Life is Strange 2 - Episode 1: Roads
Summary: The first episode of Life is Strange 2 sets up the season for success, with two brother as protagonists that hook players early. However, not all narrative statements land; the politics can feel forced, and the the pacing can feel off.
Top Critic Average
The first episode of Dontnod's Life is Strange 2 promises a bigger, more complex story than told by its predecessor, charting a cross-country road trip across Donald Trump's America. Though its social criticisms feel broad and rather clumsy so far, its core story of brotherhood and fraternity between two believable characters is already enormously touching. Like the original, Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 makes time for small details and quiet moments, and when it does it's capable of a beauty we rarely see in video games.
A well-written story that doesn't quite gel together properly and a lack of actual things to do make this a sub-par start to this potentially great sequel.
The relationship between the two brothers feels genuine and meaningful, and their uncertain circumstances make for a gripping story
Life is Strange 2 asserts that games are ready to expose and interrogate the wounds left on our country by institutional racism, a contentious government and steadfast ideological differences. One episode in, season two seems ready for the job.
Life Is Strange 2 kicks off with a diverse cast of strongly-defined characters, a narrative shaped by real-world sociopolitical issues, and the love between two brothers at the root of it all.
Life Is Strange 2's debut episode, despite its faults and its slow-moving pace, starts the series off compellingly, setting off on a road trip adventure that I'm sure will bear more hardship for the two brothers than unlikely friendships.
Life Is Strange 2 Episode 1 is a decent introduction this new season. It stumbles and succeeds in the same areas as its predecessor, but those stumbles are a bit less severe and those victories are a tad more successful.
The net result is that we immediately care about Life is Strange 2. There's no getting-to-know-you phase where we're slowly and steadily introduced to conflict. Nope, it's immediate and it's painful. And it makes both Sean and Daniel immediately-sympathetic characters. Developer Dontnod used this first episode as an opportunity to get right at the themes of Life is Strange 2. There's no time wasted and that's an effective way to get our attention. This is going to be a roadtrip that's worth looking forward to, even if it's born out of some of the most tragic circumstances imaginable.
The first chapter of Life is Strange 2 surprises for good. It maintains the essence of the serie and it's capable of contributing its bit with a much more dynamic and natural universe. We have doubts to resolve as the importance of Daniel's power, but the trip of the Diaz brothers is promising.
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Following on from Max and Chloe's time-twisting adventure was always going to be a tricky task, but Dontnod have pulled it off with aplomb in Life Is Strange 2's first episode. Sean and Daniel's relationship, the tragedy that sends them on the run, the contrasting people that they meet and the supernatural twists on a modern day drama all come together in wonderful fashion.