Life is strange is a new game from Developer Dontnod, who most know from their first game Remember Me that some say bombed and others loved. Life is Strange follows a girl called Max as she returns to her hometown whose style and overall look hasn’t changed, but the people who live there have changed drastically. Not even a month into living in her hometown she gains the ability to reverse time, as if fitting in wasn’t hard enough, and so her tale begins, a Telltale if you will.
This review is for Episode five and will have spoilers for all previous episodes. For a more in-depth look at the beginning story and gameplay find the first part here
Saving Chloe, finding Rachel’s body, solving the mystery behind the kidnapping and murders, it all felt as if the game was coming together and we were going to finally win over Nathan Prescott. If the final thing we saw on episode 4 didn’t turn out to be Mark Jefferson we could of called it there, but it was and it turns out he was the mastermind behind it all. Starting the episode off with Max tied up in the Dark Room and Mark feeling as if he has won over us.
Beginning with us trapped like a lamb, we must find a way to escape the Dark Room, either by escaping on foot or by using our time traveling powers. We spend quite a long time in this room, returning at several times in the episode. It is here where we find out more about Mark and Nathan as well as their relationship. A lot of time is spent on finding the right decision to conflicts and paths to take, with a maze-like part forcing us to hide from the people we’ve met throughout the game.
I completed Episode 5 in 3 hours, on the dot, making it shorter then the longest episode, but not the shortest. A lot of the time is taken up by retrying scenes and finding the right answer, especially when there is only 1 single answer to a few or a certain order to do things in, along with a hide and seek section much larger then what we had in the Pool section.
The final episode was more focused on the climax of the game, with very little investigation going on, rather looking for clues or pieces of information you could use in the same scene to save yourself or others. There is quite a bit of conversation to be had throughout, with most of the outcomes leading us to find out more answers and concluding the story even more. Delving deeper into the mind of Max and the effect of time travel, it shows us a crazy side to her psyche.
A lot of this episode is taken up by going through different parts of the time line, alternate realities and eventually finding out the cause and effect of our actions. It can be quite frustrating at times when you feel as if your choices are just resetting whenever it throws you through these sections. Everything gets tied together however, leading you into the final moments so any hatred you feel should subside.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
The ending to a lot of your choices finally rear their heads, though I did feel some were left in the background. Most of your decisions return through conversation, characters saying “Oh you did this” or “said this” but they do it so often that it feels just hashed together. Some of the characters responses looked placed together as they reply to you with tales of your past deeds, if it was more subtle or smoother it wouldn’t be so jarring. I would of preferred to see more ways in which the game showed how your actions changed things rather than just characters telling me what I did and choosing to side with me or not.
The final episode is the darkest yet, with drugs, death and threats being thrown around and used at almost every turn to make Max feel powerless and the player feel endangered. Mark’s character took a drastic turn and wasn’t the most obvious twist which was a better way to handle the twist then others. Acting was a bit off at parts for the voices and animations, with some characters not correctly portraying their emotions the scripts described, but it can be ignored for the most part due to the amazing scenery and background things happening.
Overall, Life is Strange Episode 5 gets a 4/5, tying up most of the loose ends and giving us some endings to arcs that we sorely wanted. Some choices were left open and didn’t really interfere with the outcome that much which did allow for some breathing room as you played through the game but kind of cheapened the actions you did take in the past. The ending leaves us with a cliff-hanger, doesn’t explain the power that Max had or why the storm was happening, which was quite an annoyance and doesn’t really give us a full package. The final episode was incredibly done, with a look inside Max’s head and the weird alter-ego of her time travel self, crazy segments with endless corridors and the internal conflict of Max. Though there are too many nit-picks to give it a better score.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.