Life is Strange 2: Episode 1 - Roads Xbox One X Review

Life is Strange 2 Episode 1: Roads continues this theme by providing a gripping tale of 2 brothers who must depend on one another for strength.

By Grayshadow, Posted 27 Sep 2018

Since its debut, the Life is Strange series has gained an acclaimed reputation for providing an intense and deeply emotional narrative full of dark and heartfelt moments. Life is Strange 2 Episode 1: Roads continues this theme by providing a gripping tale of 2 brothers who must depend on one another for strength.

Life is Strange 2,NoobFeed,Dontnod Entertainment,Square Enix,

Life is Strange 2 Episode 1: Roads opens with Sean living a normal teenage life. Hanging out with friends, trying to get laid, and figuring out his future. After a normal day of school and preparing for an upcoming party Sean's life is turned upside down within a few minutes. After a massive calamity his neighbor, a police officer, and his father are left dead with Sean left to pick up the pieces.

The story doesn't get easier from there with Sean now in charge of his brother as they attempt to flee to Mexico. The issues begin to mount as Sean tries to keep his naive brother calm as he has no idea of what happened.

The strong writing and incredible voice-actors help deliver a meaningful connection between Sean and Daniel. Sean is annoyed, overwhelmed, and constantly on edge. He acts just like a teenager as he attempts to find the next short-term solution to their next problem. Whether it's food or shelter or keeping Daniel distracted. The complementary cast of characters boosts this world's authentic feel as you encounter characters with histories and motives that are grounded in reality. Whether it's a traveling journalist with a heart of gold or a loving father who works way too hard. 

Life is Strange 2,NoobFeed,Dontnod Entertainment,Square Enix,

Daniel acts just like a child would. He looks up to Sean but is easily distracted, unaware of the dire situation they're in. The behavior between Sean and Daniel humanizes them as believable kids dealing with difficult ordeals. Searching for wood for a fire becomes a quest, obtaining vital supplies but getting Daniel's favorite candy bar keeps him distracted, and breaking down when reality hits Sean provides emotional weight as this kid tries acts in the best interest of his brother.

Unlike the previous games in the franchise, Sean isn't equipped with special abilities and is too passive to speak up like Chloe Price. Instead, much of the game focuses on the traditional choice system where Sean answers questions with up to 4 choices available. Some decisions are more important than others acting as a ripple effect that alters the story and changes motives of the characters around you. The biggest effect being Daniel's behavior.

Sean can lie, steal, and perform other actions that Daniel will witness. Like a little brother, Daniel admires his older brother and mimics his actions such as if Sean steals Daniel do the same. Much of the other gameplay mechanics involve interacting with the environment, finding hidden collectables, and searching for clues for the next objective. There's one puzzle sequence but it shows how vital Daniel and Sean are to one another.

Life is Strange 2,NoobFeed,Dontnod Entertainment,Square Enix,

The narrative is strong and the branching paths do provide multiple reasons to go back and play but the skip system could use some more work. Players can skip ahead cutscenes when they finish the episode and want to play again, this issue is that this option isn't always available. Players may have to watch the entirety of a cutscene, which can take 6 minutes before a skip option appears.

Life is Strange 2 Episode 1: Roads delivers an emotionally gripping opening to this episodic story. Both Sean and Daniel are outstanding characters that are both layered and well-voiced to give them that authentic relationship.  If this is what we can expect from Life is Strange 2 than it's going to be an outstanding tale.
 

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Developer(s): Dontnod Entertainment
Genres: Adventure
Themes: Narrative
Release Date: 2018-09-26

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