Game Review: Life is Strange (Episode 4)

The fifth (and final) episode of Life is Strange is due out on October 20th. I’ve enjoyed the ride and I’ll be sad to see it come to an end. I suppose life must go on.

I’ll be honest, I have mixed feelings about this episode. There are some very intense scenes in this episode, and some hard choices to make, especially after how the last episode ended, and it’s difficult to talk about things without spoiling everything. Suffice it to say that stuff you may have not noticed in the first episode become very important in this one. I also really liked how you could end on friendlier terms with characters like Frank and Victoria, even if the former kind of didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

There were a couple of things I didn’t like about this episode. The first is that the game seems determined to play the “out of control kid with a scaaaaary mental illness” card, although if you do some poking around and read notes and emails, they help give a bit of perspective to his issues, although I don’t think the player is required to look at them. My other issue is that the player ends up exploring a creepy barn and then is forced to spend time looking at photographs of women in very vulnerable positions, which may be triggering for some (I was more than a little creeped out by them). In terms of gameplay annoyances, there is a really annoying “detective work” sequence that isn’t explained very well. I actually had to do it over again because I had to look something up. I also felt like it doesn’t really fit with the other puzzles that have been in the game.

The episode ended on a really intense note and I’m hoping the finale will make up for the stumbles in this episode.

 

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