Review

Life is Strange, Episode Four Review

  • First Released Jan 29, 2015
    released
  • XONE
Alexa Ray Corriea on Google+

Bad blood.

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Life is Strange's penultimate episode left me ill and confused. The choices the narrative offered took me beyond discomfort to physical sickness. But the confusion was not a good one; rather than being left pondering theories for the upcoming final episode, I was left genuinely lost as to how I got where I did. Episode 4, Dark Room, is a mess of tedious puzzles bookended by powerful opening and closing scenes, and throws what is meaningful about its time-rewinding mechanic out the window for cheap ways to progress the plot.

Up until now, Dontnod's episodic series has been about its cast of troubled characters being troubled together, portrayed in the trappings of a mystery about a missing girl and unexplainable time-travel powers. The focus has been on protagonist Max fighting for the well being of her childhood friend Chloe and her classmates--both friend and frenemy--and exposing a conspiracy involving the town of Arcadia Bay's richest family. But Dark Room is the emotional equivalent of being doused with a bucket of ice water, drowning the warm and fuzzies of previous episodes in cold, plain horror.

Spoilers: Frank still hates you.
Spoilers: Frank still hates you.

Episode 4 picks up right after the events of Episode 3, which effectively reboots Max's life and the situations of those around her. No one is more profoundly affected than Chloe, and the first few scenes present an interesting scenario, should the rest of the game progress in this timeline. It's hard to discuss this part without spoiling it, but Life is Strange chooses to double back and play things safer than forge ahead with these brave new possibilities. This weakens the narrative and makes the entire sequence feel like something placed for shock value, though it doesn't diminish the emotional potency.

Episode 4's biggest problem is the flippancy with which it begins treating the time-rewind mechanic. Max can rewind time to undo conversations, but she can also use her power to stealthily take objects and explore environments without others knowing. In previous episodes, Max has been able to pick up an object like keys or a crowbar and keep ownership of these things after rewinding time. Episode 4 presents you with several situations in which this mechanic should logically be present and would be helpful--but for some reason the game tosses this ability away entirely. It's deeply frustrating to see a solution and not be able to use it, especially when you've been conditioned up to this point to be able to utilize Max's powers in this way.

With its main mechanic breaking its own rules for the sake of creating tough situations, Life is Strange becomes more muddled than meaningful. Time rewinding has been reduced to more of a gimmick than a tool for change, and the power behind it has been thrown out to prevent the narrative from tripping over itself. But the narrative is already stumbling, as it frantically tries to pack in as much progress on the Rachel Amber mystery as possible into this one episode.

It's more
It's more "friend' than "frenemy" at this point with Victoria.

As Max and Chloe kick their search into high gear, a few bizarre logical leaps occur that I have a hard time following. The connection between Rachel Amber and Kate Marsh--the depressed and bullied friend Max had a chance to save back in Episode 2--still doesn't make much sense, nor does the involvement of Nathan Prescott, the troubled son of the city's most powerful family. There is one particular puzzle in this episode that I found almost intolerable. Chloe and Max lay out every clue they have collected--literally lay it all out in front of them--and the player is tasked with matching up groups of clues that create leads for the duo to follow. When the puzzle began, I had no idea what I was looking for, and it was a long time before Max's voice-over offered any hints as to what I should be searching. The mystery gets too obtuse to follow, and only after slogging through scraps of paper and tattered photos does anything even remotely make sense. Things were tidied up far too quickly for me to follow, leaving the victory of discovery feeling a bit hollow.

But following this puzzle, the episode picks up again, leading to one of my favorite environment puzzles in the entire series to date. And from here everything spiraled out of control, leaving me the most upset I have ever been at a game's completion. I didn't sleep at all following my playthrough. I felt gross.

Dig deep enough and you may regret what you find.
Dig deep enough and you may regret what you find.

