Developer: Deck Nine
Release Date: 10/19/17
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Windows PC
ESRB/PEGI: M/PEGI 16
MSRP: $16.99 USD (season pass)
By Jose Gonzalez / DicloniusGames
As the bond between Chloe and Rachel deepens, the plot thickens and reveals more towards Rachel’s backstory and what may lead her down the path of no return.
Life Is Strange Episode 2 starts off after the events of episode one and the fire that both Chloe and Rachel caused, thus causing a chain reaction of events that starts Chloe’s path of rebellion with her eventual stepfather David and her continued isolation towards her mother, along with her association with Frank.
While we see more of the obvious places in Arcadia Bay, we get to flesh out more of the junkyard that becomes Chloe and Rachel’s special spot, and while it looks different from the original Life Is Strange, it contains its nitpicks here and there that make it stand out from the original.
We even get an insight into Frank’s character a bit and see he does try and stay friendly to Chloe a little bit unless it comes to business. Frank comes off as your typical pretend badass hiding behind his insecurities, but at times, he can be cool.
The only other new characters brought to the table and the only other new location we get to see is Rachel’s house and her parents. Her parents are the typical suburbanites living in the upper middle class who get by just fine. We get to unravel more of Rachel’s character as she plans something major with Chloe towards the end of the episode, and it proves that either she’s rubbing off on Chloe or Chloe is rubbing off on Rachel. Either way, they’re influencing one another.
Gameplay hasn’t changed a bit, and that’s pretty much a good thing for this episode. As we unveil more of what will eventually happen to Rachel, we get to see some different backtalk opportunities with Chloe.
For example, in a conversation with Principal Wells in his office, you get the opportunity to influence the conversation your way. As noted in my previous review, paying attention to dialogue is key as one mistake can prove to be costly as you attempt to sway conversations your way. While the backtalk system is a bit better in this episode, again, it feels like you have to do all the persuading and get three or four answers correct while the person you’re arguing with only needs one and that feels a little bit unbalanced (but also satisfying when Chloe uses her infamous attitude to get her way).
There isn’t much else to say in the gameplay department, as there aren’t any noticeable changes outside of the optional graffiti tags.
Overall, episode 2 does little to change the formula from episode 1... but that’s not bad, either. It builds upon the developing relationship between Rachel and Chloe as well as developing the backstories of both David and Frank, and we even see the security guard who David replaced as a small nod.
The only nitpicks come from the somewhat unbalanced backtalk system in this episode, as it seems you’re doing more of the work than the characters you argue with when the opportunity arises. The pacing seemed a tad slow as well (but not extremely slow).
Pros and Cons
Great character and story development between Rachel & Chloe +6
Fun but also cool choices for the optional graffiti +2.5
Great use of familiar & new environments like Blackwell & the junkyard as well as Rachel’s home +2
Backtalk feels a bit uneven and unfair at times -1
Minor pacing issues halt the major happenings of the episode -1
FINAL SCORE: 8.5