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“Life is Strange 2 – Episode 2: Rules” Review

Just when you thought their brotherly relationship couldn’t get more real, it gets more real.

Sean and Daniel finally seem to have caught a break, but will it last?

With three episodes left to go after this one, probably not.

What Is It?

Life is Strange 2‘s second episode takes place a few weeks after the events of Episode 1.

MASSIVE SPOILERS FOLLOW: We can’t really talk about any story dynamics of Episode 2 if you haven’t played the first one.  So if you haven’t played the first episode of Life is Strange 2, consider this your only warning.  Scroll all the way down to “What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?” to see if the episode is worth it–but we’ll just tell you right here: it is.

Daniel is fully aware of the reason why he and his older brother are on the run (which in some cases could even be his own fault) and he’s been honing his telekinetic powers with the guidance of his brother.  In the meantime, Sean has agreed to be fully honest with his brother but continues to struggle with the fact that while he’s been forced to grow up more quickly, that isn’t necessarily the case with Daniel.

The two lucked out by finding an abandoned cabin in the woods and have been living off of stolen canned food for a while, but after realizing they’re within walkable miles of their grandparents (on their mother’s side, who left the family for reasons the kids don’t know), they decide to make the trek there with the real possibility of comfort and warmth on their minds.

Finding shelter in the home of estranged grandparents (who are both fantastic characters) from the side of the family that abandoned you on top of being on the run?  Yep, there’s some recipe for disaster here, and Life is Strange 2 somehow handles it gracefully and efficiently while giving players the illusion that it’s entirely your fault.

Why Should I Care?

Episode 2’s most impressive feat is the episode feeling dynamically different from the previous one.  In my review of the first, I mentioned that the game felt kind of slow especially when you make your way through the forest.  Nothing in Episode 2 felt like filler during my playthrough.  Helping Daniel hone his powers felt meaningful and hilarity ensued when you do dumb things like trying to throw rocks at his face in an attempt to force him to make them move.  It also felt refreshing knowing that it took a meaningful page out of the original Life is Strange‘s book by finally introducing Daniel’s powers, which should deepen the puzzle aspect should the game choose to have one–and there’s honestly no reason why they shouldn’t.

Episode 2 of Life is Strange 2 marks the return of Captain Spirit.

The most significant thing to mention is that the game will read your save of The Adventures of Captain Spirit–the “demo” released during E3 last year to further paint the picture of Life is Strange 2‘s setting.  I’m not going to go and spoil Captain Spirit if you didn’t play it, but I do thoroughly recommend you download and play it if you haven’t already especially if you’re already invested in Life is Strange 2 because he does play an important role in this story.

As for the actions to take, they also feel different.  The previous episode had you constantly worrying about Daniel picking up after Sean, but now that Daniel has powers and knows his brother doesn’t, there’s sort of a paradigm shift of power.  Still, Sean and Daniel agree to a set of rules regarding Daniel’s powers and uses that to maintain order.  Speaking of rules, there’s also an interesting moment in the episode that brings up the temptation of using the internet, Sean calling his best friend Lyla, and going outside–all of which are against the rules of the household.  Again, I don’t want to say too much, but with the title of the episode, it’s definitely thought provoking to see the results that various actions cause.

What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?

Rules might be one of the saddest and most profound episodes I’ve ever played in an episodic video game, and that’s a testament to the job Dontnod has been doing with Life is Strange 2.  I have no idea when the next episode of the game is coming, but Dontnod should definitely take their time because so far each one has been better than the last.

Check out our reviews of Life is Strange 2’s previous episodes:

Episode 1: Roads

 
 
 
 
 
Title: Life is Strange 2 - Episode 2: Rules
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Genre: Episodic Adventure
Release Date: January 24, 2019
ESRB Rating: M
Developer's Twitter: @DONTNOD_Ent
Editor's Note: A review code for the PS4 version of the game was provided by the publisher.