The big "thing" for this episode, if you will, is that it demonstrates the effect your choices have been having on the series all along. Big decisions you've made in all three previous episodes--whether or not Chloe still has her gun, whether or not you killed Frank's dog, whether or not you saved Kate--have huge implications. If you saved Kate, you're treated to scenes you wouldn't have seen otherwise. If you didn't knock off Frank's dog, you have a real chance to connect with him. Things I forgot I did in episodes past have a major impact on what I dealt with in Episode 4, which means everything I'm doing really matters. Life is Strange may poke holes in its mechanics when it sees fit, but it a does a damn good job of letting you know that every little thing you do is contributing to a powerful butterfly effect.

That sense of confusion, however, floats on the top of my emotions. Dark Room is two very strong sequences with a lot of uninteresting stuff sandwiched in between--uninteresting in that the pacing drags, some scenes go on too long before the game allows you to rewind, and it becomes genuinely hard to care about anything that's not the adventures of Max and Chloe. It's a rollercoaster of an episode, with some disappointing holes punched in concepts that have been strengthened for three episodes, but it delivers a punch in the gut that makes the rest of the experience worthwhile.

Alexa Ray Corriea on Google+
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The Good
Choices made in previous episodes have huge consequence in this one
Strong opening and ending sequences
The Bad
Pacing drags
Plot makes logical leaps the player can't follow
Max's rewind powers are reduced to a gimmick and lack meaningful power
6
Fair
About GameSpot's Reviews
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About the Author

Alexa Ray Corriea is in Life is Strange for the long haul, and played this latest episode exploring different options presented in previous episodes.
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Gelugon_baat

I have reached the point where the game reveals that the Prescotts had actually been around in Arcadia Bay for a long while. Considering that the game has not mentioned this thus far before this and that the Prescotts are painted as some rich magnates who are trying to snap up Arcadia Bay for themselves, there may be the impression that they had been around for only a while. After all, Nathan is in a dorm and his father is not in Arcadia Bay.

Then the game dumps the revelation that the Prescotts had been around for more than a century (there was a correspondence dated 1903 AD) and had provided things to Arcadia Bay - including bomb shelters.

I know that nowhere before this that there has been a statement that the Prescotts have only recently taken an interest in Arcadia Bay, but I have the impression that Dontnod's writers have exploited this gap in the storytelling to do yet one more deux ex machina, just to set up the locale for the finale of the episode.

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Gelugon_baat

I have watched someone else's playthrough to the point when the duo laid out their clues in front of them, and I will say that I partially agree with Corriea. I have enough experience about puzzle solving that I recognize immediately that this puzzle is about making deductions between pieces of available clues.

I have seen better examples of such puzzles, such as those in Focus Home Interactive's Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments. In that game, each clue is presented in text, followed by some description of the clue. More importantly, the text for the other clues, especially their labels, can still be seen when the deduction screen came up. This makes deduction a lot easier.

In this episode of Life is Strange, the player needs to check examine each clue like they are objects in the environment. Every examination makes the screen fill up with the object; every other clues are blurred out (notice the contrast with the Sherlock Holmes title). The player is left to take notes down, elsewhere, to keep track of whatever deduction that is to be made. (It's either this, or the player has to keep other out-of-sight clues in mind while examining another clue; that would be quite a headache without aid like that which has been done in the Sherlock Holmes title.)

I get the impression that Dontnod is trying to help the player make deductions; there is a separate board where clues which have been connected with each other are collected. However, the display interface is a visual mess; Dontnod uses the same scripts for highlighting objects in the environments for the separate board. An example can be seen here. It's just not elegant and it is not purpose-designed. Returning to the example of Sherlock Holmes, the developers created a separate screen and user interface for making deductions.

In other words, I will say here that this is an issue of user-friendliness. Sure, one can argue that the player shouldn't be lazy, e.g. compensating for what the game does not do, but looking away from the screen to take down notes elsewhere is immersion-breaking. (I doubt that Corriea took notes by the way.)

