- + Facing the outcome of my early choices is hard, yet satisfying to see
- + Strong story telling continues to engage me
- + The aesthetics and atmosphere are brilliantly put together
- Nothing to report
Want to look beyond the score? Read the full written review…
*Spoilers for episode two are included within this review
Each and every day we’re forced to make decisions. Whether big or small, each one alters the future of our life and those around us. Episode two of ‘Life is Strange’ continues Max Caulfield’s struggle of acclimating to her newfound power: being able to rewind time at any point. Regardless of the fact that any conversation can be replayed, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a peachy outcome.
For those unaware of the story thus far, through a series of ‘flash-forwards’ Max has learnt that a hurricane is headed to her town of Oregon, and she has five days to figure out how to stop it. As always, there’re plenty of things happening around you that all have a different effect on the story.
Upon my return, I was eager to learn the results of my previous actions. How would the many choices I had made in episode one affect my progression? After telling the principle about Nathan Prescott’s possession of a firearm, it was clear even from the beginning that I had put myself in danger. Alongside my room being vandalised, I also received threatening texts from his father, warning me of their powerful family. All of a sudden telling the truth didn’t seem like the best idea.
It wasn’t just the bigger things that made an impact, even the smallest of choices came back to bite me. After preventing a friend from getting hit by a football and letting a window break, I walked and realised it was boarded up. I had altered the future of that window, and I felt horrid. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it still hit home about no matter the choice, there was always a consequence.
The butterfly effect can be a dangerous thing, but rewinding time does have its benefits. Proving to Chloe that I could change time was a lot of fun. With ‘predicting’ the future and telling her what was in her pockets (all via finding out first and then rewinding), I convinced her I wasn’t crazy. Throughout this episode, most of your time is spent rekindling your long-lost friendship with her.
I felt like a god, but I was lured into a false sense of security. After being able to hit the reset button to any situation I entered, when I was rendered powerless, things took a turn for the worse. With my friend Kate in a fragile state of health, her safety was a constant worry. Tormented by fellow pupils for actions related to the infamous Nathan Prescott, she sees no other option than to jump off her dorm’s roof. Using up the last of my power allowed me to confront and talk to her, but this time there was no rewind.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Max and Kate’s confrontation was a powerful lesson in how every action I make, eventually adds up. Choosing not to accept her phone call earlier in the story didn’t help, but I thought my honesty toward my decision would. Unfortunately for me, Kate jumped to her death, and there wasn’t anything I could do. No rewind, no retry, just the sheer reality that my actions weren’t good enough. I had failed.
I’d be a bit of a bastard if I didn’t tell you Kate can actually be saved, and I rejoiced at finding out this fact. Though the bigger question still remains, how will the loss of Kate affect the story’s future? For me, anyhow, I’m sad to find out.
Out of Time is a powerful step forward in a series that keeps surprising me at every turn. It’s truly amazing to see how much my decisions affect the future, and developers DONTNOD know how to deliver expert story telling. If you haven’t already purchased episode one, I suggest you check out my review and do so immediately. If you’re moving through the series, you’re in for one hell of an episode.
Available through either PSN, Xbox Live and STEAM, you can pick up Life is Strange episode one for £3.99, or alternatively purchase the season pass for £15.99.
*Out of Time was provided to Start Replay on PS4 by Square-Enix