Review: Life is Strange 2 – Episode 1
Life is Strange: Before the Storm made us say goodbye to our beloved Max and Chloe in the most bittersweet way possible. In Life is Strange 2, we get to know two Mexican-American brothers, Daniel and Sean. We went in hoping to find characters as real as the ones we have come to expect from this unqiue franchise. This is our review.
For this review we will try to avoid spoilers as much as we can, while still giving our honest opinions on the major events in the game. You start off playing as the older brother, Sean, who is preparing for a party later that night. During this time you are met with typical Life is Strange like questions, for example whether you want to take beer or soda or if you want to give your dad a hug or take a pass. All the while you get to know Sean’s family and friends.
The most important characters we meet here are Daniel, your little brother who seems to be obsessed with the nearing Halloween party, Lydia, your best friend and your dad. Sean’s mother is left out and becomes quite the mystery early on, one we are expecting to see resolved in due time. These opening scenes are very well set-up and gives us a very in-depth insight in the mind of this teenager. Looking around the house, you get to know a lot of details about the family in the way we have come to expect from games in this franchise and it feels as good as ever.
Trying to avoid spoilers as much as we can, let’s just say Sean doesn’t make it to the party. An emotional and climactic event sets of the rest of the game and not before long, you and Daniel are on your own and running away to Mexico. This is where Life is Strange 2 really begins to come alive. You suddenly go from being a carefree teenager to the only one responsible for your brother’s safety and well-being, which is very well portrayed by the events of the game. Do you let Daniel eat those berries with a chance of them being poisonous? Do you play hide-and-seek with him with there being a chance of losing him? Do you steal the much-needed food you need from a store, while you know this will influence Daniel? The episode is full of choices like this and we can’t wait to see where they lead.
The world we explore feels real, even going over subjects like racism and giving us a callback to your final choice in Life is Strange 1. What we do miss is some more interaction with your surroundings in the way of puzzles or interactive games. Max’ rewind powers made for interesting situations and often fun puzzles, something that does lack in this episode. We do hope this being a thing in the episodes to come, with Sean using Daniel’s telekenetic powers and there being drawbacks to them.
To summarize, Life is Strange 2 starts off strong with an interesting storyline and likeable characters. Some interactive elements are lacking and we are hoping to see their return in the future. In the end, we simply can’t wait to see how our choices shape who Daniel will become.
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Publisher: Square Enix