With great power…
I was left with a positive feeling at the end of episode one of Life is Strange. It set up this interesting idea that a young woman is given the ability to reverse time and change the outcome of certain situations. Doing this in the mundane, every day world of a high school senior was novel, but highly entertaining. In episode two, it is revealed that things always come with a price. Max’s powers may be a gift, but they can also be a curse if she’s not careful. On top of all that, the choices made in the first episode will result in some interesting outcomes.
After the bizarre snow storm at the end of the last episode, Max continues her exploration of her powers the next day. A rumor of a compromising video with Kate is floating around the student body, and Max feels compelled to console Kate. On top of all that, Max is also dealing with the consequences of her decisions regarding Nathan and Chloe. And we dive deeper into what actually happened to Rachel Amber.
Platforms: XB1, PC, PS4, 360, PS3
MSRP: $4.99 per episode/$19.99 for full season
Price I’d Pay: $4.99/$19.99
Teenagers can be interesting.
Life is Strange is at its best when Max is conversing with other characters. While the reverse time mechanic was predominant in the first episode, it feels like it takes a bit of a backseat in episode two. This is actually a good thing. It allowed me to focus more on the characters and interactions which is what this game does very well. The choices that I made, both in this episode and the last episode, actually felt like they mattered. That was a big concern for me at the end of the first episode, and luckily, I was not let down.
The pacing is a bit off in some spots with the only reason being it has to still be a video game. Certain point and click adventure elements are dropped in, and really slow down the feel of the overall game. Things like having to find bottles or memorizing things are tasks that bring the interactions to a halt. I understand why they’re there, but at the same time, I’m enjoying the characters and interactions enough that I feel like I’m doing a bit of busy work just to get to the next dialog. Another complaint that I had with the last episode returns here – the faces and mouths not matching up with the dialog. I know it’s a small thing, but it does throw me off at times, especially when it’s trying to be emotional.
Take a chill pill, man.
While I have come to terms with some of the wording in this series, some of the polarizing dialog can be a bit confusing. I could be talking to someone with all the right intentions and all of a sudden, they get upset with me and I have no idea why. Some of these people have mood swings worse than Cole Phelps in LA Noire.
It’s difficult to talk about a single episode of a game. What I was wondering was answered in episode two, and was well done enough and has me wanting to see what will happen in the next episode. The payoff is there and feels good, and while there are some hiccups here and there as far as pacing goes, episode two made it feel more like a story that is going somewhere rather than a mechanic with some set pieces and throwaway story wrapped around it. I am genuinely excited to see what happens next, and after seeing how episode two plays out, I think people looking for an interesting story should take a look at this series.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.