REVIEW – It’s weird for me, as I didn’t review the previous three episodes of Life is Strange (a fatal mistake, if you ask me), so I will try to go for a different approach in the fourth episode. As I haven’t read the previous reviews, I don’t know how much my choices are different. So let’s take a look at that Dark Room already…
My biggest issue with the third episode (speaking of, I had to get through three episodes in a day, but I had to do it) was the image minigame, which ended up spilling over to the fourth episode, but not in a way as I thought it would. So Max is able to create alternative timelines via photos, and this skill was used to help save Chloe’s father, William from that deadly car accident, but sadly, Chloe’s future was changed severely because of this.
Chloe ends up having a near fatal accident herself, which makes her family suffer: just keeping the teenager alive costs them roughly a million dollars a year. You can kinda guess one of the decisions in the episode. I never thought Dontnod ends up playing with us via the euthanasia option. But then, this minigame is thrown at me again. Let me be honest: please don’t do this more, but I suspect that it will happen again in the finale via one event – and I’d rather not spoil my thoughts about it, because I’d just keep it to myself for now.
Who’s behind all of this?
The investigation around the Prescott family won’t end, in fact, we will have to tie a lot of clues together ourselves to progress. A lot indeed, as several story arcs will meet up in a slightly different than expected manner. There’s also going to be a twisted twist – pardon me for the pun – at the very end, but if you have been taking clues of several events, it might not be surprising!
So yes, we will investigate Nathan’s moves and there will be some results, like we found out about his fetishes. And drugs. And we might end up seeing him beaten to a pulp by a surprise person.
We end up visiting a seemingly harmless place, which has a lot – literally! – under cover, eventually resulting that this is the place where the end-episode scenes happen. It’s almost fully seen in the end of Dark Room, but we still don’t see who does what with whom… or actually do we? I’d rather not tell…
From the RV to the party
We will visit Frank too, and if we pull the moves off perfectly, we might leave him behind without him – or his dog – getting harmed in any kind of way. There’s also a visit to the junkyard after episode two, and one storyline ends here. There’s also some time spend at the Vortex Club party, where the winner of the Everyday Heroes contest gets announced too, and it’s not a surprising result either. This is where an important dialogue happens and I was surprised that I got the best result out of this in the end. The end however, was really an unexpected. We’re one day before the tornado hits in and destroys the entire location of Arcadia Bay, and the place is already showing a few ominous signs that something is about to crash down on Arcadia… and hard. How Dontnod will pull the Polarized finale in a good fashion is completely beyond me…
Still keeps the form in its audiovisuals
The music is still excellent, although it will never top the Obstacles song from the end of episode one and the voice acting is – as expected – absolutely wonderful. The graphics however, are still looking a bit subpar. I can understand that, but not the lipsync’s quality though. In episode 2, once I managed to make Max flapper her gums for twenty seconds without saying a word after pausing the game… and the subtitles aren’t perfectly in sync with the speech. Overall, the audiovisuals are a mixed bag.
The end of the road
Life is Strange is still one of the best games of the year, making us easily forget the lack of The Walking Dead (No Telltale, the Michonne mini-series don’t count), and Dontnod pumps out the episodes quite fast. The fourth episode only get a rating with an 8 for its first number because of that photo minigame and the lipsync’s quality. The story is awesome, but that final twist shouldn’t have been pulled off like THAT. At least they hooked us with another damn cliffhanger. And as I expected, Samuel seems quite harmless. Hmm…
+ The audio is still extraordinary
+ Good replayability factor
+The stupid ending still got a cliffhanger
– What’s up with the lipsync?
– The photo mini-game, why?
– How did they pull off this twist in the story this way?
Publisher Square Enix
Publication May 19, 2015