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Gelugon_baat

I don't really agree with Corriea's remark about Nathan Prescott's involvement. Even before knowing about the revelations shown in this episode and the next, I already knew that Nathan is a very, very spoiled kid. So spoiled, that his dad will let him indulge in a lot of things, including his inclination towards macabre photography. I don't find his involvement surprising.

However, I will also add that this clashes with the image of his father, Sean Prescott, being an overbearing patriarch who wants to groom Nathan into becoming an heir to the Prescott's real-estate empire. Macabre photography is not likely to contribute to this "destiny". (Paradoxically, the Prescott's seniors are rather neglectful too. Some weirdly complicated character designs here.)

With that said, there certainly is a logical leap, specifically about the Prescotts' association with a certain teacher. Corriea doesn't seem to have noticed this, but fans of the game had, specifically the fans who contributed to the game's wiki. (Do not click this link if you are spoiler-sensitive; as for the inclusion of this link, really, it's been close to a year, and well over the time duration stipulated in GameSpot's code of conduct about spoilers.)

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Gelugon_baat

In the previous episode, Max looked around for clues for passwords, even though she risked discovery by Madsen, but in this one, the player could make her not give two shits about finding the code for a tumbler lock; she can just use a crowbar instead of finding the code, even though Madsen might not be around anymore. Sure, she says she doesn't have the time because they are on an investigation, but afterwards, if Kate is still alive, she visits Kate. Seems like Dontnod had not thought of contingencies to tie the circumstances together such that there are no doubts about the progression of the story.

Also, I would have been more convinced about this progression if Max could actually ask Kate things about the investigation, but there are no such options. Sure, Kate offers to help, but in an unbelievable way: getting Nathan's room number in the dormitory, while she is supposed to be in a hospital recovering from a suicide attempt. Wouldn't it be alarming to others that Kate started snooping around for Nathan's room number - especially if rumors had been going around that Nathan is responsible?

Also, this scene with Kate should have been in Episode Three, right after the events at the end of Episode Two. It seems to me that Dontnod had finished creating the scene but only after the development deadline for Episode Two and Three, and then inserted it into Episode Four, despite the sudden change in the level of urgency that this would cause.

This stacks on top of the go-back-in-time-and-change-things scenario that happened from the end of Episode Three over to the start of Episode Four. Sure, it may be there to suggest that Max can't change shit for the better, but it mainly seems to be there for the sake of added drama, with nothing more than a deux ex machina plot twist to justify its inclusion.

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Gelugon_baat

No kidding about the pacing drags. For example, the first twelve minutes can be skipped without losing much of the story, since the next seven will just fill on what happened in the first twelve in concise ways such that a veteran story-goer can connect the dots. The first twelve just seems to be there for eye-candy and more excuses to have the two lead voice-actresses provide more lines.

Having gone through the entire episode, I have the impression that Dontnod has used this episode to string together scenes which they have designed independently of each other, making use of quite a number of convenient story-writing to justify the progression.

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inuyashagalo

I liked the puzzles, and they were not hard. You just have to read the clues and relate them. Piece of cake.

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chiffmonkey

6/10 is a fucking insult for the best written detective game ever. There are clues EVERYWHERE from clutter to the environment to text messages and their timestamps to body language to logical deduction. Not to mention the fact we saw a major outcome to an Ep2 action, something The Walking Dead never managed - meaningful choices. And the soundtrack? Perfect. IMO this game has been a 10/10 for every episode yet released because they are quite literally flawless in integrity. When a gameworld makes a deliberate effort to make different people's random graffiti have different handwriting so if you are extremely anal or just seriously big on conspiracies you can see a story in what is being written, you know this is more than just a game. This is a world. And delving into that world will reward you with secret knowledge. There is material for suspicion in episode 2, for circumstancial proof in episode 3, and outright proof in episode 4. That ending twist was built up better than any I've ever seen in any form of media. Most people were like WTF, while a handfull had worked it out. Go back and play back through eps 1-4 and you'll see the seeds carefully sown. Masterpiece.

