Life is Strange by DONTNOD Entertainment (2015)
Episode 2 – Out of Time (March)
Read – Episode 1: Chrysalis
After such an enchanting setup in the previous episode, Episode 2: Out of Time shows signs of losing steam, even with its addition of a rampaging locomotive. As the story chugs along at a dawdling pace, the small details eventually culminate into a tense climax forming an almost satisfying bridge into the next episode.
Slow plot progression withstanding, the visual charm of Arcadia Bay retains its relaxing atmosphere worthy of the Life is Strange art style. So even as you’re forced to search for five unimportant bottles for Chloe, you can still admire the rustic jungle surrounding you. That is, until you can’t find the final hidden bottle and your stuck wandering that tetanus infested junkyard for much too long.
These forced distractions cause the flow of this episode to be quite unproductive and dull. It makes sense that Chloe would want evidence of Max’s supernatural abilities, but having to prove them not once, but twice over in such a drawn out manner is completely unnecessary, when a simple reminder of the rewind controls would have sufficed. All of that precious game time could be better spent on more pressing matters.
Speaking of pressing matters, the overarching mystery of Rachel Amber’s disappearance has been put to the side for the most part, focusing instead on Kate Marsh, the most bullied student at Blackwell Academy. While her tale is quite saddening, it brings out the true nature of the words “this action will have consequences”. The truly interesting question is how deep do these consequences go?
In a game where even watering your plant can change the future, there’s no telling how many outcomes exist. I suspect that it will be just like the Telltale interactive stories where the main plot is set in stone but the details are shaped by the decisions you make. As this episodic journey continues, the true nature of our actions will be revealed; I just hope I won’t have to find five more bottles before getting there.
Life is Strange is also available on both Playstation and Xbox.
A BIRD’S EYE VIEW