Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Life is Strange Episode 5 review

There's an old time traveller clichè, don't change the past. It's a mantra you'd expect young Maxine Caulfield would have learnt about three episodes ago, alas, she hasn't and it now comes down to the shocking twist at the end of episode four.

We learnt that someone close to us was in on the attacks on young women and it's someone we really trusted. In this episode we become (understandably) obesessed with stopping him and the tornado threatening everyone.

Maxine really grows as a character during this episode, from a shy character to a 'take on all newcomers' sort of attitde. She flowers in the very trippy, M Night Shyamalan style dream sequences, where she becomes stuck inside her own head. She becomes a little more independent from everybody else, but somehow more dependent on Chloe.

The most dramatic shift is in a familiar face becoming a rock to our understanding of everything around us, to an monster we have to slay. David also takes a step in the opposite direction and ends up becoming a saviour.

The story is hard not to give away, (I know I'm tired of saying it about Life is Strange too) but you'll understand why I don't want to say too much after you've played half an hour of the episode. All your choices have an effect on how Maxine's head operates in the later stages of the episode too. We played both versions of seperate realities making different choices and time altering conumdrums. It's still the level of excellent usage of script, storyline and character progression either way.

Ultimately, it comes down to a choice. THE choice. We won't spoil anything here but one of the choices (although selfless by one character) is very heartwrenching, it also happens to be the communities most chosen ending.

The game features a lot of puzzle solving and stealth based gameplay. This is a little more annoying at times than in previous episodes. Mainly because in one section in particular, you can become completely stuck if caught, in which the game gets caught in an ahem time loop and you end up occasionally having to reload your checkpoint and start the whole thing again.

By far the most incredible episodic game this year, it's very hard to dislike the title at all and this particular episode really rewards you for all your time spent in Arcadia Bay. Will Max get a second series? We certainly hope so.

Overall 5/5
Gameplay 4/5
Storyline 5/5
Characters 5/5


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