LIFE IS STRANGE 2 - EPISODE 1: ROADS
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on September 27, 2018
Yes, ladies and gentlemen; we are back, once again, for another grand adventure in the world of Life is Strange! As far as I know, this new installment will make no use of previous protagonists Max and no Chloe, but two brand new characters, who just happen to be brothers, are introduced as our "heroes". I'm a big fan of the previous two games of the Life is Strange series and I also loved the free episode of Captain Spirit, which was released earlier this year. So, I'm very curious to find out who these new characters are and what amazing adventures they, and we, are going to have in Life is Strange 2.
True to the Life is Strange tradition, Life is Strange 2 will be released in 5 separate episodes, so today I'm only going talk about Episode 1: Roads. When starting up the game, it asks me if I have played the first Life is Strange which, of course, I have, so I answer with a resounding "yes". I don't want to spoil the next question I was asked, but let's just say it immediately sets the right mood! It was like the developers thought: "Well, I think you're enough by now. You are? Great, then we're good to go!!!"
As I've mentioned above, Life is Strange 2 is about two brothers. Their names are Sean and Daniel and they live in a nice neighborhood with their father. It's October 2016 and Halloween is right around the corner. First we meet Sean and his best friend Lyla. They're planning to go to a party tonight, so Lyla tells Sean what to bring and how to behave when he sees Jenn, who Sean is secretly in love with. Sean then goes home, where we meet his father, Estaban, and his younger brother Daniel. Right off the bat, you're confronted with a choice. Your father and Daniel are discussing who should have the last candy. I love how I'm second guessing every choice I have to make. I'm afraid to think about how my answer come back to haunt me later on, even though my intention is always to do the right thing! Because as always in a Life is Strange game, your actions and choices do have consequences and influence the world around you and your brother.
Because of a number of events, you and your brother will end up on the run and it your job to take care of said younger brother. Although Sean and Daniel might not entirely be aware of it at that moment, I think it's safe to assume that Daniel has some sort of telekinetic powers. But you're not going to use these powers, because you take the role of Sean. Sean is fifteen or sixteen years old and a typical teenager; insecure, rebellious and above all, trying to find out who he really is. And now instead of worrying about school, girls and homework, he has to figure out a way for him and his brother to stay safe and, above all, alive!
There are several very awesome details and options in Life is Strange 2. Again, you'll have access to a Smartphone, which was the thing the developers used to add even more depth to the story in the previous games. Checking the messages from your friends and family, provides you with additional information in a very cool and logical way, especially for teenagers. A new feature is Sean's backpack. You can customize Sean's backpack with all kinds of accessories, even with some Arcadia Bay items. Awesome! The first item I chose was the blue butterfly, which I recognize from the first game. It looks so pretty! While playing the game, you can collect more and more items to customize your backpack. The world of this Life is Strange game is, once again, really beautiful and detailed. While I was exploring the house of the Sean's family, I found a gaming console; the Playbox! Well played Dontnod, well played!
My first play through of episode 1 took about two and a half hours. So within this time, I followed one storyline and I'm already thinking of what would have happened if I had made other choices. It's just the first episode but, already, it has some intense moments and difficult choices to make. The experience Life is Strange 2 offers you is not limited to the lives of just the main characters. The two brothers are of Mexican descent and at some point someone mentions that they are the reason Americans should build a wall... This kind of grim realism is woven throughout the game and truly enhances the entire experience.
Well, I'm signing off now, because I decided I need a second play through of the first episode, if only to see how other choices will affect the story. I promise to keep you updated about every episode and write another review when it's time for the last episode! This first episode shows the promise of another intense and emotional story about teenagers which, in my opinion, is what Life is Strange does best!