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jecomans

@chiffmonkey: Generally when I read a review I disagree with, even strongly, I can see where the reviewer was coming from, or understand why they didn't like subjective things that I do. This review is one of those rare ones that is just appallingly thought out. So many of the complaints are ridiculous, and come from missing available information, and an inability to follow a reasonable plot. This review is objectively bad work.

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hahamanin

When the puzzle began, I had no idea what I was looking for, and it was a long time before Max's voice-over offered any hints as to what I should be searching.

Really now??that was a puzzle??how can one need hints to this when its all laid out in front of you

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Caa112

"The connection between Rachel Amber and Kate Marsh still doesn't make much sense, nor does the involvement of Nathan Prescott, the troubled son of the city's most powerful family."

How exactly does any rational person come to the conclusion that Rachel Amber and Kate Marsh aren't connected? They both got drugged and taken to the dark room. And Nathan Prescott is clearly involved somehow. It's almost like she didn't pay attention at all if she actually did play the game. Also her comment about the puzzle being hard is mind blowing. It's super obvious that you have to combine the clues. This reviewer is just a dimwit smgdh

Wish Gamespot had a downvote button instead of a big fat upvote button so they can see how wrong they are (N)

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Speranza318

To think the end of the episode was predictable is just silly. In fact, on the PC version, 90% has the wrong antagonist pinned down after Kate's unfortunate events (regardless of outcome). Then, if you're curious, go back to the opening scenes of the game and you'll see the forshadowing to come and how well written this game is. The big reveal has yet to come...episode 4 is just a taste of the reality of what's to come at the end of the apocolypse hovering over the town.

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Gelugon_baat

@Speranza318: Those 90% of people at the time aren't experienced with story-telling methods. The other 10% had already seen enough of the foreshadowing that you mentioned to know who's the culprit behind the scenes.

Also, I beg to differ about how well written the game is. Individual scenes, yes, I agree - but how these scenes come together? No.

Also, the plot element about the impending doom of the town is pseudo-science shit made popular by the likes of Twin Peaks and Twilight Zone. Only people who like those shows would think that this is good.

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e5115271

"... the most upset I have ever been at a game's completion. I didn't sleep at all following my playthrough. I felt gross."

Yeah it does get relatively creepy, but we all knew something like that was coming. But seriously, you felt ill? God knows what would happen to you if you played something like Amnesia...

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GNS

@e5115271: Yep, if you are that sensitive do not play games with psychological violence and or horror fragments in them, you might have a heart attack. True story.

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p1p3dream

Holy shit. I'm just getting towards the end of this episode. This thing gets DARK. Maximum Creep factor.

EDIT: Well, just finished the episode- despite the ending being pretty predictable, it did little to soften how freaking' CREEPY it was. I am very nervous for our girl Maxine!

If I were to be critical of this episode, what stood out for me was a bit of a tonal problem with the twist the game has taken. I definitely was surprised with the twist the story has taken... Up to this point the tone of the series has been dreamy, and a bit... whimsical I'd say. They mystery of Rachel came off more as an odd fantasy, so when the nature of the story entered into such horrorific seriousness i was truly caught off guard. Even the natures of the photographs that you discover in the binders are different tonaly. They are sharply detailed, as compared to the artstyle in the rest of the game. I do love horror games, and scary things- but i think the transition to this dark subject matter could of been helped. It seemed like the developers struggled with which way to take the tone of the game... the dialog that Maxine says to herself in the barn basement seems to have dissonance and be at major odds with what is happening in that scene. She is still being her usual somewhat sarcastic teenager self, when i feel it would of been more appropriate to play the scene more dramatically. Like specifically, when looking around the room at objects after the "major discovery" Maxine still comments about the price and cost and how "fancy" some of the objects are... i just had a hard time believing that these would actually be the thoughts that a teenage girl would be having looking around the basement of a perverted killer.

Anyway, just some nit picking.

