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Life is Strange: Episode 2 (Xbox One) Review

 
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At A Glance...
 

Formats: Xbox One, PS4, PC
 
Genre:
 
Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Developer:
 
Final Score
7.5
7.5/ 10


User Rating
1 total rating

 

We Liked?


  • Rewind feature is well used and consequences explored
  • Max remains an interesting protagonist with an intriguing story to tell
  • A well layered approach to your decisions and their outcomes in-game

Not So Much?


  • - Poor voice acting
  • Poorly scripted and clichéd dialogue


Final Fiendish Feelings?

Taking place directly after the events of episode one we return to the life of Max in episode 2 of Life is Strange. After the revelatory events of the previous episode Max must now come to terms with her new found powers. Whereas the previous episode seems to wallow in teenage angst this episode allows […]

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Posted April 17, 2015 by

 
Final Fiendish Feelings?
 
 

Taking place directly after the events of episode one we return to the life of Max in episode 2 of Life is Strange. After the revelatory events of the previous episode Max must now come to terms with her new found powers. Whereas the previous episode seems to wallow in teenage angst this episode allows us to explore the characters in more detail.

A lot of the criticisms i levelled at the first episodes are still evident here in episode 2, Out of Time. The wonky voice work, the awkward and stilted dialogue and occasionally shaky edges to the game engine are all still here. This time though, Dontnod have concentrated on smoothing out some of the more pressing issues with Max and her powers.

Max looks to pick up her day after the wild events at the lighthouse with Chloe, but as she does the minutia of everyday life keeps getting in the way. It’s the way Dontnod weave these seemingly trivial events and off-hand decisions in to something and someone you might actually care about that pushes Life is Strange forward once again.

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Max is now facing some of the consequences of her actions in the last episode and a lot of this story centres around the character Kate. She’s the girl you witnessed being harassed by Chloe’s father in episode one. There’s a subtle, yet devastating sequence of events that will culminate in something of a rarity in videogames – a poignant and heart tearing moment.

First the low-lights. The character speech verges on the terrible. Little phrases and nuances that are supposed to reflect the “youth culture” come off as strained attempts at being “down with the kids”. Some of the animation is a little clunky and the lip-syncing is way off the majority of the times. Some of the more action-oriented sequences that play more like a game than the interactive story adventure Life is Strange is at heart come off clunky and interrupt the flow.

All that aside it is still really difficult not to become engaged in Max’s emergent story-line. To really start to care for her and the characters that she encounters. The decisions start to pile up and unlike the more obvious ones of a Telltale title, these are a lot more subtle and layered. So many could be skipped over if you don’t take the time to explore your environment and the characters there-in. Life is StrangeEp2 1 Final Thoughts

Life is Strange: Episode 2 has taken the things we wanted to know more about and pushed them hard.  A major issue was that Max seemed overpowered and had little consequence to her power usage. Those have been addressed here and you start to think of Max less as a super-hero character and more of a fragile one.

Dontnod have some work to do with rounding off some of the rougher edges that do knock this series back. It might be a little too much to hope for with most of the script and voice work likely completed, but it certainly will be something to consider for a second season.

No denying that Life is Strange continues to push-on in the right direction, offering a credible, if a little rough, alternative to the Telltale brand of story-driven adventure titles. Episode 3 is very much anticipated after a climactic end to episode 2.

Don’t miss our play through of episode 2 on our YouTube channel and watch out for more on our Twitch channel!


Zeth

 
Zeth is our EU ninja and Editor in Chief. He's been writing about video games since 2008 when he started on BrutalGamer. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.