Life is Strange: Episode 3 - Chaos Theory

Back to Summary

Percentile Rank

Life is Strange: Episode 3 - Chaos Theory is ranked in the 81st percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.

Rating Summary

Based on 50 critic reviews
Strong Man

OpenCritic Rating

80

Top Critic Average

72%

Critics Recommend

Based on 50 critic reviews

Score Distribution

Unscored Reviews

AngryCentaurGaming
Unscored
Unscored
May 19, 2015
null video thumbnail
GameZone
Unscored
Unscored
May 25, 2015

With just two episodes remaining in Life is Strange (at least the first season), I'm more lost than ever; but, it's a good lost. Though not without risks, introducing this new wrinkle in Max's powers has left me both heartbroken and ecstatic for Episode 4.Lill

Read full review

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Unscored
Unscored
May 21, 2015

The development team at Dontnod have successfully crafted a story that explores the mental strain of growing up. The subject matter is mature, but because of its stark exploration of humanity rather than shocking violence. After three episodes, "Life is Strange" rivals some of the most intriguing prime time dramas on television.

Read full review

Dealspwn
Unscored
Unscored
May 20, 2015

There are so many questions left for Life is Strange to answer, and with only two episodes left, it's going to need to hit the ground running next time. You're looking at two to three hours of game time in this episode depending on how many extra details you want to dig out. The mystery of Rachel is getting clearer though and there's another gobsmacking finale.

Read full review

VGChartz
Unscored
Unscored
May 22, 2015

The journey so far has definitely been worth it.

Read full review

Scored Reviews

Examiner
May 21, 2015

Life is Strange has beckoned players to think about their decisions because just when you think a choice is for the good, something bad or unexpected happens. Thus far, Life is Strange has been a fine portrayal of life, there are no black and white realities, only gray areas, and it is in the shades of light that we experience our true happiness. Life is Strange is turning out to be a revolutionary game that everyone must experience.

Read full review

ZTGD
9.5 / 10.0
9.5 / 10.0
May 27, 2015

With the power to rewind time and choose what happens it always comes with a price; it could be good or bad, but in the end it will always affect us. Life is Strange has shown that in a spectacular way, and I highly suggest it to anyone reading this review.

Read full review

Hardcore Gamer
4.5 / 5.0
4.5 / 5.0
May 22, 2015

Dontnod created a stroke of genius with the ending of Episode 3: Chaos Theory, leaving an open-ended cliffhanger that is nothing short of the best jaw-dropping conclusion to any episodic title to date. The music, pacing, writing and voice acting surpass all expectations set for the series so far, providing enough substance for Life Is Strange to become a serious contender for GOTY.

Read full review

games(TM)
9 / 10
9 / 10
Jun 24, 2015

Nails the narrative and episodic format

Read full review

ActionTrip
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
May 21, 2015

DONTNOD has not announced when the fourth episode, Dark Room, will release, but I cannot wait to see what happens next with Max, her powers, Blackwell Academy, Chloe, and the mystery of Rachel Amber. This is one of the most fascinating mysteries I have experienced in years. It may have been a little slow with episode 2, but it's picked up full steam now and there is nowhere for it to go but barreling ahead. Those who like mysteries and point-and-click adventures do not want to miss what Life is Strange has to offer.

Read full review

CGMagazine
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
May 20, 2015

Life Is Strange has already proven itself to be capable of making an interesting story out of its premise, but it's in this third episode that it has begun to develop a real level of confidence in its narrative.

Read full review

NZGamer
8.9 / 10.0
8.9 / 10.0
May 26, 2015

All of this has me very eagerly waiting for the next episode, and wishing it wasn't six weeks away. But the thing behind most of that anticipation is the thing I can't talk about - one hell of a cliffhanger ending, that I never saw coming. Here's hoping that that the next part can deliver on what have become some pretty high expectations.

Read full review

PushStartPlay
8.8 / 10.0
8.8 / 10.0
May 28, 2015

The continued development of Max and Chloe as a crime solving duo is handled in a way that really makes you care for both of them. Time travel and its consequences are also being explored brilliantly, with the weight of each decision requiring you to really think things through.

Read full review

GearNuke
4.3 / 5.0
4.3 / 5.0
Jun 14, 2015

Overall Life is Strange is another solid episode and could have been the best yet if the pacing towards the middle of the episode was a tad better. So far Life is Strange hasn't disappointed, if the next two episodes keep the pace then Life is Strange could easily be one of the best Adventure games of all time.

Read full review

COGconnected
86 / 100
86 / 100
Jun 1, 2015

Let me just say, after playing episode 3 you'll wish episode 4 was already available.

Read full review

Forbes
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Jun 5, 2015

It is also an interesting melding of the episodic adventure popularized by Telltale, the Doublefine puzzle game and the emergent genre of Cascadian environmental and self-exploration of which Gone Home is the definitive example. Fans of these forms are likely to find much to enjoy. Gentle, unhurried and with an ambient layer of puzzle-solving, this is a so far very successful melding of genres.

