Life is Strange is one of the biggest surprises of recent years. An episodic adventure created by the French Dontnod Entertainment that started in a very modest way, but that little by little was gaining followers until becoming a great success, which has even had a prequel created by a different study: Life is Strange: Before the Storm.
In just a month the French studio will return with the sequel of its greatest success so far, and for this, they have had the courageous idea of leaving aside Max, Chloe, and Arcadia Bay and betting on an entirely new story and characters, that they have hidden until this week. Because The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, the curious free prologue that they released in June, rather than giving clues to the sequel, it indeed misled.
Life is Strange 2 will be starred by two brothers, Sean and Daniel Diaz, aged 16 and 9, who due to exceptional circumstances are forced to flee their home in a fictional town in Seattle, in what will be a road movie by the west coast of the United States , to try to get to Mexico, to the birthplace of his father.
Without the surprise factor of the first and with a lot of glances on top, in Dontnod feel the pressure and responsibility to make a sequel that is up to what many expect, and it shows that they are putting all their effort and that Square Enix has put more money on the table this time, something that is reflected in the production values.
The proposal will be identical again, a narrative adventure with decisions, some puzzles and all in a realistic context and with credible characters, which will deal with everyday issues in reality but not in video games, such as relations between brothers, racism, education or the passage from childhood to adulthood.
With quite improved graphics as we saw in the prologue Captain Spirit thanks to having changed the engine, now with the Unreal Engine 4, we were more impressed by the improvements in the narrative and the mechanics of the game, with dialogs and cinematics integrated with the gameplay, being everything much more organic.
Now there are many more elements and more ways to interact with everything that surrounds us, whether to pick up and observe objects or just make a comment on what we are seeing, and when the whole game goes as a couple there will be interactions that allude to the little brother, since we control Sean, the oldest.
The creative director of the game told us that Daniel’s artificial intelligence had been one of the biggest challenges, getting him to move and behave realistically and convincingly, at his own free will, but at the same time having constant and interesting conversations with his brother, some very funny as we could check.
Now when starting or ending many of the cinematics there are no transitions, as many games are asked today, something that is appreciated. It is curious to see how in the environment things happen in the background while we are doing something, which helps to create that feeling that was already quite achieved in the first game that we are in the real world, even if it is a work of fiction. Here this game enhanced by the fact that there will be a greater variety of locations, and we will visit many natural areas of the United States really beautiful, with surprising lighting at times.
We cannot forget that one of the key aspects of the first, that the protagonist had a special power that allowed her to rewind time. In the prequel ‘Before the Storm’ they discarded the supernatural elements in the gameplay, but in this sequel, it will be something important again. What is Sean’s special power? Well, we still do not know for sure, but it seems quite dangerous, because not knowing how to control it is the trigger of the story, which initiates the journey of the two brothers.
The adventure in terms of its graphics, its sound, its mechanics and its narrative we love it, but the way in which events unfold that start the story has not been able Like us less , it is very hasty and not very credible, something that squeaks especially in a game that when building its world and characters it does it with realism.
In addition to the graphics that we have already commented that we have liked a lot, we also want to highlight the soundtrack, which will again have Jonathan Morali for the original compositions, and then a series of licensed songs that seem to point very high. Already the prologue had the beautiful song “Death with Dignity” by Sufjan Stevens, and at the beginning of the first episode of Life is Strange 2 “Lisztomania” by the French band Phoenix sounds, so it seems that Square Enix is spending a lot.
We already enjoyed the first one a lot, and we like that they have bet on new characters and an entirely different story, with more complete and elaborated interactions, where the experience acquired by Dontnod is realized doing this kind of adventures.
Life is Strange 2, will be formed by five episodes, and the first of them will arrive very soon, on September 27 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.