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Fans are hella split on Max Caulfield’s return to Life is Strange

Max Caulfield’s LiS return is a cause of celebration and pessimism, some fans applaud her return, while others give Deck Nine the side eye.

Life is Strange: Double Exposure fan reactions - Max in a beanie and coat using her powers

Less than 24 hours after its reveal at the Xbox Showcase and the Life is Strange: Double Exposure fan reactions are split. While there’s an overwhelming amount of positivity for the next entry in Square Enix’s emotionally-driven franchise, Deck Nine opting to bring back Max Caulfield is causing quite a stir.

Max is the OG protagonist, taking center stage in 2015’s Life is Strange, for which Dontnod is the developer (it’s also responsible for Life is Strange 2), though Deck Nine took over for Before The Storm, True Colors, and beyond, with the Life is Strange: Double Exposure release date landing this year. Max Caulfield holds a special place in my heart, alongside Chloe Price, more on her in a bit, and I’m not the only one who looks back on my time with Max fondly.

The girl goes through hell during her first outing, discovering that she can rewind time, a gift I would take full advantage of – those deadlines may bend to me. She returns to her childhood town for school and reacquaints herself with her best friend Chloe, whose very life she holds in her hands come the end of the game. Everything they go through leads to fans adoring the pair.

So it’s no surprise that a lot of people are thrilled to see Max return. Every other comment on this Reddit thread is to the effect of “Max is back!” Redditor HaramHas sums it up nicely “I’m so fucking hyped to play as Max again,” a sentiment that the masses share. However, while I happen to be one of those, I can’t ignore the very real issues some fans have with her inclusion in Double Exposure.

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Some believe this could well be a cash grab from Deck Nine, who, following the game’s announcement, claimed, “we heard your cries for Max” on an X post. Reddit user missmoode goes so far as to say that they’re worried that Deck Nine is “just torturing Max for character recognition.” Now, this could be a developer being wise and listening to the cries of its fans, but others think it’s just a way to ensure sales, which it is, admittedly. Life is Strange fans will flock to buy this game, but that’d likely have been the case had Double Exposure not featured Max.

Another concern some fans have pertains to the story. We know that Max accidentally causes a rip in time that allows her to move between two realities, but she only does this after using her powers to rewind time, something she ‘hasn’t done for years.’ Considering all she goes through in the first game and what the morale of the story is, some can’t help but wonder what compels her to mess with such power again. Finding your friend dead might make you act a little irrationally, let’s be honest.

Finally, there’s one big question on the lips of LiS fans worldwide: where the hell is Chloe Price? Bringing back Max and not Chloe seems like a peculiar choice. I, for one, wholeheartedly believe she’s in the game. When it comes to bae or bay, the True Colors DLC and licensed comic books operate under the assumption that you chose to save Chloe, while her lack of appearance in the Double Exposure trailer gives the impression that perhaps Deck Nine is going in the opposite direction with bae and bay.

Life is Strange: Double Exposure fan reaction - Max and Safi sat next to each other in a room

I’m certainly not the only one who thinks Chloe is going to be in Double Exposure, with Redditor suitedcloud saying, “considering Chloe is such a huge part of LiS1, and she’s not mentioned at all in this trailer, tells me she’s gonna either be an important part of the story.” Though they also offer a pretty bleak outfield for Chloe Price fans, “they’ll just ignore her and hand wave it all as ‘Max’s emotional trauma.'”

The only thing we know for certain is that Max is back, and the majority of fans are thrilled to see her. Even those who feel pessimistic are directing that energy at Deck Nine, not the character. Oh, and Hannah Telle reprises her role, which is something else we can all rejoice about.

To tide you over until Double Exposure comes out, give our games like Life is Strange guide a read. We also have a Life is Strange: Arcadia Bay Collection review, should you want to learn more about Max and Chloe’s story.

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