Another few months have gone by, and we have another Life is Strange 2 episode to enjoy! After the tumultuous events of the last episode, which ended pretty crazily by all accounts, we join Sean in hospital, where he has woken from a coma, with no idea as to where Daniel is. Episode 4 is mostly about that — ‘Faith’ explores the idea of how far you might go to find Daniel, but it also mixes in discussions about racism, parenthood, and sacrifice/repentance, in what might be one of the more heavily-themed episodes of Life is Strange 2.
While the episode begins in the hospital, it pretty quickly moves onto Sean searching for Daniel, his travels taking him to distant Nevada. There is a beautiful desert wandering sequence which reminded me somewhat of the section in Uncharted 3 where Nathan is stranded in the desert, as it has a similar desolate beauty. It’s also an image which sums up the episode pretty well — ‘Faith’ isn’t an episode so much about just having faith, but is more about the idea of deciding what they have faith in. As the series has gone on, the wolf brothers’ mechanic, where some decisions favour Sean and others Daniel, has developed, but it really comes into its own here I think. In many ways ‘Faith’ is about the player deciding where they want to place that faith.
This episode also really does some great work in terms of bringing the bigger themes into the frame. Racism and immigration in the United States had been a somewhat sub-textual theme until this episode, which brings it to the forefront in a sequence which represents a brilliant interaction between the character and player choice. God has also been an oft mentioned theme, characters throughout the series frequently asking Sean if he believes. This episode discusses that in-depth, and especially for a series that is inherently American, seems to reflect that unique hardcore Christian context. These religious themes also link with the idea of parenthood, as a not yet seen face appears, which actually involves an incredibly well dealt with sequence about the idea of abandonment and forgiveness. On top of this discussion, episode 4 also continues from last episodes great montage soundtrack (D.A.N.C.E by Justice).
‘Faith’ is a great episode, possibly my favourite of Life is Strange 2, and undoubtedly one of the most thematically strong. There are a number of great choices, and the only sequence which felt a little unnecessary, was the hospital section at the beginning, which for me only waylaid getting to the important parts of the episode. But in general the discussion of faith, parenthood, and Christianity is precise, prompting the player as to where they want to place their faith, while at the same time, questioning whether repentance, and forgiveness as a concept, are achievable.
Brings the big themes into the frame, great choices, fantastic parenting related sequence.
Hospital sequence felt like a bit of a bolt-on to the last episode, didn’t take us straight to the action. Some aspects of the discussion of Christianity specifically could have been more nuanced.