But all in all, it's pretty shocking and bad ass. It's like Twin Peaks meets Silence of the Lambs.

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CyrenII

@p1p3dream: Thanks for sharing the insight. I must say that reading the reviews for this episode makes me infinitely more excited to get into this game once all 5 episodes are out.

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p1p3dream

@CyrenII: The game is certainly not perfect, but even with saying that- it is well worth the price of admission. In the current landscape of sequels and military war games, we are treated with new IP's and original ideas sparingly so I feel like it's our duties as forward thinking gamers to support the companies that venture into these territories. DONTNOD is a company that deserves are support (and $$) for continuing to work on these stories that step outside the usual, in my opinion...

There are few games out there that are like LIFE IS STRANGE. I think if someone enjoys narrative based games in the least, they are going to find something to like in this series.

And a comment on episodic gaming: As a genre, I dislike it- I'm old, therefore oldschool and I'm use to consuming my games at my own pace- whether thats in chunks, or by marathoning over a weekend. LIFE IS STRANGE is one of the first episodic games that I've actually, reluctantly, been okay with the episodic nature. So far, the pacing has been just right, that I've enjoyed the chunks, and i've enjoyed the anticipation to the next episode.

As Snoop said: So I just chill. To the next episode.

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punksterdaddy

@p1p3dream:

You should write a review?

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p1p3dream

@punksterdaddy: Oh i was just throwing my two cents into the discussion. Or maybe you're not being facetious?

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punksterdaddy

@p1p3dream:

I wasn't no, lol. I honestly meant it.

I can see why you thought that though, I didn't say much else of note, but anyway... You should write a review on the episode or series when done?

It's always nice to gain different opinions on a particular game and so far there appears to be only one on this series.

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p1p3dream

@punksterdaddy: Sure, why not. I like writing and I like video games. :)

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Florin

If it was an 7, I would have say thats ok. Everyone can have their opinion, but with a 6, the lowest rating for the series so far, its hard not to see that its all attention seeking.

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gamingbarista

I don't know if a lot of people realize that people can fan over something and still be critical of it. That's what reviewers do. You can enjoy something and not enjoy parts of it. A 6 rates the episode as Average basically, since a 5 would probably be Below Average.

I've been seeing a lot of people saying that this episode left them really uncomfortable, which is understandable. However, did those people not see that coming? Nathan's picture that he left in Max's room in Episode 2 was macabre and grotesque and when you enter his room in Episode 4 that pretty much is a big red flag. Of course, that doesn't make what we find any less disturbing (it didn't leave me uncomfortable, just mildly disturbed and intrigued, but I watch a lot of true crime television).

I will say this: they went with the obvious suspect at the end and I like how we had no clues regarding Rachel's disappearance. No tracing her footsteps or asking questions about when she was last seen. We just have that scene in the junkyard and are left to assume the worse (if we haven't already assumed before, however I wonder if that's really true). We only do proper investigating in Dark Room, when the girls should have been doing their Holmes & Watson gig in Episode 2 as well. But that's just me being a nitpicky mystery fan. :p

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Bionic_

The detective board was a fantastic puzzle, my favorite in the series so far and beyond actually. At first I was like "oh no, this will take a while" as I just wanted to move on with the story but it didn't take long and suddenly I found myself in a full detective mode focusing on every detail. Cracking the code of Nathan's phone was incredibly rewarding because I had to think about it and the game made me feel clever when I figured it out, even tho in reality it laid all the clues right in front of me. I find it odd that you were confused by the story, maybe you just rushed through it without paying too much attention in order to quickly finish the review?

"Spoilers: Frank still hates you."

Nope, he hates YOU. In my playthrough we're totally cool and Frank was helping us find Rachel. No guns, no violence, we just talked it through. On the other hand my relationship with Victoria is so bad that I couldn't even warn her because we can't talk without fighting and she pissed me off so bad I just turned around and left without giving her another rewind. And that's why I love this game, all your past actions can totally change relationships and situations you're in. This isn't Telltale, this is at least 2 levels above. And this was my favorite episode so far.

