Life is Strange 2 : Roads

Life is Strange is a game series that I am so in love with. We’ve battled through teenage angst, unlocked mysteries and fallen in love with LiS and BtS NOW we move onto something a little different as LiS moves to a completely different story which kind of started with The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit and continues with Sean and Daniel Diaz…

So many people got really shitty online about the story changing focus from teenage girls to a teenage and young boy but as a female I feel this story really hit me so much harder in one episode then any of the Max/Chloe/Kate stories we were told.

For me Sean is, strangely, a more relatable character then Max ever was. I liked Max to a point but there is no hiding from the fact that she was selfish, bratty and privileged. Most of the drama surrounding her wasn’t actually her drama, not only that but the main story problem that she had to sort out was caused by her by complete accident. She was quite rude to certain people no matter what actions you choose and in a way her indecisive nature over a lot of issues made her not a very nice person.

Sean on the other hand is more normal and down to earth for me.

He’s just a 16 year old with a loving dad, a mum who left them and a brother who he loves but like most 16 year old’s he doesn’t have the time for. It doesn’t make him a bad brother, until something horrible happens to him he probably thinks he has a lifetime ahead of him to spend with 9 year old Daniel, as a older sister I was exactly the same as a teenager only a little less so because the age gap between me and my sisters was much smaller then theirs. He wants to go out with his friends, get drunk, smoke weed and maybe get lucky with the girl he’s been talking too.

It was easy to fall in love with the Diaz family which made their downfall all the more heartbreaking.

Maybe that is why I loved the game so much. Max was always fighting to sort out Chloe’s life and whilst I felt more attached to Chloe and enjoyed BtS more then LiS by a fraction BECAUSE of that in LiS2 the problems we’re facing as Sean are personal. It happens to Sean, it directly involves Sean, Sean is not sticking his nose into someone else’s business or getting caught up in drama he could avoid. The heartbreak, the racism, the political heat EVERYTHING is directed at Sean, Daniel and their father.

Not only that it is something you see on TV all the time. Trump wants to build a wall to keep Mexican’s out, I don’t need to live in America to figure out just how badly some Mexicans and American born Mexicans might be treated so the letter in the house from the neighbour with the very strong feeling of “I’m American so do as I say foreigner” as well as the older guy later on who is happy to announce that he “can’t wait for that wall” to be built really made my blood boil, the fact that a police officer came up and over reacted the way he did to teenagers and ended up doing what he did is something we hear about happening all the time to minorities in America so again it felt real. These are things that you just know are happening and even as a white, English female so far detached from the events of this game and the real life instances of things like this happening it really hit home how broken the world is.

Some people don’t like that and it is fair enough. They don’t want to be reminded of how shitty the world is when playing a video game. Those people obviously didn’t pay attention to a lot of the real life problems stuffed into LiS and BtS because THIS is what Life is Strange is about. They are games with supernatural things going on but based in a reality that people can understand.

LiS2 feels more relatable because it is more personal to the main character. Both deal with real, scary and life changing problems teenagers in the world have to contend with. Bullying for whatever reason, changes that don’t come easy, adults over reacting and causing more problems then they should, political climates effecting how teenagers can get help, reach out or even understand who they are. That is the core of LiS. They might have avoided much political talk in LiS but that is because at the end of the day we were playing as two white teenage girls, I like the refocus and I think it is good that they are bringing up real world politics in the game.

Whilst I loved Roads a whole bunch I do share some concerns that others have.

In the first game there was a whole bunch of world building which is why people became attached to Arcadia Bay and its characters. This one is going to be based on the road so whilst you obviously get to know Sean and Daniel a whole bunch as the story is very much centred on their relationship and the super powers Daniel has no idea he has we also don’t get the side characters that you did in the first game. Whilst I feel this episode packed a punch will it still pack a punch one or two episodes down the line with a ever changing cast of characters? Other then Brody who has the ability to show up again and maybe Layla coming back as a character, even the old man showing up again to cause more trouble in a grudge against two Mexican kids, there really is nobody in this episode who you can really get to know and learn about that will be there in person in episode 2 onwards.

It is a small worry and probably one that won’t mean much in the end as after all it is a completely different game with a different dynamic and a different story being told and I have faith in Square Enix to make it as captivating and engrossing as both series before it.

The gameplay is pretty much the same, looking at the actions that could have happened at the end of the episode it shows that your actions to a point do have a big effect on Daniel as I learnt that he could have stolen from Brody, a action I guess unlocked if he see’s you stealing a lot something I didn’t do at all though wish I had in the end. Whilst it is dialogue heavy and it felt like we had less options to choose from ourselves I was completely engrossed in the series from the beginning.

I never reviewed The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit and it surprised me when LiS2 was shown to be about Sean and Daniel because I thought we’d get to see more Chris from that demo, I hope he does pop up as he seems to have the same powers as Daniel plus… At the end of the demo it said something along the lines of we’ll get to see something of Chris in the next game and I want to know what happens to that kid too.

Overall it is just a brilliant first episode and I’m dying already for the next.

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