Read full review

DualShockers
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
May 19, 2015

Life is Strange has always been about showing us the collisions between the past and the present, and with an ending set to turn the series on its head, there's no way of knowing just where to look back.

Read full review

Critical Hit
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
May 19, 2015

Life is Strange Episode 3 falters in some areas but it was never enough to hurt the overall experience. With heartfelt moments and an incredible climax, this game proves that it can stand tall amongst the giants in the genre. I felt a bit disheartened by the incredibly slow and slightly boring second episode, but this one proves that this game is still hella awesome, and yes, I just said hella.

Read full review

Gamers FTW
8.2 / 10.0
8.2 / 10.0
Jun 20, 2015

Life is Strange: Chaos Theory continues the good work that the two previous instalments have set up, taking the story and gameplay to new places without forgetting the ideas that have become central to the series, even in such a short space of time. The balance of gameplay and story is arguably improving, and it no longer feels as if the narrative is the one thing subject to change.

Read full review

Arcade Sushi
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
May 27, 2015

Though "Chaos Theory" doesn't pack quite as much of an emotional punch as the previous chapter, Max's search for the truth in Arcadia Bay does take some startling turns.

Read full review

IGN
8 / 10.0
IGN

Top Critic

8 / 10.0
May 19, 2015

Life Is Strange: Episode 3 takes a massive turn with a heartfelt and ambitious new story.

Read full review

High-Def Digest
May 23, 2015

'Chaos Theory' is the best episode so far in the 'Life is Strange' series, easily outpacing 'Out of Time' in narrative quality. The cliffhanger at the end makes me very excited for the next episode. So long as it continues to take risks, there is a lot of potential for the remaining episodes.

Read full review

TrueAchievements
May 25, 2015

Life is indeed strange. Meddling with time is not as easy as you would think and this engaging story does a great job of driving that point home. The moral decisions that players make really do have an affect on the story's future. The game's time-rewinding mechanics mean that all options can be considered and those all-important decisions need not be rushed. While the story so far has followed a fairly predictable path, the events of Episode 3 have really turned things on their head. Dontnod has the potential to mix things up in Episode 4. Will they stick with this new direction or will we be turned back onto the path that we have been treading so far? Only time will tell.

Read full review

GameSpot
8 / 10
8 / 10
May 19, 2015

The third episode of Life is Strange marks the series' high point, with poignant emotional moments and a twist that turns the narrative on its head.

Read full review

PlayStation LifeStyle
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
May 19, 2015

But, despite having a rushed feel and under appreciating some pretty large issues, Life is Strange: Episode 3 is highly intriguing, entertaining, and surprising. Even though it offers up a different type of gameplay experience than the first two episodes, it still holds its own against the larger story.

Read full review

Metro GameCentral
8 / 10
8 / 10
May 18, 2015

There's a lot of downtime at the start, but another shock ending does little to dilute what is the best piece of interactive storytelling so far this year.

Read full review

PlayStation Universe
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
May 19, 2015

Life is Strange Episode 3 is another thrilling entry in this intriguing adventure series, featuring some of the best plot development to date.

Read full review

Impulsegamer
4 / 5.0
4 / 5.0
May 24, 2015

If you loved the previous two episodes, Chaos Theory is a must, especially the amazing ending of this episode… wow… what a mind bend!

Read full review

DarkZero
8 / 10
8 / 10
May 19, 2015

"If only I could go back and fix my mistakes," is a phrase often casually uttered when people face hardships the world throws at them. Life is Strange is a game that turns that fantasy into a reality, but by the time Episode Three comes to an end that question itself will have changed. As fans collectively wait for Episode Four, the question on the tip of everyone's tongue will be is one person choosing to incite such change always the right thing to do?

Read full review

Gamestyle
8 / 10
8 / 10
May 18, 2015

Another good episode in the Life is Strange series.

Read full review

Game Rant
Jun 7, 2015

'Life is Strange Episode 3: Chaos Theory' packs an emotional wallop that, despite the occasional missteps, shows that this game won't be easily forgotten.

Read full review

Cubed3
8 / 10
8 / 10
Jun 1, 2015

There's a lot of risk in making an episodic, story-centric game, but Dontnod and Square Enix have pulled out all the stops, as shown in Episode 3 - Chaos Theory. Even if the next two episodes bomb, the first three have already crossed the threshold from "videogame" into "interactive experience," and whatever the future holds, Life is Strange is a title people will remember for a long time.

Read full review

Game Revolution
May 18, 2015

Life Is Strange has always had a nice down-to-earth quality for a video game. Sure, the time travel gimmick is just that, but Max and the rest of the occupants of Arcadia Bay still keep me invested. And only two episodes remain.

Read full review

Destructoid
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
May 26, 2015

The cliffhanger that Chaos Theory ends on is so perfect for this portrayal of the fictional Arcadia Bay, Oregon where nothing's ever perfect. However, it's also scarily dangerous in that it very well might render most of the world-building a moot point. It'd be such an absolute shame if that were to happen. We have to wait to see if that's the case. But, Life is Strange now has me in its grips, and if I'm worried, it's only because I care. I finally really, truly care.

