Game review: Life Is Strange 2 Episode 3 has sex, drugs, and alternative rock
In order to earn money the small group help out at a hidden weed factory and the first half of the game is an extremely mundane tale of camp life, with no real thematic depth beyond some vague musings about responsibility and wanderlust. However, things do get more interesting when Sean is presented with some romantic options, both male and female, including some brief nudity.
It’s all still extremely coy but it’s good to see that even by puritanical modern standards French developers are still much more comfortable with portraying sexuality in video games than most other countries. Depending on if, and with whom, you decide to have a relationship the finale becomes quite the minefield, as Daniel gets himself into a dangerous situation that can lead to major character deaths depending on how you play it.
The finale is barely 15 minutes long though and while some of Sean’s character development is mildly interesting the overall experience is really not very engaging. It doesn’t help that most of the characters keep complaining that they’re bored and there’s virtually no actual gameplay or puzzles (Life Is Strange wasn’t too different in this regard, but at least Max’s time powers meant you your interactions amounted to something more than binary moral decisions and pushing forward to walk).
At least this episode ends with a cliffhanger but with only two more to go we’re afraid to say we’ve largely lost interest. The original set-up was very promising, and the production values and dialogue are a clear step up from the first game, but the experience so far has not lived up to its potential. The absurd release schedule doesn’t help but in the end life for the Diazs just isn’t proving strange enough.
Life Is Strange 2: Episode 3
In Short: Another slow-paced and only intermittently interesting episode, that underlines the fact that the story and characters are never going to be as engaging as the first episode suggested.
Pros: Great presentation and use of music. Solid dialogue and voice-acting and a complex web of meaningful moral choices. Positive representation of sexuality.
Cons: The majority of the episode is extremely dull and thematically empty, especially compared to the first episode. Very short and almost no real gameplay.
Formats: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One, and PC
Price: £32.99 (season pass)
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Release Date: 10th May 2019
Age Rating: 18
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