So for today I wanted to try something different from my normal post formatting, and instead do more of a standard review for Life is Strange, episode 2. Rather than reinventing the wheel I’m going to go with a pretty standardized format for this. So here we go.
Length– This game took me about two and a half hours to complete. So it was pretty short. I’m not against short games in general, but I do think they should be priced accordingly, especially when there is a standardized way of measuring how much a game should cost, based on how long the gameplay lasts. I’m talking of course of Skylanders. A standard Skylanders costs about $10 dollars, for about 10 hrs of gameplay. Thus there is a one to one ration of cost to hours spent that games should meet. IE a standard $60 game should last for 60 hrs. Life is Strange did not fit this rule of thumb. It lasted about 2.5 hours for about $4 per episode. Just because those two hours were in fact an very compelling and engrossing two hours that I don’t think I’ll forget anytime soon and provided a wholly unique experience from other games, doesn’t matter. The game should have cost half as much is what I’m saying. It’s that simple.
For length I’m giving it a 5.3
Graphics– I played this episode on Xbox One, and have to say I was not impressed with the graphics at all. It didn’t look next gen at all. While I did feel immersed in the world by the detail in the set dressing for each scene, it did not take full advantage of the hardware. I don’t think meeting the graphical abilities of the hardware for every title on the platform is that large of a demand.
As such I’m give it a 3.4 for graphics
Story– The story I thought was very engaging. The characters genuinely feel like existing people with real flaws. Having these flaws makes them annoying though. I don’t want to have to interact with real people, that’s why I play video games.
For story it gets a 7.2
Fun– As a whole, the experience was compelling and I found myself truly emotionally invested in the characters and their well being. Which by the end (no spoilers) culminated in a sudden burst of emotion that haunted my thoughts for the rest of the day. Which was not fun at all!
The game utilizes time mechanics that have been proven to be fun in Prince of Persia and Forza Horizon, but does so in tandem with thematic ideas of one’s past and consequences. It does not uses these for funness. I would not be so critical of this if the game hadn’t teased the funness the game could have been with the shooting sequence. This system tied with shooting mechanics would have been a really fun game, but instead Life is Strange introduces a sequence where an AI is the one pulling the trigger and creates more of a puzzle sequence. Was this an interesting sequence that included some truly surprising moments hidden within it? Yes. Was it a fun shooter? No.
That’s why this game gets a 4.6 for fun.
Overall- I thought this game fulfilled on the promises set up by episode 1 for a really interesting union of narrative and gameplay to create an experience full of theme, morality, and curiosity… and should not be encouraged. Games should stay as fun and simple entertainment that appeal to true Gamers. That’s why overall I’m giving Life is Strange episode 2 a…
9.23 Skylanders out of 10 – Pretty ok I guess.
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Till next time, keep on gamin’.
-John Eric J