Life is Strange 2 Begins with a Strong Narrative
The narrative driven video game experience has been a bit overdone in the past number of years, and closures such as Telltale are a good indication that many people have become burnt out on the genre. Some companies are soldiering on though, thanks to other income sources from other popular franchises, and Square Enix is a good example of this. After a well-received first release with Life is Strange, the sequel was pegged by many to be one of the best experiences of 2018. And through the first few hours of Chapter 1, that is definitely the case.
While the narrative in Life is Strange 2 is fantastic, it was the exploration options that really kept me going through the first few hours of Chapter 1. Being able to interact with so many items in the first few areas and learn a little bit about the backstory of the characters was fantastic. They might be insignificant, but anytime a character gets fleshed out, it’s considered worth doing to me.
It’s all new characters, but still the same Life is Strange feel. This time around you are playing as Sean Diaz, a young teenager who in the beginning is dealing with regular teenage things. And right away, the development team grasped the very real reality of teenage life, or at least what I assume teenage life looks like today. Weed, girls, drama. It’s all there, and so well delivered.
In an effort to avoid plot spoilers, we will tread lightly going forward with our reviews, including for episode one. Once Sean and his brother Daniel are out on the road together, it’s great to watch their relationship grow and evolve; while most of these decisions probably won’t show themselves until later episodes, but they feel important now, and that is what is most important, especially for an early episode.
It’s the background chatter in Life is Strange 2 that I’m not excited about. Built on the idea of Trump America, the comments from passersby about the characters heritage don’t feel natural, and much of the commentary feels very forced, grabbing the worst of America and making it happen again and again and again. While really examples that display well, one on top of another doesn’t really show well in a video game.
But that is a minor gripe in an overall fantastic experience. Sure, the character movements could have been faster and a bit more fluid, but overall, everything is top notch here. While we long for Episode 2, be sure to grab this one and give it a try. You likely will not be disappointed, especially if you enjoyed Life is Strange when it released!