Life becomes odder than ever in the third episode of Life Is Strange 2, released today. Our lads are still on the lam, reaching the redwood forests of California and–uh oh!–you know who’s found in forests: hippies. And me. Often me. But it’s hippies they’re hooking up with this time as they continue to trek cross-country and, y’know, come to terms with puberty and superpowers and hormones and all that.
Squeenix blast the following blurb to set the episode up:
“Episode 3, ‘Wastelands’, continues Sean and Daniel Diaz’s journey to Mexico, as they reach the towering redwood forests of California. Falling in with a community of drifters on the fringes of society, the brothers are exposed to new experiences, encounter new friends and new challenges, and must confront much about themselves in the process. New relationships cause friction between the brothers and raise doubts about their unity. Can they stay together, or will their journey together end here?”
I reckon they can do it. If this isn’t ringing many bells after a four-month gap between episodes, you might find Brendan and Alice Bee’s verdict-o-chats about episode 1 and episode 2 helpful refreshers. Perhaps even entertaining.
The full season of Life Is Strange 2 is £32.45/€39.95/$39.95 on Steam. You can also buy episode 1 separately for £6.49/€7.99/$7.99 then add on extra episodes individually for the same. That also means yes, you can skip episodes or play them in any order, in which case the game will randomly generate a save state to start the episode. Why. Why is that a thing. For whom. Why. What.
If an illegal wacky baccy farm in the redwoods seems strange to you, what with California having legalised marijuana in November 2016, do remember that the game starts in October 2016. And despite legalisation, illicit farms in the woods are even now a problem causing great environmental damage.
Episode 4 is scheduled to follow on August 22nd, with episode 5 ending the story on December 3rd. That’ll make the series have taken fourteen months in all, a fair bit longer than the nine months of the first Life Is Strange. That stayed fresh in my head over the months, my brain still remembering what happened and my heart still connected to characters, but any longer than that and an episodic story schedule doesn’t really work for me. Maybe I’ll have a go at Life Is Strange 2 once it concludes.
The first Life Is Strange made me spam Pip with messages like “MY HEART…!” at all hours of the day across 2014 but I’ve actively avoided the sequel so far. A lot of how I felt about the first was tied up in who I was then and relationships I was in and… I am happy to leave that in memory and not muddle it by smashing in thoughts of 2. Take that, Dontnod: you made a game I liked enough to not want a sequel.