We’re back again in the crazy graphic world of Life is Strange for its second installation. Jumping back into the world of Life is Strange after the fallout of Telltale and The Walking Dead has been a great escape back into the episodic game structure. Life is Strange 2 was released in September this year and was a game I bought right away but proceeded to avoid playing for some time. Sidelined by other games and The Walking Dead. However in the interest of getting through my gaming backlog I have finally entered back into the world and was not disappointed!
Spoilers in coming, skip this paragraph to avoid spoilers!
The Set Up –
Episode 1: Roads, introduces us to the main protagonist Sian and his brother Daniel Diaz. Within the first few moments of the game there’s a fight between Daniel and his neighbour and the resulting misunderstanding with the police leaves their Dad dead and a seemingly supernatural event destroys half the neighbourhood. All of which results in brothers Sean, 16, and Daniel, 9, going on the run and setting an emotional and reasonably dark tone for the series very early on.
The game sets us a great dynamic between the brothers Sian and Daniel who hit the road going off grid and camping rough. You play as Sian the older brother and was surprised and pleased to see an emotional and realistic relationship between the brothers. As Sian you take on the brotherly role looking after and protecting Daniel as well as keeping his spirits up. Seeing a great relationship between brothers in a video game has been great and emotional to see.
Like its predecessors Life is Strange 2 isn’t afraid to cover some more sensitive subjects however, unlike Life is Strange it puts these factors front and centre from the beginning. Sian and Daniel’s family are from Mexico and from almost the very start the game introduces themes like Excessive Force, Race and Immigration. Personally I really love when games cover topics like these and in Episode 1 there were moments when I found myself sitting back in my chair thinking “How is this fair?”.
Life is Strange 2 also features the supernatural powers we’ve come to see from the series. However, unlike in the first game the power is shown but not explained and seems to not belong to the main protagonist you play. Unlike with Max’s time reversal. You have no control over the power and its limited use is refreshing after reflecting on the first game and the sheer amount you would use the rewind time feature to change your choices and mess with time.
Graphically Life is Strange 2 follows the same artistic graphic novel style of the previous games. Personally I really love the graphics of the game, they have definitely improved since the first game.
Mechanically Life is Strange 2 is also not dissimilar from the earlier games but does introduce a new mechanic where as Sian you can take time to draw in your sketchbook by moving the mouse around in a circular motion. The game has yet to explain if there is a deeper purpose to drawing other than it being more relaxing and fun. While I love the sketch mechanic the actual way you draw does feel somewhat cumbersome and time-consuming.
Overall Episode 1 Roads is a great introduction back into Life is Strange. The relationship between Daniel and Sian is set up really well right from the beginning and the opening game doesn’t shy away from making an impact. Episode 2 comes out in January 2019 and I can’t wait to see where the story goes next and how the supernatural element will be woven into the story to come.
Have you played Life is Strange 2, what were your impressions?
Thanks for reading to the end!
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