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Posts Tagged ‘Life is Strange’

Video Game Review: Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Episode 2

October 25, 2017 | by Mike Chen | Comments (0)
Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Chloe and Rachel’s relationship is given more depth in Brave New World.

Please note that since each episode of Life is Strange: Before the Storm features the same graphics engine and control setup, those elements will not be repeated in our reviews for the final two episodes. To read our thoughts on that, refer to our review of Episode 1: Awake.

Before the Storm was originally seen as a somewhat unnecessary prequel to Life is Strange. Yet the first episode succeeded despite all odds (expectations from the original cult game, a different developer, a lack of magical powers) and created an in-depth experience as fan-favorite Chloe. The second episode of the trilogy, entitled Brave New World, takes the foundation laid by the first and builds upon it in deeper, more meaningful ways.

With major set pieces involving a school play, an intense family argument, and an awkward dinner, the pieces are starting to fall into place between the Chloe of the original game and the one starring in the prequel series.

Each of these segments allows for exploration of Chloe’s reactions and choices during moments, like how to handle impromptu performances on stage or react to someone else’s parents during dinner. The writing staff has done a good job of letting moments breathe, turning tropes on their head, and giving space to add dimension to other characters.

The result is a three-hour experience that long-time series fans will treasure. The only challenge now is whether or not the finale delivers a payoff worthy of the previous two episodes.

OVERALL (4.25/5)

A must-play for fans of the series, Brave New World pushes Chloe’s character in unexpected and endearing ways while setting up a cliffhanger for the final episode. It’s the ideal middle act of what has been an engaging story.

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Video Game Review: Life is Strange, Episode 5

October 28, 2015 | by Mike Chen | Comments Comments Off
Episode 5: Polarized immediately starts from the previous episode’s cliffhanger, which took the series into much darker territory than the earlier episodes, and Polarized dips into the survival-horror genre in the same way that previous installments lifted elements from other genres.
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Video Game Review: Life is Strange, Episode 4

July 30, 2015 | by Mike Chen | Comments Comments Off
Dontnod has had to incorporate decisions from the past three episodes and create dialogue for all possible outcomes. Given that, there are some notably awkward transitions in which it seems like the dialogue tree permutations didn’t exactly sync up. This is noticeable in two particular sequences, one at a trailer park and one at a party. You’ll feel yourself gaining momentum with the character and then they’ll say something completely opposite.
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Video Game Review: Life is Strange, Episode 3

May 25, 2015 | by Mike Chen | Comments Comments Off
Puzzles now require a bit of lateral thinking, which is a great way to exploit Max’s rewind powers outside of simply exploring dialogue trees. The game still has fetch quests, but there’s a bigger payoff by integrating rewind abilities into them thanks to Max’s evolving powers. There’s also an awkward stealth sequence that can be completed without a lot of stealth. We give Dontnod marks for trying to add variety into the gameplay, but it could have been thought out better, particularly with the unique mechanic of rewinding time.
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Video Game Review: Life is Strange, Episode 2

April 6, 2015 | by Mike Chen | Comments Comments Off
Despite a sluggish middle passage, Out of Time ends with an organic closing beat while opening more threads for future episodes. In short, there is plenty of anticipation for what happens next, though developers Dontnod will have hopefully evaluated how to integrate puzzle segments more effectively.
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