Life is Strange Episode one “Roads” is the depiction of how quickly life can change from an unfortunate event. It takes you on a wild ride of emotions from teenage love, to family dynamics, to Political situations of today. The different events in this episode are what keeps the player interested in continuing the story line. Especially if you have never played the first Life is Strange and are unsure what to expect. This cinematic adventure captivates its audience with excellent graphics, game interaction and character building. The opening scene starts the story off in an interesting direction with police car driving down the road that reports an incident at an address. You see the officer get out the car and the next thing you hear is a scream and the police officer, along with his car flip across the screen. This starts the questions off and, with that, you are hooked. What just happened? Who or what made that happen?
The story focuses on Sean and his nine-year-old brother Daniel, the main character in this episode is Sean. In the beginning you see Sean talking with a friend about a party later that evening. As well as discussing a girl Sean has a crush on and might experience his first sexual experience with. To later gathering the items, need for that party in his house. Even discussing with his Dad on needing money and what the money is for. The Dad being a kid once in Mexico, already knows what the money is for and even mentions it a little, but still wanting to see if Sean will be honest about it or not. You pick the direction Sean takes, it works out better if you be honest. Money is a huge factor in this game. Once he gathers all the items and packs them he reaches out to his friend he was chatting with outside earlier on Skype. During his conversation with his friend on Skype he hears some commotion outside with his brother and decides to go out and see what is going on.
This is where things change directions and Sean sees the neighbor bullying Daniel and comes to his defense. This causes Sean and the neighbor to get into an Argument. As this is going on a police officer driving by sees the commotion and decides to intervene. The bully has false blood on him, which one would think the officer thinks is real and becomes nervous and pulls his weapon. The father intervenes and tries to ensure the officer things are not what they appear and the officer accidentally pulls the trigger. Now this is where things really go strange, as the scene switches to the officer’s dash cam and all you see is them flying across the screen and the car flip over. Clearly this was something super natural, who has the super natural powers at this point.
Your journey with the two young brothers who are forced to hit the road after their father is accidentally killed by a nervous police officer only becomes more interesting. Sean is forced to grow up fast to keep his brother and himself safe. Daniel is unaware of what has happened to their father. Sean struggles to find a way to tell him the truth but is unsure how to do so, as he is unsure how Daniel will respond. In a way it is the suspense of Daniel finding out that helps the story along. You see Sean struggle with telling him and struggling with the life altering decisions he has to make on their journey to stay safe. You can tell that neither are prepared for the road ahead, but willing to take on the challenge together. This concept truly shows the building of both characters on their adventure.
They come across a gas station in their travels and decide to purchase some food as they are hungry from days of traveling. While eating the food purchased, one of the shop keepers approaches them and tries to indicate they might have stolen from his shop. This leaves Sean to decide whether he should flee or stand up and fight the shopkeeper. Either way he ends up in the back office of the shop keeper. Now this part of this episode is one of the coolest parts, it is like trying to figure out how to get out from an escape room. You have to look around and interact with things to find your way out. Daniel assists with bringing you tools and opening the door after you locate the keys. Once you are free you make a run for it, where you see someone that was in the gas station earlier and ask them for assistance.
The fellow traveler helps Sean and Daniel out with a ride. He goes as far to provide Sean with some advice on the importance of telling Daniel the truth about their father. As well as guiding him on the important of disposing of old items like a cell phone. This character added value, he was more experienced and Sean being young and unequipped for the road ahead needed that guidance. The final interaction with the traveler was him informing the boys that he was able to secure them with lodging at a hotel for the evening. Now this is also the time that Sean and all of us find out that Daniel is the one with super natural powers. We do get a glimpse of it back at the gas station, but it is confirmed for sure now.
Life is Strange 2 is story based, it requires you, the player to move it along. You decide how Sean will respond in every scenario. This is not bad as you can change the direction of things a little as the story moves along. You have a scene where Sean and Daniel find a parked car with their favorite chocolate inside, the decision to buy Daniel one later or steal the one in car. If you decide to steal that one Daniel later reminds you of that action when you find out Daniel has stolen something from the traveler who was nice to you both. You can see that Daniel looks up to Sean and will follow in his footsteps. Your interaction with Daniel is vital as you decide how your relationship builds along the way. You can create a brother bond or you can create distance. This is something to keep in mind while playing this episode, as things can take a negative turn for Sean later on.
Remember I mentioned being locked in the shop keeper’s office and the only way to get out was to interact with everything. This is the best way to describe the games mechanics. It’s similar to the story in which you move things along when you interact with the different items in the room. All throughout this episode that was the case and I am sure the game will continue this way.
Things I liked:
This is my first time playing a game like this, I am more of a first person shooter gamer. I have to be honest the story caught my attention and I really enjoyed playing. I played the one episode several times forcing Sean to say something different than he did before. I wanted to see how much would change and how much I could change the outcome. The political aspects of the game really took me by surprise. It touched me in a personal way to see how a game could depict fact into fiction and make me want to see if I could change how things happened.
The journey you take with Sean and Daniel may be the beginning but, what an interesting beginning. The fact that the player is in control of the dialogue makes this game amazing, along with the fact that depending on what you chose can change the response, even though the end result was predetermined. Which is fine in a way as it keeps things focused on the political aspect of the story-line. In my opinion, this is what helped get me hooked on the beginning anyway.
Things I didn’t Like:
As much as I enjoyed the story, the game-play, the interactions, and the dialogue. I did not like how short the beginning episode was, but I am sure that is what the game company was going for. It is comparable to starting a new television show and right when things begin to get juicy it’s over. Your left wondering what is going to happen, but having to wait until next week for a new episode. The story truly leaves you wanting more and holds your attention while you wait for episode 2. The shocker is, as you watch the credits it fades to black, but then you hear Sean talking to Daniel and a scene appears of a rock floating in the air. Again, drawing you in with anticipation and preparing you for episode 2.
I am sure you are all wondering if I will continue to play Life is Strange 2. I am sure you are all wondering if I think you should start playing Life is Strange 2. To best answer those thoughts, I would say this, if you have played the first season of Life is Strange, then you are going to enjoy playing Life is Strange 2. If you are like me and have never played Life is Strange but want something new to play that will keep your attention. I say, this game is right for you. I cannot and I mean cannot wait to play episode 2. I want, no I need to see what Sean and Daniel get into. However, I am wondering if the game will be in real time. Meaning, if episode 2 comes out several weeks from now, is that time going to show in the game. I think that would be really cool if the game developers decided to do that.
If you noticed the time during episode one, it was 2 days later after the accidental shooting of their father that we caught up with Sean and Daniel. Either way, Life is Strange has a new follower and I am hoping returning followers because this game is really cool.
Check out the glimpse of how things will start out in Episode 2 and man, oh man, do things get interesting. Which a release date has not been set for yet, but I can’t wait.