Life is Strange: Episode 5 - Polarized
Top Critic Average
Over five episodes, Life is Strange has become more than another interactive drama - it's become one of the most interesting games in years.
A heartbreaking ending to a fascinatingly ambitious interactive story, that handles the build-up to its final dilemma with impressive confidence and heart.
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.
The emotional finale stays with you long after the credits, providing a worthy conclusion to Dontnod's first episodic game
The finale of Life is Strange undermines its powerful, heartfelt story and cracks its tense atmosphere with tedious gamey sequences and a disappointing climax.
"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.
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.
Seen as a whole, my twelve-hour playthrough of Life is Strange has been a memorable one. The highest compliment I can give is that I felt like I spend quality time with Max, and the rest of the citizens of Arcadia Bay. Time that I would never rewind, but plan to revisit for sure.
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.
The fifth and final episode of Life Is Strange is a satisfying ending to what has been one of the best examples of modern storytelling within games. The elements of time travel have ben a fascinating and interesting hook that has allowed Dontnod to explore several characters and relationships, to the backdrop of a college campus that's steeped in mystery. It has its weaknesses and flaws as a game, but this is a deeply impactful game that shouldn't be missed.