Read full review

Push Square
8 / 10
8 / 10
May 17, 2015

We weren't particularly sold on the first two episodes of Life Is Strange, but we could see the kernel of potential that was hiding beneath the surface. Episode 3 – Chaos Theory is where that promise finally bursts to the forefront, delivering an almost perfect balance of tense storytelling, organic dialogue, and improved gameplay – all while setting up a potentially brilliant follow-up episode. This series is finally delivering what we always thought it could, and that makes us hella happy.

Read full review

USgamer
May 28, 2015

Life is Strange takes a hard turn with Episode 3 as Max's supporting cast gains a bit more nuance and depth. So far, each episode of Life is Strange has improved upon the foundation laid by the last one. With Episode 3, the developer makes the player really think about the scope of Max's powers and actions. Great stuff.

Read full review

GameSpew
8 / 10
8 / 10
May 22, 2015

As episode 3 fades to black, you feel like everything you've already come to know about the game has totally been thrown out of the window

Read full review

Paste Magazine
7.8 / 10.0
7.8 / 10.0
May 22, 2015

Unlike Max, I can't see where this game is going. I think it's too late now for me to hope for a "less is more" level of storytelling or a take on teen romance that's grounded in characters and conversation rather than inexplicably overdramatic stakes. I don't know if Life is Strange can handle topics like rape, murder, suicide, homosexuality or disability in a responsible way—but maybe responsibility just isn't what Life is Strange is about.

Read full review

GameCrate
7.7 / 10.0
7.7 / 10.0
Sep 1, 2015

Life is Strange: Chaos Theory moves the series' plot forward, if awkwardly at times. The third chapter makes up for the weak decisions players have to make by maintaining a superb production quality and delving into increasingly mature issues.

Read full review

GameGrin
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
May 20, 2015

Strongly focussed on relationship building between the main characters, the somewhat simpler puzzles and return of previous problems bring it down.

Read full review

God is a Geek
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
May 19, 2015

A shorter episode, but still a good one. Life is Stranges continues to be hella good.

Read full review

RPG Fan
74%
74%
May 23, 2015

A Telltale-esque title set in suburban America that hints at maturity.

Read full review

Cheat Code Central
3.7 / 5.0
3.7 / 5.0
May 21, 2015

Giving a final rating for Episode 3 is a bit difficult. Honestly, the game started to slog at various points. I hated every single puzzle it threw my way, and couldn't stand how I had to brute force my way through most of it. But the story was still so good and the ending was superb. At this point, I'd say the episodes would be better off sticking to Telltale style choose your own adventure formats. DontNod simply isn't up to the task of designing puzzles. I swear to god, if I have to find one more bottle… but I digress. If you can deal with the frustration of the puzzles, then Life is Strange: Episode 3 is a fantastic game. If not, then I wouldn't blame you if you simply watched this on a Let's Play.

Read full review

TheSixthAxis
7 / 10
7 / 10
May 19, 2015

In the shadow of the incredibly powerful second episode, the midpoint in the series is a solid episode that felt for large parts like it was waiting for the next big thing to happen. Thankfully, Dontnod did just that with an almighty twist in its final few scenes that has you on tenterhooks with the seemingly infinite possibilities the story now holds.

Read full review

We Got This Covered
May 18, 2015

Although it plods along for quite a while, Life is Strange: Episode 3 - Chaos Theory culminates with game-changing activity. As such, those who've invested themselves into this storyline won't want to miss it.

Read full review

Kill Screen
70 / 100
70 / 100
May 27, 2015

Rather than reconciling the aesthetic and the spectacular, "Chaos Theory" exploded them. It remains to be seen whether both elements will survive. Right now, anything could happen.

Read full review

GamesBeat
70 / 100
70 / 100
May 25, 2015

Chaos Theory can't escape the shadow of its superior predecessor, but that's not to say it's a bad experience. Once you power through the dull fetch quests and irritating Chloe Time, it manages to provide some powerful moments and the best ending of any episode so far.

Read full review

Game Informer
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
May 18, 2015

I wish more happened in this episode, but the story is still intriguing and the cliffhanger is shocking

Read full review

IBTimes UK
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
May 19, 2015

A disappointing second act, dragged down by the mundane but saved with an unexpected and game-changing twist.

Read full review

The Digital Fix
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
May 18, 2015

Chaos Theory has two big things going for it, the character of Max and its final cutscene. If it wasn't for these two factors, our time of enjoying Life Is Strange may have been up. Its gameplay has become rather tedious and the lack of elaboration in Max's time travelling usage is a severe let-down. The lip syncing issues are worse than ever, and when the technical problems are combined with monotonous gameplay, it's clear that Dontnod have a lot of work to do if they want to re-engage us for the penultimate episode. Max and the episode's finale are the saving graces of Chaos Theory, and they are the main reasons that we still hold hope and optimism for the fourth episode of Life Is Strange.

Read full review