Sunday, October 6, 2019

Life is Strange 2: a very short review

I didn't play Life is Strange, the first effort by Paris-based Dont Nod Studios, although my son and my grand-daughter both did, avidly.

I went directly to this year's Life is Strange 2, which isn't really a sequel despite the name.

Life is Strange 2 is not your typical video game; it's more like an interactive television show.

It's like a television show in that it's designed to be consumed episodically: I've finished 4 of the 5 episodes (Episode 5 will be released in December), and the episodes are released incrementally, so you don't get the entire game at once, but rather there are these significant gaps where you are waiting for the next episode and you get to reflect upon the story so far.

And it's interactive in the sense that the story unfolds differently, depending on the choices that you make. Different events occur; various characters behave differently; different options are available as the game progresses.

An interesting side note is that, at the end of each episode, the game tells you a little bit about how your choices compared to those of other players of the game: 43% chose to play the game this way, 16% chose that way, etc.

Although the game is clearly targeted at high-schoolers, it's fascinating for people of almost any age, although it's definitely loaded with mature topics and wouldn't be a good game for a child younger than, say 14 or 15 years old. In Life is Strange 2 we have already dealt with lots of heavy duty themes, including parenting styles, gender identity, xenophobia, drug abuse and addiction, and more.

When I play the game, the hours just fly by. It's not uncommon for me to sit down to "just play for 30 minutes", and come up for air 2 hours later, not even realizing how much time has passed.

Life is Strange 2 is definitely not for everyone, but I can't wait for the last episode to arrive!

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