Sean and Daniel finally seem to have caught a break, but will it last? With three episodes left to go after this one, probably not. What Is It? Life is Strange 2‘s second episode takes place a few weeks after the events of Episode 1. MASSIVE SPOILERS FOLLOW: We can’t really talk about any story dynamics of Episode 2 if you haven’t played the first one.  So if you haven’t played the first episode of Life is Strange 2, consider […]

Just when you thought their brotherly relationship couldn’t get more real, it gets more real.

Sean and Daniel finally seem to have caught a break, but will it last?

With three episodes left to go after this one, probably not.

What Is It?

Life is Strange 2‘s second episode takes place a few weeks after the events of Episode 1.

MASSIVE SPOILERS FOLLOW: We can’t really talk about any story dynamics of Episode 2 if you haven’t played the first one.  So if you haven’t played the first episode of Life is Strange 2, consider this your only warning.  Scroll all the way down to “What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?” to see if the episode is worth it–but we’ll just tell you right here: it is.

Daniel is fully aware of the reason why he and his older brother are on the run (which in some cases could even be his own fault) and he’s been honing his telekinetic powers with the guidance of his brother.  In the meantime, Sean has agreed to be fully honest with his brother but continues to struggle with the fact that while he’s been forced to grow up more quickly, that isn’t necessarily the case with Daniel.

The two lucked out by finding an abandoned cabin in the woods and have been living off of stolen canned food for a while, but after realizing they’re within walkable miles of their grandparents (on their mother’s side, who left the family for reasons the kids don’t know), they decide to make the trek there with the real possibility of comfort and warmth on their minds.

Finding shelter in the home of estranged grandparents (who are both fantastic characters) from the side of the family that abandoned you on top of being on the run?  Yep, there’s some recipe for disaster here, and Life is Strange 2 somehow handles it gracefully and efficiently while giving players the illusion that it’s entirely your fault.

Why Should I Care?

Episode 2’s most impressive feat is the episode feeling dynamically different from the previous one.  In my review of the first, I mentioned that the game felt kind of slow especially when you make your way through the forest.  Nothing in Episode 2 felt like filler during my playthrough.  Helping Daniel hone his powers felt meaningful and hilarity ensued when you do dumb things like trying to throw rocks at his face in an attempt to force him to make them move.  It also felt refreshing knowing that it took a meaningful page out of the original Life is Strange‘s book by finally introducing Daniel’s powers, which should deepen the puzzle aspect should the game choose to have one–and there’s honestly no reason why they shouldn’t.

Episode 2 of Life is Strange 2 marks the return of Captain Spirit.

The most significant thing to mention is that the game will read your save of The Adventures of Captain Spirit–the “demo” released during E3 last year to further paint the picture of Life is Strange 2‘s setting.  I’m not going to go and spoil Captain Spirit if you didn’t play it, but I do thoroughly recommend you download and play it if you haven’t already especially if you’re already invested in Life is Strange 2 because he does play an important role in this story.

As for the actions to take, they also feel different.  The previous episode had you constantly worrying about Daniel picking up after Sean, but now that Daniel has powers and knows his brother doesn’t, there’s sort of a paradigm shift of power.  Still, Sean and Daniel agree to a set of rules regarding Daniel’s powers and uses that to maintain order.  Speaking of rules, there’s also an interesting moment in the episode that brings up the temptation of using the internet, Sean calling his best friend Lyla, and going outside–all of which are against the rules of the household.  Again, I don’t want to say too much, but with the title of the episode, it’s definitely thought provoking to see the results that various actions cause.

What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?

Rules might be one of the saddest and most profound episodes I’ve ever played in an episodic video game, and that’s a testament to the job Dontnod has been doing with Life is Strange 2.  I have no idea when the next episode of the game is coming, but Dontnod should definitely take their time because so far each one has been better than the last.

Check out our reviews of Life is Strange 2’s previous episodes:

Episode 1: Roads

Date published: 02/24/2019
4.5 / 5 stars

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