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p1p3dream

@Bionic_: Yeah, in my playthrough - I have befriended Frank as well- and I thought it was actually pretty cool. :)

Also, I agree with you on the detective puzzle- at first it looked overhwhelming, but when I actually just plugged through it, it really didnt take any time at all- its quite easy and i thought was also nice because of all of the details of the information that you can learn. I think i got each section on all my first tries, and i dont consider myself particularly smart.

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Downloadpilot

I am back! And fresh off just playing this one, I can say that I think it's the strongest yet, story-wise. Its downfall was the gameplay aspect--or the thorough lack of it. Nearly every scene dragged on, and some were a total waste of time, as they yielded no results (i.e. the Vortex Club party, minus the nice part with Victoria).

But story-wise, DONTNOD's brilliance really shows. I did a double-take when the finale came and the culprit was not who we'd pinned it on the whole time. I nearly cried when it came to the last scene with the paralyzed version of Chloe. I mean the scenes were big this time around. I literally, physically smiled when Warren took a bite out of crime and gave Nathan the beatdown. The game was like "Do you want him to stop, or...?" And the whole time I heard Shao Khan in the corner talking about "Finish Him!"

And yet, the lack of gameplay genuinely disturbed me, as much as I like this series. This time around it feels more like we're activating cutscenes, instead of playing sections that lead to cutscenes that lead to gameplay. There wasn't much to do this time around, even if we had more control over the characters anyway--as you said, the time-force powers are rarely needed.

All that aside, I am truly looking forward to (playing) the next and final installment--which I suspect will be even longer than this one. 7/10

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p1p3dream

@Downloadpilot: Hmm, interesting what you're saying about gameplay- This is always a controversial issue with these style of games. I personally didn't have a problem with the gameplay, and honestly, the story itself was (as you pointed out) so strong that I didn't really notice that the episode was maybe short on gameplay... but- i also wonder what you would expect.

I don't feel like these games claim to be something they are not. They are not shooters- these games have the DNA of adventure games in their blood. They are the modern equivalent of the Sierra games, like space quest and kings quest. They are like choose your own adventures.

I don't really agree with your point of view on wasted scenes- this is one of those things that differentiates games from movies... movies need to keep the on-screen action on a tight track, and due to time constraints for movies, they don't really have the same ability to go off the rails to immerse you in the world.

I thought the Vortex scene was cool. It was visually interesting, and the music was cool. Games don't have to unfold in a timelimit of 2 hours, so the game can afford to let you soak in games atmosphere.

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Downloadpilot

@p1p3dream: Of course--I'm not the type of person to compare and judge something on what it ISN'T. I know this is not a platformer or Halo. But compared to the game's own previous episodes, Episode 4 was not very interactive in a very meaningful way. Beyond the episode's massive introductory plot, most of the gameplay is examining background objects and inspecting/talking to people. It's even a lot loss reactionary than before. Past saving Alyssa (the purple haired girl's name, I believe) from falling in to a swimming pool, we did nothing especially heroic or interesting this time around. I was at least hoping Chloe would let Max hold the gun or something.

I did enjoy the various songs at the Vortex club, but that wasn't enough to save that sequence--too much walking/talking for us to just walk out none the wiser.

Don't get me wrong, I really love this series, but I'm really hoping we can actually break out of Jefferson's dungeon, or at least try to escape--instead of just watching it. Hopefully I made some sense here.

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p1p3dream

@Downloadpilot: Actually, you do make a lot of sense here. And stepping back from my overflowing and unconditional love for this series, I can actually see that there are some serious things wrong with this episode. You're right, after visiting the Vortex scene again, it DOES kind of seem like a waste of a really cool set. It's kind of weird how elaborate and cool the scene is, yet how little is actually done there. I had been expecting a lot more from the Vortex party since you had been building up to it for the entire game.

