LIFE IS STRANGE
Episode Two: Out of Time
Developed by DONTNOD ENTERTAINMENT
Published by Square Enix
PC Steam Review
Also available on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Read my review of Episode 1 for full details of the game
Picking up where we left off from Episode One, Max awakens in her dorm room at Blackwell Academy where she is slowly coming to terms with her time-travelling powers. However, that’s only one of her concerns when Kate, one of her school friends, is becoming a target of hatred after a video of her kissing abunch of boys at a Vortex Party goes viral. Being a religious type, Kate’s activity is frowned upon by her family who spot the video and she becomes the talk of the school with everyone viewing the video and hurling abuse at her. Max attempts to comfort her friend who insists that she doesn’t remember doing those things in the video and fears she may have been drugged by none other than Nathan – Max’s enemy.
Meanwhile, best friend Chloe is keen to see Max’s superpowers in action and agrees to meet Max at the Two Whales diner to see them for herself and to try out a few experiments of her own. After all, it’s not like everyone has a best friend with superpowers!
Episode 2 of Life Is Strange may continue the story of the game but feels like a steep drop in quality from the opening episode. Episode Two is incredibly short. Just as you start getting into it, the episode ends. It feels too short to be an episode with meaning. Instead, it feels as though it’s only present to set up the next episode which is tipped to be released in May. With the delayed release, I thought there’d have been more depth to the episode but I was disappointed with the result. Even the audio didn’t sync up with the mouth movements during cutscenes which really threw me at times. I suppose this is the problem when you have such a strong opening episode – it leads to expectations of similar quality and if that’s not fulfilled, it leaves a bitter taste.
As with the first episode, you often have multiple choice answers to give which will affect the storyline and you will be presented with problems that can be solved using Max’s rewind-time power. This particular power is used in the diner, the junkyard and at school towards the end of the episode.
Players who suffer from motion sickness should be wary of the junkyard scene where you have to find five bottles for Chloe to shoot. The sway of the camera made me very ill and I struggled my way through this section between trying to find the last bottle and throwing up. Once you get past this particular section, the motion sickness triggers will disappear and you should be okay.
Though the game mechanics and visuals are still stunning, this particular episode feels like a poor continuation in terms of plot and gameplay. Hopefully the third episode will add some spice and depth to sink your teeth into.