Life is Strange 2: Our hands-on impressions of the narrative adventure

Life is Strange 2 has been confirmed by DONTNOD Entertainment and we’ll be getting our first taste of it in 2018. The five-episode series will begin in September 2018, following in the footsteps of Captain Spirit, a free prelude now available across PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Trusted Reviews has put together everything you need to know about Life is Strange 2 including all the info on its release date, gameplay, trailers, news and our hands-on preview. 


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Life is Strange Season 2 – What is it?

Life is Strange Season 2 has been officially announced by DONTNOD Entertainment. It will consist of five episodes, the first of which is expected to drop on September 27, 2018.

In terms of narrative, it’s expected to feature some of the characters first introduced in The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, a free spin-off now available across PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Life is Strange Season 2 trailer – How does it look?

You can check out the full reveal trailer from Gamescom 2018 below:

Life is Strange Season 2 release date

The first episode of Life is Strange Season 2 will be available for PS4, Xbox One and PC on September 27, 2018.

Life is Strange 2 Gameplay Preview

DONTNOD Entertainment’s Life is Strange has become a beloved gaming franchise in recent years, renowned for its diverse cast of characters and deep, engaging narrative. However, it was never perfect, attracting criticism with its stilted dialogue and unusual technical hiccups.

Regardless, it stands strong, leaving behind a message of inclusive heartbreak that players felt truly invested in. Knowing this legacy, the pressure falls on the shoulder of the sequel, it has to be just as groundbreaking.

From this pressure, Life is Strange 2 comes in, an all-new episodic season which takes place in the same universe as the first but opts to focus on new locations, characters and narrative themes.

It’s a brave departure, with the developers hoping to craft an entirely new story instead of relying on the success that came before it. It’s admirable, and, from what I’ve seen thus far, appears to be coming along quite nicely.

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During the Square Enix Showcase at Gamescom 2018 we were shown two individual segments of the opening episode. The first featuring our dual protagonists: Daniel and Sean Diaz, as they walk through a thick wilderness in search of supplies and a goal still unknown to the player.

Having been given little context to the events preceding this scenario, it initially seems to be nothing more than a heartwarming stroll as two siblings interact with one another.  Playing as the older brother, Sean, your decisions will have a notable impact on how Daniel grows as a person, something I imagine will have huge repercussions.

As his sole guardian, he looks up to you, and there are obvious pride and responsibilities to accompany such a role. We see this embodied as Sean steals a candy bar from an abandoned car and chides Sean for things he did wrong, crafting a Clementine/Lee-esque partnership that feels very reminiscent of Telltale’s The Walking Dead.

This section draws to a conclusion as the two sit upon a log, taking in the beautiful view before them and reflecting upon the mammoth task that follows. After some initial reticence, I’m very excited to see how DONTNOD hopes to tell this story.

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The second level I was thrust into was a little different, as I actually got to play this one for myself, Taking place right at the beginning, it kicks off with a sombre music track and plentiful gorgeous landscape shots, this is the Life is Strange you know and love. That’s a statement I make with a tinge of disappointment, as the series’ warts are here to stay.

Sean is a teenager living with his awesome dad and mischievous younger brother, two qualities the writers aren’t subtle in hammering home before the opening’s big moment rears its head. His father figure could have been a wise, layered character, but the first few minutes paint a one-dimensional man made worse by a terrible performance.

Daniel fares better, appearing as a genuine little boy as he darts about the place, blissfully ignorant to how annoyed Sean becomes while preparing for a high school party poised to offer weed, sex and a whole lot of fun. It’s a setup I’ve seen before but is executed well enough that I was invested.

Then, after Skyping with his best friend and potential love interest, Sean is forced to split up a fight between Daniel and a neighbourhood bully after spilling fake blood all over the place. Oh, and Life is Strange 2 takes place before Halloween, explaining its vibrant and oftentimes melancholic colour palette.

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life is strange 2

The aforementioned event concludes with Sean and Daniel’s father being killed and the younger brother revealing a hidden superpower that blows away anything in its path. Imagine a Sonic Boom and you’re about halfway there. It’s a startling twist and slams the narrative into overdrive, making me curious to see the entire picture.

Life is Strange 2 was pitched to me as a “road movie” where the two protagonists will journey to Mexico in search of their father’s heritage and a place to finally call home. How this will capitalise upon modern, realistic themes like the previous entry remains unknown, although the foundations have already been well established.

First Impressions

Life is Strange 2 isn’t going in the direction I was anticipating from DONTNOD Entertainment after the original’s intense focus on romance, drama and the struggles of making it through life as a burgeoning adult.

Instead, we’re looking at a tragic story of family that will see Sean and Daniel Diaz journey across North America. It’s a fascinating premise, although will require some creativity to match its predecessor’s beloved impact.

Sadly, despite technological advancements, the irritable quirk of DONTNOD’s presentation and writing style remain intact. Voice acting is still a mixed bag while dialogue simply doesn’t feel natural at times.

It only takes a feather touch to ruin a dramatic moment, which is exactly what Life is Strange relies on for greatness.

 

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