I expected the dramatic conclusion to Episode 2 to be the catalyst that would drive the series' pace forward with a much needed boost. More so with questions about the events at Arcadia Bay's school and the strange events around town being no closer to getting answered.
The first part of Episode 3 starts with Max and Chloe breaking into the school Principal's office. To get through the locked door, you have to sneak through the school at night to find a few items. It feels a bit by the numbers really, with only bonus photo maintaining my interest.
Later in this segment, you'll need to evade the security guard to make your escape, which given the fact you can rewind time, isn't exactly difficult. From here the pace again drops dramatically as you hang out with Chloe the day after and talk to her mum, filling in little details that are eventually important, so try to pay attention.
The focus on the ominous supernatural side of events threatening Arcadia Bay take a backseat again this week, but those of you keen to know more about the Rachel character may finally unearth some decent pieces to that puzzle as you investigate a dealer's home and also use rewinds to explore lots of conversation trees in the local diner.
These conversations add many plot thickening details, but with only two episodes remaining, I can't shake the feeling that Dontnod are going to hold off on completing the 'storm' storyline. Frankly, it's got a 'Next Season on Life is Strange...' cliff-hanger written all over it. I hope that's not the case, as the lack of closure would be incredibly frustrating, all the more so given the huge gap between episodes already.
Player choices made in this episode don't seem to carry the same weight -in this episode at least- as the last episode, but to be fair, Episode 2 was going to be tough to follow in that regard. Instead, choices seem to be angled towards keeping Chloe onside. So far, I've been trying to play things by the book/nice guy as I would with a first playthrough of games like this and Telltale's output. But this was tested a little today as I found myself giving Chloe some swiped charity money to pay off her dealer debts, just to avoid her being emo for the rest of the episode. I may go back and rewind that tonight actually, and it's great that Life is Strange lets you do that!
Max's hipster inner monologues and Chloe's tendency to bratishly fly off the handle at a moment's notice can really grate at times. But the narrative beats ensure you'll keep pushing on through the story, especially with another huge ending that hinges on a newfound ability of Max's. So, here's to waiting another six weeks for the next episode.
- Some plot strands are becoming clearer
- Terrific ending
- You'll want to replay Episode 2 to see things differently here
- So much emo
- Item fetching is not gameplay
- Episode has a saggy middle
The Short Version: There are so many questions left for Life is Strange to answer, and with only two episodes left, it's going to need to hit the ground running next time. You're looking at two to three hours of game time in this episode depending on how many extra details you want to dig out. The mystery of Rachel is getting clearer though and there's another gobsmacking finale.
We do not score episodic titles unless they can be purchased separately as standalone games, or at the reviewer's discretion. A score will be assigned to the entire season once complete.
Platform: PS4 (reviewed) | PS3 | X360 | XO | PC
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Publisher: Square Enix
You really should dive into Dontnod's new series, as it's shaping up nicely so far. Be sure to check out my spoiler-free reviews of Episode 1 and Episode 2. To see the game in action, take a look at Carl's new Backseat Gamer series as he and Becky play the game together (Part 1 and Part 2).