Life is Strange 2 (PS4/XBO/PC)
That's just outright disappointing.
This whole Episode 2 is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. I was completely gripped in the teenage melodrama in the scenes leading up to the Halloween party then the game slowly started losing me as it progress onward. It's created some solid gameplay scenarios by introducing money, discovering objects along the way, super powers. Problem is that the stand out scene in Ep 1 was the gas station. That was a prime example of storytelling meshing amazingly with the new money system. Survival vs honesty vs resource management. Great stuff.
The rest of Ep 1 and 2 is just a lot of walking around and looking at objects. We waited MONTHS for Ep 2 and it was promised to be their most ambitious but it felt like an on-rails segment through and through. It has less use of the new mechanics from Ep 1 and the story only has a few stand out moments. They've sort of missed opportunities to create tension and grip you whereas every episode of Life Is Strange 1 and BtS had this.
I'm hoping from now until May 9th they aren't just polishing it but really working out the story, and massaging a unique twist on the adventure game. LiS1 has the time mechanic AND photography. Both compliment decision making and exploration. LiS 2 has some telekinetic super powers and an inventory/money system. Let's use these good ideas for some compelling gameplay and storytelling cause if Ep 3 is disappointing after a five month wait, that'll just be pretty aggravating as somebody who purchased the game outright in like October to support a series I've loved. The drawing minigame isn't as good as the photography minigame but I think they have enough in the core gameplay to make up for it.
Here's to hoping.
Sentinel Beach last edited by
Episode 3 is now out for those who have started the journey. Personally, I'm still waiting.
DIPSET last edited by
Might tag Chapter 3 onto my Silent Hill playthrough this weekend.
Am I the only person playing along? I have nobody to talk to this game about at work or on here.
This game is hurting me because I love the series. It just keeps getting more and more disappointing. After playing through this short third episode, I feel like the story is just spinning its wheels and doesn't have any clear goal in sight.
There was exactly ONE fun to remotely amusing gameplay scenario which comes in the last 10-15 minutes of the 2.5-3 hour episode. There is one quick scene where you need to gather tools with the illusion of suspense but no bad outcomes, and one final scene which can play out a few different ways, but regardless, one particular thing happens that is out of your control.
The disappointment just keep oozing from the seams in this episode. I don't know what Don't Nod was thinking when they decided to force the player into a relationship with quite possibly the most unlikable characters possible: a bunch of lazy, dirty, stoner, hippes who just complain, sulk, and loathe. There is quite actually an entire scene where the hippies take turns complaining about their non-problems around a campfire. I assume the intent of this scene is to make Sean and Daniel's plight feel far more significant compared to the hippes, but it doesn't change the fact that you still have to sit through a bunch of complaining for like 10 minutes.
What could be worse?
Well... The game forces Sean (the player) to not only be friends with the hippies, but forces you to be romantically involved with them. Why would they take that element of player control away from us? What about my love for my best friend Lyla? When the chapter begins, we already have a history with the dread locked hippy girl and you only have the option to push away from her but some semblance of feelings already exist and are mentioned by the side characters. It feels not only forced but completely out of left field as this is an entirely NEW character who was only briefly introduced for 2 seconds in a scene from Episode 2. By contrast, Chloe's relationship with Rachel was on-going from the very first scene in Episode 1 in Before The Storm.
The gameplay in this episode isn't interesting either. There is a chopping weed mini-game, and later you move water jugs across the camp, then finally there is one sort of "investigation" part at the very end. That's it... that's... it?! This again, is quite possibly the most boring the series has gotten so far.
I have to say, they may have missed the mark entirely on this sequel. We are 50% through and it feels aimless, almost as though they are writing the plot extremely close to the release. I reeeealllly hope they hone this story with the next two episodes, but the quality of Ep 2 and especially Ep 3 have taken a nose dive compared to Episode 1.
The silver lining...
It seems as though Ep 4 is going to be a lone wolf story, which would also go along with the wolf motif. I like Daniel, but I can do without his emotions being the climatic crux of every episode. Lets learn more about Sean on his own.
After ranting and raving about Episode 2 & 3, I finished Episode 4 last weekend and I think its not only the best episode of Life Is Strange 2, but possibly one of the best episodes in the entire series!
The overarching success of this episode is that there was a clear and compelling story mission here. Episode 4 has a self contained beginning, middle, and ending which makes it feel like a whole experience instead of an aimless one. You begin alone in the hospital, injured and depressed without any indication of where your little brother might be. Later, you learn not only where he is, but how challenging it will be to reach him. Your goal is set within the first scene and you work towards that goal every subsequent scene. I know this sounds obvious, but the past two episodes have been extremely aimless so I'd like to draw attention to why this episode actually works.
