LIFE IS STRANGE
Episode Three: Chaos Theory
Developed by DONTNOD ENTERTAINMENT
Published by Square Enix
PC Steam Review
Also available on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Following on from the traumatic events at the end of Episode 2, Episode 3 Chaos Theory sees best friends Max and Chloe investigate the Principal’s secrets being held within Blackwell Academy and by Chloe’s step-father David, who also works at the school as a security guard. Max is convinced there’s some connection between missing student Rachel Amber, Kate and Nathan. Max also discovers an enhanced ability to her rewind power that could change the future forever.
After a disappointing Episode 2, LIFE IS STRANGE Chaos Theory picks up the baton and displays terrific plot and gameplay that was demonstrated in the very first episode. A large chunk of Chaos Theory is set at Blackwell Academy where Max must explore, sneak, find objects and use her rewind ability to complete the various tasks set out in front of her. As always, there’s consequential actions presented to her that you, as the player, must choose between to both further the game and change the ultimate outcome. There’s also optional photo opportunities if you find them which will unlock achievements via Steam.
Chaos Theory, though set in the present, focuses on the past, building a backstory that has been much talked about in the previous episodes. With scenes at Chloe’s house and the Two Whales restaurant, we learn more details about Rachel Amber’s life, her connections to drug dealer Frank and the exploits of Nathan Prescott’s family. Chloe also discusses her father William a lot and how life hasn’t been the same since he passed away, particularly with the arrival of step-father David who seems to have it in for his step-daughter and some of the students at Blackwell.
Breathtaking graphics and gameplay mechanics make LIFE IS STRANGE Chaos Theory a thoroughly entertaining episode and unique game to play. The teen story really involves the player, particularly through the consequential choices, even if some of the dialogue is a bit too self-aware and cliche. The sync issues with the dialogue and the characters is still an issue but with the game back on form, it’s easily overlooked.
Chaos Theory climaxes with a very intriguing cliff-hanger that throws the entire game up into the air as we currently know it. There’s a couple of ways the game could go from here, but it seems that whatever the outcome, the game will continue with its focus on the mysterious Vortex Club and its questionable activities.