At long last, episode 2 of Life is Strange 2 is finally upon us! Dontnod dropped the new episode on January 24th. It comes after about four months of hard work on the developers’ parts. Titled “Rules,” episode 2 follows the story of Sean and Daniel Diaz. (Episode 1 spoilers!) They are on the run from the police after Daniel’s telekinetic powers injure the police officer who shot their father. This article reviews episode 2. For a look at thoughts on episode 1, check out this article. The only minor spoilers are for characters who get introduced in the episode.
Life Is Strange 2Episode 2‘s Story & Plot
The plot itself of Life is Strange 2Episode 2: Rules is notably less intense than episode 1. Some of the decisions made in episode 2 seem less important than in episode 1. However, there’s a lot of information revealed. Episode 2 is more about family, for more than just Sean and Daniel. We meet their grandparents, who are their mother’s parents, Claire and Stephen. We also revisit Chris and his father, Charles. They live next door to Claire and Stephen and are the main characters in the demo The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit.
I’ve read some reviews that didn’t enjoy the time spent at Claire and Stephen’s, but I found it refreshing. It was good to have that time to rest emotionally, from the things going on in the game. At this point, Sean and Daniel have been homeless for around three months. It was relieving to see them finally getting some help. According to the gameplay and dialogue, Karen, Sean and Daniel’s mother (who left), also alienated herself from her parents in the process and cut off all ties with them. Claire and Stephen, in a way, are able to relate to Sean and Daniel. They have endured the same treatment from the same person.
A Visual Reflection Of Lifestyle
The visuals and soundtrack of Life is Strange 2Episode 2 are just as good as we’ve all come to expect from the Life is Strange games. Taking place in the winter, episode 2 showcases the big snowy fields and frost-laden woodland of Oregon. Also, can I say how nice it is to finally see Sean and Daniel wearing different clothing? It felt as refreshing as it must feel for them to finally wear something new and clean and warm. Visually, the characters also reflect their lifestyles.
Claire’s comfortable pudginess and muted wardrobe reflect her age and Christian sensibilities, as well as her small-town surroundings. Meanwhile, characters like Cassidy and Finn wear dreaded hair and pieced-together, punk clothing that show their life on the road is a long and tough one.
Sean and Daniel, at the beginning of this episode, are definitely a pair of dirty boys. Their clothes look dirty, their faces look dirty, and I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure their teeth are also more yellow than they were before. Their hair has grown longer, and I instantly noticed just how tired Sean looked. Thankfully, they clean up at Claire and Stephen’s house.
The mechanics are the same as the first episode, with dialogue choices, “important” decisions which give you time to think about making them, as well as some open-world-like choices. Some of the options, I didn’t even realize were possible during my first play-through. Life is Strange 2Episode 2‘s fetch quests weren’t really my thing. However, some events cannot be avoided. I’ll refrain from specifying to keep from spoiling, but it was a little disheartening to learn certain things would happen regardless of your choices. Additionally, there are some recurring audio bugs, but I don’t doubt those will be taken care of soon enough.
Overall, Life is Strange 2 Episode 2 is still a story about the brothers. This episode, in particular, is a story about broken family, from the way their absent mother has impacted their relationship with their grandparents, to how Charles Eriksen struggles to take care of Chris alone. The most important thing in this episode seemed to be the information we got about Sean and Daniel’s mother. But there are a few other important plot points as well. In my opinion, it doesn’t quite match episode 1’s tension and intensity, but that’s pretty much to be expected. It definitely sets future episodes up for more interesting content.
Some of the story aspects of Life is Strange 2Episode 2 fell a little flat for me. I knew exactly what they were going for. But it felt a little like the game was telling you how to feel about everything, spoon-feeding you the story instead of letting you just experience it yourself. Still, I enjoyed playing Episode 2, and will definitely be waiting eagerly for the next one. Life is Strange 2Episode 2 is available for purchase on Steam, and for Xbox and Playstation.
Unfortunately, it is not available by itself. For now, it must be purchased as a bundle of episodes 2-5, of which only episode 2 is currently released.