It did a fantastic job using the time reversing mechanic, as well as adding repercussions to the choices you make.
It has more of the frustrating gameplay elements from the first episode, and the writing seems to be worse than it was before.
I’ve never played an episodic game before, let alone reviewed one. Normally I would talk about the story, the graphics, and the gameplay, but I covered most of that in my review of Life is Strange Episode 1: Chrysalis so for this I’m just going to talk about my thoughts on this new episode and my thoughts on the game so far, it will probably be shorter than most of my normal reviews. Warning, there may be mild spoilers.
For the most part, I really liked the episode, it really made the decisions you choose dig deep and make a lasting impact. In the first episode the protagonist Max kind of just accepts the reality she’s been given, being able to reverse time essentially at will, it’s a little unrealistic in an otherwise realistic environment but in episode 2, we see a lot more of what I would expect to happen in the event someone in the real world got super powers, they’d tell their friends and have to do little tests to try and prove that it’s really happening, and that part was super fun, having to memorize events and whatnot.
Out of Time is definitely more intense than the first episode, we start to see repercussions to Max using her powers not only on the people around her, but on herself as well, which is good we’re finally starting to see the limits of these abilities. The one thing that really bothered me about this episode in particular, was the writing, it felt really off and not nearly as good. I understand that they have to write for many different outcomes and from different perspectives, but it honestly felt much notably worse than the first episode. An example would be early in the game, you’re talking to these two guys sitting next to each other, but when you talk to each one individually, you talk about the person sitting right next to them, it’s incredibly awkward and it doesn’t feel well written. The conversations in general felt much choppier and less organic, like this isn’t how people talk.
There is one gameplay feature that really frustrated me to no end in Life is Strange, and this happened in the first episode as well but it was even worse in Out of Time. The game puts you in a situation where you have to look around to find something, in Chrysalis it’s a CD that’s hidden in a box under the bed, and now there’s a part where you have to find 5 bottles…in a junk yard. It took me 20 minutes before I had to give up and look up online where the last bottle was, and low and behold, it was hidden away in this little corner that the hint the game was giving me would not in any way help me find. At this point I expect the next three episodes would have something like this in each one, but it’s just a frustrating section of the game because there’s literally nothing you can do except keep looking until you find it.