They also took one of the hippy kids from the last episode and gave him more context which I appreciate because those hippy kids were very under-characterized and added very little to the narrative other than to pad the length of the game. Now this character feels substantial to this section of the plot which was a great way to tie the last episode into this episode. I think Life Is Strange works best when the immediate cast you interact with is small.
One thing I really appreciate is that they created real gameplay scenarios instead of hauling jugs or anything like that. You also only have one eye this episode so your vision is impaired and that comes into play in a few minor ways. I feel as though the gameplay went back to its roots a lot in this episode. You have moments to just take in your environment, but there is also some minute to minute decision making, some intense thriller-like scenes, and some problem solving. There is also decision that feels like a build-up moment at the end of the episode. For once, the characterization of the main cast comes down to player choice which is wonderful.
OVERALL THINGS THAT MAKE THIS EPISODE GREAT
- The stakes are high
- Choices feel like they matter
- There are multiple gameplay scenarios here: i.e. hiding, escaping, snooping
- Very tense plot that has a self-contained beginning-middle-end
- Trademark "take-a-knee" moments feel hard earned and valuable
Life Is Strange 2 keep telling us that Sean and Daniel are going through hell but until Episode 4, you never feel it. Sure, they explicity show you some of the brutality Sean has to endure, but its not just the physical pain - its everything. He's done, he's beat, he's tired, and the situations you're put in really make you feel like giving up but his love for his family shines here. Don't Nod finally broke through to me.
DIPSET last edited by
Hmmmm. I know people will rejoin this thread and read things once the full game is available so no conversation will happen for a bit, but it seems I have minority opinion here based on discourse online. Some people consider this last episode to be the worst in the series and I'm saying its one of the best.
I think in general, LiS2 is mixed.
I finally started the series. About halfway through episode 2 now. Hoping to finish episode 2 this week and knock out at 3 and 4 over the next month (busy job and two little kids at home). I'll def join the conversation as I go.
So far, I'm feeling it. I loved LiS and LiS:BtS and was worried about the sequel (per my post nearly a year ago above) but I'm liking the Diaz brothers and the road-trip vibe of this one so far.
I completed the final episode this weekend. I think Episode 5 reeled it all in in a meaningful way. I've complained a lot about my choices meaning very little in LiS 2 but the way you shape Daniel throughout really plays its hand in this episode. My version of Daniel did what I wanted him to do without resistance so I got a pretty solid ending from my point of view.
That said, this episode was the shortest yet with no more than 3 major scenes and only two of them were really gameplay oriented. You could rifle through this in an hour or less very easily. I stand by LiS2 being aimless but at least there were story resolutions that make it worthwhile in the end.
While I appreciate that Huber and Blood think Life Is Strange 2 is one of the best games of the year, I have to disagree with them in that it relies too heavily on natural human affection. Obviously you want to root for Daniel and Sean and obviously their brotherly bond is so strong and contagious as a player, but outside of this, there isn't a ton to latch onto for me. Other than Lyla in Episode 1, I didn't latch onto many of these ancillary characters. Daniel and Sean go through hell and back and that helps Life Is Strange 2's themes such as unfairness, undeserved mistreatment, strength, and pride but it doesn't challenge you very much with these themes but rather dog piles a ton of misfortunes onto the Diaz brothers which gets tiresome after 5 episodes.
I rate Episode 5 7.5/10
Now I'll wait for people to catch up on the discussion.
Since my last post, I have played through episodes 1-4. Gonna try to get through 5 sometime this weekend. I have honestly loved most of it so far. I think many of @DIPSET 's points are valid. It does not have quite the urgency and direction of the first game (no apocalypic world event on the horizon) and some of the supporting characters are douchey, but I actually think that serves more to focus on the brothers' relationship and solidify the fact that they are the constant against a moving backdrop of people who flit in and out of their lives. I do wish they had brought Lyla back in some way as she seemed to be another emotional nexus for both boys but she's tossed away with your cellphone in episode 1/2 (again, haven't played 5). I would say it is on par, but not better than, the first LiS overall. I am glad that they tried something different rather than just repeat what worked last time.) In both games, I do wish they sortof explained the nature of the powers. As it is, Max can control time and Daniel has telekenesis because reasons. If nothing else, I'm definitely excited to see where they go with LiS3. Anyway, I'll update this with my final impressions after I play episode 5.
Actually went ahead and played episode 5 and finished it today. One last observation: I think more than any other game of this type, the ending felt like MY ending based on choices I made throughout the 5 episodes. The original LiS came down to a binary decision that determined which of two endings you got, no matter how you played the game up until that point. LiS2 factors player choice into its conclusion more than any other adventure game I am aware of. From what I understand, there are up to 7 endings possible based on what kind of example you set for Daniel throughout the series. I am not even inclined to youtube the other 6 endings because they feel like they belong to someone else. I am content with how my playthrough ended because it was consistent with my Sean and Daniel. I think Dontnod should be commended for that.