The Birth of Another Classic

User Rating: 8 | Life is Strange 2: Episode 1 - Roads PS4

Having played the original Life Is Strange (PC) in its entirety (as the episodes were being released--no Season Pass), and its more-than-worthy prequel, Before The Storm, it was really foolish for me to doubt that the sequel to the 2015 Episodic classic was going to be less than stellar in retrospect.

The game starts off with a brand new cast some (very well-done) politcal undertone, unique and yet relatable characters and DONTNOD's characteristically good world-building and scenary. I wont give too much of the story away, but we take control of Sean and Daniel Diaz, two runaways who are thrown into dire and uncertain circumstances because of the younger brother's new and mysterious abilities.

Admittedly, even with the witty and personable interactions and world building between the main characters during the first act, it was a tad slow to start. The second and final acts were what make this shine, throwing some heartwrenching decisions AND scenarios at us alll too hard and too fast, after we'd settled in to the more quaint part of the journey. And of course there was Brody. ;__;

Overall, this is a sequel that I'm glad to have played, and to have purchased a Season Pass for. Do yourself a favor and play it if you haven't.

Graphics: 8/10. The first time I played this game (LIS1) was on PC, so I probably wasn't getting the best graphical quality possible at the time. Now I'm playing LIS2 on the Plstation 4, so there's a big difference there. That said, what DONTNOD has done with the world of Washington/Oregon/Arcadia Bay is masterful as ever. The colors and environments they use for each point of the story is perfectly selected and perfectly rendered/colored for the emotions they're trying to convey.

Music: 6/10. There wasn't much in the way of soundtrack here; when the music came it was the folksy/atmospheric guitar stuff we've come to love from the series, but there was a lot of silence for my taste, and the music would happen few and far between scenes. They didn't seem to have created many new tracks for the game either; even reusing one of the old motifs from BEfore the Storm near the ending scene. And some of the Licensed Music didn't quite create the capture some of the scenes as closely as the first 2 games did with theirs. (My apologies to Daughter for my previous review of their soundtrack for BtS; ultimately it was one of the highlights of the prequel). Hopefully they'll go a little harder with the soundtrack for future episodes.

Gameplay: 6.5. As we've seen the series move further away from being super-powered (going from Max the time-traveller to playing as a powerless Chloe to playing as Chris [whose abilities we're yet to explore] to again playing as a powerless Sean Diaz), there's been a lot less in the way of actual gameplay. Plenty of decision based stuff however. Perhaps they'll find a way to integrate the little brother's abilities a bit better to give us more to "do" in the traditional sense

Even with that said, I still give the game 7 or 8 out of 10, because it lives up to and in some parts surpasses what we come to expect from DONTNOD and Life is Strange. Really looking forward to the continuations.