by Sean Martin
reviewed on PC
It’s been a long wait for us Life is Strange 2 fans, as months have gone by since the release of the first episode. But though it was a cold and dark winter without it, episode two has arrived, so that now, even though it’s still winter, we’ve got Life is Strange 2 to warm us. ‘Rules’ is the title of the new ep and there certainly are plenty of them — house rules, rules in relation to Daniels power, but also the underlying question of, are rules made to be broken? When you try to create a system to hide something as complicated as a superpower, surely it will be ineffective. Because as good ol’ uncle Ben used to say ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ and though cheesy as f, Ben makes a valid point. When you have power, that can’t be taken away, the way you interact with the world changes, the ways you are able to help or even harm other living creatures are completely transformed. So the central premise of ‘Rules’ is learning to operate with Daniels new-found power.
CABIN IN THE WOODS
Episode 2 begins some time after we last saw Daniel and Sean boarding the bus. It’s now the Winter (making me think Life is Strange 2 is going seasonal with each episode) and they are hold up in an abandoned cabin 15 miles from the nearest town. They practice with Daniel's power, eat ravioli and play with ever-faithful doggo companion Mushroom. But alas the times, they are a changin’, and Sean and Daniel must uproot, beginning the central plot of the episode. Many of the fans who played The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit will have heard the news that Chris is in this episode and actually plays a fairly vital part in the discussion of power and responsibility. This of course ties in with him as a self-styled superhero (Captain Spirit) who has been alone in his fantasy world for so long, that he actually believes he might have powers. I really love how DONTNOD gave us a prequel with Chris, because it adds so much context and weight to the happenings of this episode.
All in all, I think Rules is far better on the whole than episode one. Maybe it’s because we’ve gotten to know the characters a bit more, or maybe that’s true for the developers also, but Sean and Daniel both feel far more well rounded. Daniel actually manages to be cute at times and not just annoying, and Sean actually has some genuine interactions with people, but also some pretty tough decisions to make. Structurally, I think the idea of them as wolves and the nomadic quality of these episodes, means that many of the interactions are fleeting, and this in many ways makes them more powerful. Especially in comparison to Life is Strange, where it literally felt like in the last episode you could go around saying goodbye to every single character. I wasn’t sure about episode one, but Rules for me has solidified Life is Strange 2 as an independent gaming body, and one, that so far, I think I might end up preferring to the first. Though, just as a side note, DONTNOD should go back to selling episodes individually as well, considering the games ongoing episodic format.
Good decisions, the characters grow on you, Captain Spirit plays a great role
Sean still stumbles in speech way too much, go back to selling as single episodes