Developer: DontNod Entertainment
Publisher: Square Enix
Review Context: I’m no stranger to interactive adventure games; I have played and completed the likes of Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, The Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead Game Season 1, and The Walking Dead Game Season 2.
Date of Playthrough: May 28, 2015
The third episode of Life Is Strange takes place just hours after the events that transpired in the previous episode. Our main protagonist, Max Caulfield is still trying to grasp the limits of her powers and still needs to find a way to prevent the event from her nightmare from becoming reality. But there are more pressing matters at the moment; there is a scandal surrounding fellow classmates at Blackwell Academy and she intends to get to the bottom of it. After putting together evidence she has gathered, she comes to the conclusion that clues may lie in the confinements of the school. Together with her best friend Chloe, she plans to stealthily enter the school in order to find any clues that may shed light on her burning questions.
Chloe and Max are together pretty much together throughout the entire episode, and because of this, their bond grows even deeper. We also gain more insight on Chloe’s past and what caused her to transform from an innocent easy going girl, to a rebel always set on causing trouble. This episode is considerably less action heavy than the previous episodes. Instead, it focuses more on exploring, finding clues, heavy dialogue, character development and pivotal choice making. There was one action sequence worth noting however; this involved having to sneak past school guards on high alert. This sequence is very short lived and being able to rewind time if you are caught diminishes some of the suspense, but I still found it to be enjoyable, thanks largely to the dark environment this took place in and the thrilling soundtrack accompanying it.
Although the gameplay had noticeably less tense moments this time around, I still found quite a bit of enjoyment out of this episode and I found myself fully tuned in. Life is Strange continues to impress with the way it allows you to use your time powers to not only solve puzzles and get out of a bad situation, but also for obtaining better dialogue options. For example, say a person you’re talking to tells you something important but you need more to go on, you can rewind time, bring up the info you received, and by doing so it is more than likely you will obtain more info than you had before.
The visuals in this episode are more of the same; besides being able to explore newer areas inside the school, there’s really nothing new to see here. Whether you love or hate the visuals in Life is Strange, chances are this episode will probably not change your mind. As far as the sound and presentation go, they worked quite wel, but there are some issues that while not game-breaking, need to be addressed. For one, the lip syncing is still way off, and seeing as how we’re already in the third episode, I think it’s safe to assume that we’re just going to have deal with it at this point. I also found that some facial expressions gestures come out as awkward and unnatural. In a game where you spend quite a bit of time carefully observing every little thing, these elements tend to stand out more than usual.
To sum everything up, I highly enjoyed this episode. It may not have been as exciting as the previous episode, but it easily makes up for that with a great script, interesting dialogue, clever gameplay, progressive character developments, and surprising reveals. I’m not going to spoil much, but towards the end of this episode, Max uses this new time power which completely changes everything and everyone around her. This event also has dire consequences, leading to a completely unexpected ending that literally made my mouth drop and left me wanting more. The ending was a well utilized cliffhanger and I can’t wait to see what happens next. While not as polished as games like The Wolf Among Us and Heavy rain, the good folks at DontNod Entertainment definitely have something special here. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
Similar Games Liked:
Heavy Rain (PS3)
The Wolf Among Us (PS3)
Beyond: Two Souls (PS3)
The Walking Dead Game Season 1 (PS3)