Life is Strange Episode 1 acted very much like a tutorial to the game and also an introduction to Max’ life and world. If you haven’t already checked out our review for Episode 1 click HERE. Not only was I intrigued and in awe with its presentation, but I inevitably yearned to learn more about Max and the people around her. Waiting nearly 2 months for Episode 2 to release was quite painful, but waiting for Episode 3 is just torturous!
Episode 2 begins on the morning after Max experiences her reoccurring tornado and lighthouse premonition. You’re welcomed by a black screen accompanied by the sound of a buzzing phone. You have the option of letting Max continue to get some “Zs” as she refers sleeping to, or hit the snooze button and have Max slowly open her eyes. Once she hits that snooze button, music starts playing and you’re given the option to get Max out of bed or just let her lay there and listen to her internal monologue and thoughts. You learn that the night before she did some intense research on things related to time travel and is concerned of its backlashes. Nonetheless, it’s the start of a new day for Max so she gets ready for class by first heading to the shower room. Max runs into Kate Marsh there and it’s where you start seeing how the choices you’ve made thus far since Episode 1 pans out and affects the outcome of the story. For example, depending on the choices you made in Episode 1, Kate will react and respond to your presence differently.
As the episode progresses, you’ll find out some shocking information and experience events that don’t necessarily unravel the mysteries Max faces quite yet , but does get you closer to it. You’ll meet new characters that add to the story’s drama and face a dramatic and consequential ending all based on the choices you’ve made so far. It shows how the story isn’t afraid to take chances, an unexpected turn, and create an experience that is unique to your play style. The crazy teen lingo is still entertaining and humorous, adding to the atmosphere of what it means to be a teen. Not to mention, there’s still a bunch of references to pop culture like Doctor Who and Pulp Fiction.
Episode 2 doesn’t hold your hand by telling you to rewind at certain spots like in Episode 1. Instead, you have to know and grasp the fact that Max does indeed have the ability to prevent certain things from happening and also to make certain things capable of occurring. There are events you can witness and obliviously not take into account that you can actually alter them and ultimately change how it affects the story in the future. It really gives you a sense of power and control over what and how events happen. However, this episode leans toward a darker approach filled with intensity, careful consideration, speculations, and a whole lot of pressure, adding even more burden and weight to your decisions.
At times the reactions and responses from other characters didn’t quite fit or are just awkward as it seems underplayed or a different choice would have made it more acceptable. Also, there are certain points in the episode where the actions needed to proceed felt tedious and almost pointless. For example, there is a part where you are required to search in an area for however many bottles to proceed to the next event, which felt more like a method to let you find some “secrets” than actually finding the bottles. Even with these minor downfalls, however, the amazing effort and detail in episode 2 is mind-blowing. Although I played through the episode twice, watched my sister play through it, and also inquired about my friend’s play through, I’m still discovering the various things I’ve missed and possible outcomes obtainable. Whether it was the choices we made or how episode 2 played out, there is just a ton of things to discuss and inquire about. Amongst the numerous things I’ve discovered in this episode, one of them made me repeatedly say “no way” more than I should have – an actual working link to a supposed viral video of Kate Marsh. If you’ve played through the episode, check out this link if you haven’t already: http://katesvid.com/. It’s nothing fancy, but neat. Seeing the amount of consideration to make the world of Life is Strange as realistic as it can be, is astounding.
Since this is an episodic game, the sounds and visuals haven’t changed. Nonetheless, things that you see and hear through the episode are still great. Unfortunately the issue with lip-syncing still exists and seems like it will for future episodes, but it isn’t extremely obvious in this episode.
Life is Strange Episode 2 is where you start to truly witness and experience how the choices you make affect the story. The various possible outcomes and things to discover is what continues to make Life is Strange intriguing and leaves us wanting more. I just hope that this build-up of mysteries and secrets is used effectively and takes a turn for the best that will make the story even better and even possibly the best we’ve seen in a while. If you have come this far, there is no sense stopping now.
***A PS4 code was provided by the Publisher***