The game is mixing up it's puzzles, it's no longer just find 5 things, it's more like, find the connections between all these things or feel the controller vibrate and check under your feet. There's also multiple ways to solve certain puzzles, which reduces the chance to spend an hour trying to solve something.
The tone of the game has changed, it's no longer the cute game about taking pictures and being awkward in high school, it's taken a dark turn and I don't know what I think about it yet.
What happened to the cute Pacific Northwest game about taking pictures and rewinding time? This shit got dark, and FAST.
Episode 4 is finally out at the very end of July and I couldn’t have been more excited to get back into it. Especially after the somewhat annoying episode 3, I was incredibly eager to get back into it. Now as usual, this won’t be a proper review, but more of a short review about how the individual episode works on its own.
So its been 2 months, I feel like I can finally talk about the ending to the last episode. Right at the end, Max goes so far back in time that she prevents the death of Chloe’s dad. Naturally this creates an alternate reality, and everything changes. Episode 4 starts out right at this point, and I was somewhat annoyed with this writing decision. It basically meant one of two things, either all the choices we made up to this point were meaningless, or we’re gonna go back to our old reality and this new one was a complete waste of time only to get reactions. Thankfully we do go back to our old universe, but not before one giant choice that really doesn’t mean anything because you almost immediately go back.
That actually brings me to my next point, the big choices. There were only 4 in this episode and like I said, the first one was emotional but meaningless. I have mixed feelings about this, on one hand I really like the choices, I like having an impact on the game. On the other hand, it does seem somewhat natural to have fewer choices and making the game more linear as it progresses, as long as the story makes up for it with better writing, and it definitely has. It also means I don’t want to replay the episodes as much to see different outcomes.
Dontnod Entertainment said this would be their most ambitious episode ever, and for the most part they were completely right. The end of the episode had me completely agape, I had no idea what to think. I was certainly much more pleased with it than the last episode, the best ending so far. I was very skeptical that Life is Strange could handle all the different stories or plots they’ve built up in just 2 more episodes, but god damn they managed to do it.
Now, one of my biggest problems with Life is Strange is that in pretty much every episode there’s been a moment where you’re tasked with finding a bunch of stuff and there’s usually something that is ridiculously hard to find. It takes either way too long to find or you have to look it up. The Dark Room doesn’t exactly suffer from this, but it did have a couple different moments where I had to look up what to do (though to be perfectly fair, one of them was my own fault not remembering my rewind power). The last 2 episodes of this game have been trying something new, letting players find a few different ways to solve various puzzles and I love this. This gives players a few different options to solve these tasks that involve finding or solving a bunch of crazy shit.
I think this is my longest review of a Life is Strange episode since the first one. To sum up, I definitely “liked” this episode, it was great to be back in the game and it was full of story and character development. But the tone of the game has changed so drastically, I can’t say I enjoyed it in the same way that I liked the first couple episodes. It’s like there was this major tone shift in episode 3, and it’s gone in such a dark direction that my opinion of the game as a whole has changed. What that opinion is…I’m not sure. I’ll let ya know in September.
Thanks for reading!