REVIEW – Despite having surprising political references, the first episode has been pretty enjoyable, and now, Dontnod has released the second chapter, which has something that we have seen last summer. Captain Spirit did end up having some relation to Life is Strange 2, which now starts to roll to the level of quality that was seen in October 2015, defeating everything in its way.
Rules’ rating (I’d bet money that you’ll scroll down now and read the number, then come back here…) is intentionally similar to the first episode’s score. I think that after the beginning, the goal for the developers here was to keep the players hooked, which is a good idea, as the result is mostly fine.
Our current political vibes in the world, no matter what country we talk about (as I mean it generally), seems to be moving in somewhat a xenophobic direction. This idea is represented right at the beginning of the episode, as the Internet threats, which I’m pretty sure we all have seen or experienced in a way or another, surfaces. It’s about time to have a little break, some relaxed vibe after months of travelling, and so, Sean and Daniel find a little shelter, where Daniel starts to get a grip on his supernatural powers. One of the strong points of Roads is the relationship that the two brothers are building up – surviving and escaping ties their fate together, even with Daniel not listening to his older sibling, who asks for a good reason to keep the powers hidden from the public, as it might be dangerous to reveal to people.
There are unanswered questions that might be answered later regarding our family. Even though this thought might be hanging above our heads like the sword of Damocles, we end up taking a turn towards to the characters seen in The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit that came out last summer (with Denuvo on PC no less, which, frankly, is unnecessary and ridiculous aside from it probably collecting data…). If you played that mini teaser, your decisions there might continue the subplot here, which is an excellent idea. There will be another harsh decision towards the end of the episode, which is already making me curious about the third chapter of Life is Strange 2, which might arrive towards April, as there were some holidays between the first and second episodes.
If I had to recap Rules, then I’d mention the evolution of the relationship between Sean and Daniel (where we can somewhat shape the telekinesis-knowing Daniel’s personality, similarly how we can do the same thing to AJ in The Walking Dead: The Final Season), as well as the appearance of the Captain Spirit storyline (probably only for this chapter). I also liked how surprisingly relaxed, held back Roads was, which kept the ambience good despite this change of tone. However, I cannot ignore the negatives, so I’m going to talk about them the moment I reach the bottom of the page, and here I am pressing Enter…
*second lead in a bored voice*
Dontnod might have been intentional when they put together the second episode as the first one, as some details seem to be doing the same motive once again. With the voice acting, I have feelings about it sliding downwards with the quality. There are both good and bad moments, which is weird, as I don’t really remember the developers having such an issue before… and I also have to add that the new characters might have used a rotating door. As fast as they came in, they might head out, meaning they might have no role whatsoever in later episodes, which could be problematic. Turning away from the negatives, the siblings’ relationship might blow in our face later on, and it’s likely not going to be something good to look at, especially if I consider the last episode and last decision of Life is Strange…
this episode is still worthy of a kindhearted eight out of ten. Honestly, I’d give it somewhere around the 7.5/10 region. The environment wasn’t ignored (that doesn’t mean that the visuals look good, though – they do the job, but they are far from being revolutionary), and the chilled, peaceful environment (along with the soundtrack that has never been the weak point of the franchise!) feels relaxing after the aggressive first episode. I’m sure that the next chapter will flip things on their respective heads, but I’m still trusting Dontnod. As The Walking Dead ends in March, Life is Strange is going to stay alone on the battlefield of episodic games. This is why I’m slightly afraid as the developers might go lazy without competition. I’m waiting for the next episode – the stakes are getting higher and higher.
+ The relationship between the siblings
+ Captain Spirit characters
+ Laid back, yet full of vibes
– A few motives seem to repeat…
– The voice acting isn’t always up to snuff
– How much of a role the new characters will have later…?
Publisher: Square Enix
Genre: episodic, adventure
Release date: January 24, 2019