Life is Strange: Episode 5 - Polarized header image

Life is Strange: Episode 5 - Polarized

Square Enix
Oct 20, 2015 - PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5

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Critics Recommend

4 / 5
Metro GameCentral
7 / 10
Game Informer
8 / 10
6 / 10
6.5 / 10
3 / 5
6 / 10
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Life is Strange: Episode 5 Trailer - Polarized

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Critic Reviews for Life is Strange: Episode 5 - Polarized

Over five episodes, Life is Strange has become more than another interactive drama - it's become one of the most interesting games in years.

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Life is Strange fails to execute in critical spots, but it's beautiful world, fun time-reversal, and honest look at adolescence makes it a game worth remembering. A diamond in the rough.

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A heartbreaking ending to a fascinatingly ambitious interactive story, that handles the build-up to its final dilemma with impressive confidence and heart.

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The emotional finale stays with you long after the credits, providing a worthy conclusion to Dontnod's first episodic game

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The finale of Life is Strange undermines its powerful, heartfelt story and cracks its tense atmosphere with tedious gamey sequences and a disappointing climax.

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"Polarized" feels a lot like a dog chasing its tail. We're used to Life is Strange taking back its most extreme consequences, because up until now that's been the entire point of the game: to fix things. But this episode is so focused on that idea — fixing it — that we sort of lose everything in between here. And all those little details are what made me love the series to begin with.

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Life is Strange comes to its ultimate conclusion by asking players what's more important: one person or an entire town? This is an emotionally strong episode that's unfortunately padded out by sequences that justify its overall running time and reinforce that you're playing a game. Life is Strange was great as a whole, but there are missteps in this episode.

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Despite finding issues with this chapter at every turn, I found myself more or less fulfilled with the conclusion -- although, I firmly believe that's an enthusiasm for Life is Strange as a whole as opposed to this installment alone. I think Dontnod discovered that it created a world that sprawled a little too far, and it wasn't sure how to bring it all to an end. So, it went with the easiest option. Or, as an art critic in this chapter phrased it, it took the path of least regret.

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