With the second episode now in our hands, we get to really see what tricks Life is Strange has up its sleeves to keep players interested for the long haul. There are some really intense moments that, at times, can feel a bit over the top, even for a game with the ability to rewind time. Despite the drama for the sake of drama, Life is Strange episode 2 should prove good enough, especially when we see that our decisions are already making a huge impact.
Little has changed in the way you play since episode 1, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It seems that there are fewer “major” decisions to make this time around. Instead, the game begins to show how your decisions are really impacting the story in a big way. While the argument could be made that things are moving a tad too fast, it was certainly a fun episode to play. The only flaw is that in between the major “wow” moments, there is some noticeable down time with very little interesting happening. Hopefully pacing will not be an issue going forward.
Story and Modes:
Episode 2 starts fairly innocent as Max attempts to manage her social life with friends new (since the last episode) and old. Drama ensues surrounding a video featuring the God fearing Kate going wild at a party, though the circumstances are certainly fishy. Chloe wants Max to prove her powers and we learn that there is a cost to using them, though it isn’t fully clear how serious a cost it is. Many of the hanging plot lines from episode 1 are closed, but many more questions are presented leaving room for episode 3 to be a real stand out.
The Big Question:
Can Life is Strange manage the excitement without the levels of dull in between? The set piece moments of each episode are certainly exciting, but living the life of Max can be a chore at times, with collecting bottles being one of the more time consuming event of the episode. The length of each episode so far is appreciated, but even short episodes from Telltale are far better paced than the just over two hours you’ll spend with Life is Strange. Can Dontnod address these pacing issues? That will hopefully be answered in the next episode.