- System: PS4, PC, Xbox One
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
- Release Date: October 26, 2018
- Price:$7.99 (Season Pass $39.99)
- Rating: M for Mature
- Genre: Adventure
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://lifeisstrange.square-enix-games.com/en-us
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Similar to Life is Strange 1, Life is Strange 2 is an episodic game meaning each episode will be released in certain intervals. Our review will cover the first episode of Life is Strange 2 which begins the tale of the Diaz brothers—Sean and Daniel—as they go forth on an epic journey. We will also avoid spoilers—as it’s easy to spoil Life is Strange 2 Episode 1—so we will just say the story is amazing so far. There’s a lot of depth and heart to Sean and Daniel’s predicament and like the original title, each choice you make—big or small—has some weight to it as the episode plays out. Choose to lie to someone important and that lie might cause you to have to make some bad choices later in order to try and survive. You will find that Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 really makes you sit and think about each choice and the gravity said choice has on shaping the future of these young brothers.
In terms of gameplay, Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 plays out almost exactly like the 2015 entry. Players will occasionally walk around controlling Sean—the older brother—as they move about locations and explore various settings. There are tons of things to see in do in Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 and some of these sights can actually change a moment shared by the brothers later in game. Making choices is where Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 truly rises to call as there are a ton of major choices to make that really cause ripple effects. Developer Dontnod Entertainment did an excellent job with Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 giving players a lot more choices than the first Life is Strange gave and there are some moments where you’re given not one but three choices to really make for some interesting story shifts. In particular, there’s a choice moment near the end of the first episode that left us crying—legit, we shed tears—when we had to decide what to do between several options. Bring a tissue box with you if you’re an emotional person like some of us here at Honey’s Anime…you’re going to need several.
Graphically and sound wise, Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 looks reminiscent of Life is Strange 1 but with visual upgrades and a new OST to capture a young male’s taste rather than the music used to describe Max’s life. We loved the lush backdrops and cel-shading art but did notice it had a few odd technical oddities and inconsistencies here and there. Yet, we never felt these moments ruined the experience and it was a rare thing to see. The music and voice acting though really sell the world of Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 and we were blown away by how good it sounded. Sean sounds like a teenager going through pain, heartbreak and confusion while Daniel sounds like how a kid would, just going with the flow but occasionally showing signs of understanding and/or questioning why his brother acts a specific way.
Another element we almost failed to mention is Daniel himself. While players are taking the role of the big brother Sean, you need to be mindful that Daniel is like all kids…a walking sponge. That means that choices you make, decisions you take and actions that unfold will cause Daniel to change. We noticed that if we were loving to Daniel, he was quick to come running to us like a younger brother would. However, if we scared Daniel too many times or were rough, his reactions towards us were more hesitant. We can only imagine what else Life is Strange 2 has in store for us with how Daniel will be affected by our choices but we were amazed Dontnod entertainment created such a neat side system that isn’t overly apparent. If you are a big loving brother in real life, just think what an action would do to your sibling and how that same action could affect Daniel in game.
Lastly, let us say while almost everything in Life is Strange Episode 1 was perfect, there was one minor issue we had. Honestly, it’s a small problem but the drawing mini-game is…pretty lackluster. Sean—who is an artist at times—will sketch some set pieces in game allowing the player to focus on a subject and then rotate the left stick till the image is drawn. Why this mini-game is so simple, we don’t know, but it does feel pointless at times. Maybe Life is Strange 2 Episode 2 will show some improvements to the drawing mini-game but if we don’t see it again, we won’t’ feel too bad.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Solid visuals to create lush environments and character models
- Beautiful story with a ton of tear jerker moments that hit your heart in waves
- Nice variety in choices making replaying the first episode very much worth it
- Wonderful soundtrack that captures you and hits all the right notes when the need arises
- Multiple playthroughs is a must
- Drawing mini-game is pretty unoriginal
- Some visual inconsistencies here and there but minor