I understand what you mean now. It seems like there were many scenes in this game that were cut scenes, that maybe should of been interactive scenes where you could play them.

it certainly would make the dungeon scene more frightening if you could actually play it

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Onallion

I am pretty shocked by this review.

I came out of this episode thinking it was the best one yet. It was an emotional rollercoaster. It had so many beautiful moments. It finally set a clear goal and progressed in a quick, satisfying pace. There were only 2 real puzzles and they were both still very short and easy, they did not interrupt the pacing but game me a short, welcome reprieve from all the dialogue and exploration. It also gave a proper conclusion to many of the relationships you've built and the choices you've made.

Honestly, I thought this chapter was a prime example of how episodic gaming should be done. It was a wonderful journey, and I would have given it an easy 10.

I really don't understand this review, but a review is just an opinion and I respect it.

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jecomans

@Onallion: I must say, I don't particularly respect this review as an opinion. There are puzzles and parts of the story that she marks the game down for that she simply failed to put pieces together and/or wasn't paying attention. That's like ragging on a foreign film because you were too dopey to put on the subtitles.

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p1p3dream

@Onallion: You know, i was thinking about this: the concept of episodic gaming, and its something I really dont like HOWEVER, i was just thinking how with this game, I haven't really minded that its in episodes- they seem to be getting it right. I have enjoyed each episode, and I also have enjoyed the anticipation for the release of each episode.

This is a wonderful game.

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GNS

Did not read the review, because the author only gave it a 6, which is really strange in itself because the previous episodes were rated at an average of 7,6 (I took the estimation from my butt, because I'm too lazy and have a bottle of beer to calculate the average score of 4 episodes), but I am going to give my own impressions about this episode.

OK, firstly, I want to say... Well done, Squere Enixe and Dontnoid for an excellent episode and an excellent story-line. You're following the footsteps of "Alan Wake". Kudos to you. Do not stoop to the TellTale Games level (although, their games are fairly gun in themselves, but... not as satisfactory as this one).

Secondly, I'd like to say that I found this episode somewhat depressing. Well, I can understand that, because we're getting near the epic (or not so epic) finale. I have to say that I was wrong in my previous comment on Episode 3 regarding why Chloe had end-up in a wheel-chair (if you're reading this... umm... whicherver user who made a bet with me - you have won that bet). Which is now when I think of it, it's quite logical to expect. I mean, Max was gone from Chloe's life for 5 years. Why would Chloe end up on the train tracks? No logical reason, but alas... Also, I was somewhat stumped as to why the screen-writers decided it was a good idea that Max would rewind Chloe's fate so early in the game. I would have really liked to see Max brooding more about the fact that her decision to play God has cost someone dearly. Instead, after she changes back the time-line, we are kind-off left with this "agreement" that what's done is done. Let's move on. I for one would never forget this kind of an incident, but, hey, maybe I'm just sensitive in the way...

Thirdly, I found somewhat strange that a drug-dealer would help them. Especially that if you can't keep your mouth shut he ends up dead or injured. I tried to play this segment out for 10 times before I got it right. Huh, seems to me that Max must only be sensitive towards... I forgot his name, if she wants his cooperation and no questions asked. Also, I think the screenwriters did a good job with the drug-dealers disbeleavement that Max and Chloe would change things - "You Hardy Boys"... but, still, it's rather far fetched...

Fourthly, I liked the plot-twist. Seriously, did not see it coming. I thought that Natan was working alone and he was behind it all. And now the player is tossed into a "Criminal Minds" episode (or will be tossed in) in which Natan is an apprentice of a serial-killer-rapist, and where that serial-killer-rapist is a photography teacher. Now that is a one "Criminal Minds" episode that they should make, lol. Although, in the end when Chloe got her brains blown out I guessed from the patent-leather-booths that the killer was not Natan, and in fact, it was Mr. Jefferson. But still it was a good plot-twist

So, in overall I rate this episode 8/10 (played it on PC. Still they can't do anything about the face animations, but, hey, still good).

