LIFE IS STRANGE 2 [Review]: Twice The Game, Half As Good.
Everything is political…
Taking place right after the 2016 election, two brothers find themselves on the run after an accident kills their father and a cop.
Sigh. I wanted to really like Life is Strange 2. It’s a politically charged game that had so much going for it, but just falls so short of its mark. Being part Latino and watching how Latinos are being treated in this country — what, with chants of “build the wall” or “go back to where ya came from” — I was excited to see that this took place post-2016 election…
That notion was quickly drowned out by what I like to call the “Oh!… Aww…” factor, meaning, for every good thing there was to like about the game there was something that kept me from really liking it. It was almost like a pros and cons list while I was playing the game; only here, the cons outnumbered the pros.
As mentioned, the story is initially compelling, having to outrun the cops and bigoted rednecks while your little brother has burgeoning superpowers! While this should be an absolute ball to play, LIS2 is very, very, very slow. Did I mention that it’s slow? Since the action takes place outside of your control, it’s not hard to be taken out of the game; granted, this is a decision-based game — the chief reason Telltale stuff never resonated with me. Yes, I love that every decision you make is going to shape the game as you play, but when any action occurs, it’s via cutscene. If I could just watch a movie if I only wanted that.
LIS2‘s dialogue also feels like it was written by a high school student who has no siblings who was told to write a short story about siblings but didn’t have any knowledge on how people or siblings actually speak to one another…
On the acting side, however, some of the voice acting is great. Amador Plascencia and Bolen Walker as dad Esteban Diaz and Brody Holloway, respectively, do a fantastic job and pulled me into the story. But, then the two main actors Gonzalo Martin (Sean) and Roman Dean George (Daniel Diaz) often sound cringeworthy. I don’t know if the voice directors just said “let’s do one take and then move on” or what, but the direction on this game is spotty at best.
The final aspect that I have yet to talk about is the animation. Throughout this critique, I have tried to have a positive for each negative. I understand that while this game might have fallen flat with me, people still put in hard work. And trust me, I can’t animate to save my life, but that being said… there is no pro here for the animation other than it’s not stick figures. The animation (especially after playing The Last of Us and Spider-Man) looks almost a decade old and dated. There are no “wow!” moments with this animation; just more “eh” moments.
The game felt like a chore to get through and no game should feel that way, especially when there are so many great video game titles coming out seemingly one after the other. Knowing that Square Enix produced this game is something that had me excited; yet after 5-minutes in, I quickly regretting the decision to play this and was more anxious to just push through to get to another web-slinging game that was sitting in my system.
If you liked the first Life is Strange game, then you might like this one, but if you didn’t play the first one, I would say just go ahead and pass on this one. 2.5/5 Bibles.