won’t find very much text within, though. It’s honestly a bit of a lost opportunity that they didn’t actually recreate the in-game journal. Then again, that was a lot of pages by the time Episode 5 rolled around. Instead you’re shown a fair amount of artwork and pictures that still strongly evoke the journal mentality. Instead of actual in-game screenshots though the pictures appear more like concept artwork. It’s important to note that there are spoilers shown on a multitude of pages, so don’t flip through if you’ve not completed Life is Strange yet.

Beyond that is the included soundtrack CD. This thing comes housed within a basic jewel case rather than a cardboard sleeve. Funnily enough, the boring jewel case works with the cover art which is made to look like a homemade mixtape. Unfortunately the designers didn’t keep this style going for the back, as instead the back cover features a nicely-printed track listing. There are 22 songs in all and these include songs from the indie bands who had their music piped throughout Life is Strange. There are also a handful of tracks from the original score that was composed by Jonathan Morali. Given how cool the music of this episodic series was, it’s definitely worth owning the soundtrack in some form.

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All in all, the Life is Strange Limited Edition is a nice package for the price. The contents themselves are the same between versions so you can get them whether you’re playing on PC, Xbox One or PS4. There are also regular editions on PS4 and Xbox One in case you don’t want all this extra stuff but still desire a physical copy. Life is Strange is one of those games which deserves a spot on shelves, and this Limited Edition was well deserved.

Want to look through the rest of our Collector’s Cabinet? Head right here.