P.S. Anyone else imagine Natan's dad as John Glover (Lionel Luthor) from Smallville? Son, you have a legacy - a Luthor (oops... Prescott) legacy to fulfill. Do not let these peasants stop you. Also, if you disobey me, you're a black sheep of the family. Here's your million dollars.

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Bionic_

@gns:Why do you find it strange? Chloe did hang out with Frank and he did borrow her $3000 which is a lot of money. He wouldn't just give it to a random person. Frank want's to find Rachel and who else could have better chance finding her if not her best friend? Especially when they have some lead. So what else could he do? She upfront told him she doesn't have the money so there's no point in keeping threatening her since I don't think he actually wants to hurt her. When he pulled a knife on Chloe, Max overreacted by pulling the gun. It's pretty obvious h e just wanted Chloe to back off as she tried to take Rachel's bracelet from him and accused him of stealing it, which was probably the most offensive thing she could've said to him.

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Downloadpilot

@gns: Hey, that was me you made the bet with during out debate/discussion on the Episode 3 review--though someone else suggested that it was a car accident, as opposed to the train accident you said. :)

I'd written a reply to this but my browser crashed so since I'm too lazy to write it again, I'll just say I agree with your review totally--especially the Lionel Luthor part. One thing I do wonder though is if Jefferson is working solo and framing Nathan for being a kidnapper/killer as well as a dealer or are the two of them working together, with Nathan supplying Jefferson girls/target after drugging/abusing them? And the all important question--why would Jefferson do all of this anyway???

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SuppaPHly42

@Downloadpilot: because he is a psychopath and maybe he has lost his edge. so staging things, with real people, has an eccentric, macabre yet genuine look to it. as the people are in reality victims of a crime. psychopath and career get blended into, modus operandi

just my thoughts anyway :)

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Downloadpilot

@suppaphly42: There's an idea. :)

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PleXtorNL

So... i really don't get this. Month ago at E3, Alexa is totally fangirling this game and being super positive to Michael Koch and Ashly Burch. This is totally of with her review scores. A 7, 7, 8, 6... That doesnt seem like a very good game. More like Okish.

Alexa, next time you talk to the developers... just tell them all your problems with the game. Maybe they can explain some. If you stay this fangirly in interviews, your ratings are kinda misplaced a little.

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PrinceEV

This is exactly what happens when you lose people like Jeff, Greg and Kevin and replace them with a bunch of dorks, hot chicks and mediocre gamers ...

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Bionic_

@princeev: Which one is Alexa?

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PrinceEV

@Bionic_: first and third one

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Downloadpilot

@princeev: They fired Kevin?

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SuppaPHly42

@Downloadpilot: KvO got a new job writing for games

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Downloadpilot

@suppaphly42: Wow, that's a step up. Good for him!

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SuppaPHly42

@Downloadpilot: :)

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apolloooo

@princeevwait they left g-spot?:

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PrinceEV

one of the worst reviews on gamespot EVER!

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kazuya_mishima

hi gamespot reviewer, i logged in to say please dont try to put a lid on the few developers that are left who pace the game based on what they want to say and not on the likelyhood on their audience getting bored. the only puzzle in the game, is done really well and perfectly fits the context.

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Chogyam

Don't ever listen to any GS review. They couldn't review the broad side of a barn (it's wood and painted red).

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Life is Strange More Info

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  • First Released Jan 29, 2015
    released
    • Android
    • iOS (iPhone/iPad)
    • + 7 more
    • Linux
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    Life is Strange is a hand drawn work of art and every action enacts a butterfly effect - but with the power to rewind time, what would you change? And would it turn out to be a change for the better or worse?
    8.5
    Average Rating624 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Life is Strange
    Developed by:
    DONTNOD Entertainment, Feral Interactive
    Published by:
    DONTNOD Entertainment, Square Enix
    Genre(s):
    Adventure, Action
    Theme(s):
    Sci-Fi
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    Blood, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Drugs and Alcohol