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Life is Strange 2

Life is Strange 2 - First Look

Dontnod will treat us to a brotherly road trip starting this September.

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The first episode of Life is Strange 2 starts off with older brother Sean heading home after school. Phoenix's Lisztomania is blasting, a French group taking on Americana through their own unique perspective, similarly to what Dontnod have been doing with Life is Strange and now Life is Strange 2.

It's a slow start. We learn a bit about Sean's love interest Jen from his conversation with best friend Layla. It's your typical teenage drama, but what we gather from it is that Sean isn't the most outgoing person, not a risktaker, at least not when it comes to matters of the heart. At his house, Sean knocks on his kid brother Daniel's door, and we're treated to a heartwarming scene as the young Daniel lives out a fantasy the way only a kid can. Sean's a bit too old for his antics, and that awkwardness as one brother is edging towards adulthood while the other is still some ways off adolescence is all too familiar.

There's a scene with Sean and his father, Esteban, in the garage where you get to learn something of their relationship. It shows some of the excellent touch Dontnod has when it comes to depicting actual human relationships in video games. It's easy to get a sense for how the two relate, and it feels grounded and believable.

Life is Strange 2
Layla and Sean seem to be best friends as the game starts.

Ultimately, Sean is tasked with collecting what he needs for the party, but before heading there he finds himself caught up in the sort of moment that defines Life is Strange. A neighbour picks on his little brother and Sean knocks him down, only for him to land onto a rock and fall unconscious. A police officer drives by and responds to the altercation, drawing his gun. Esteban inserts himself into the situation, and the policeman fires a shot, hitting him square in the chest. Then something happens, an outburst of energy sends the cop flying along with other nearby objects. Sean comes to, sees his father dead, the cop dead, his neighbour probably dead, and Daniel unconscious. Clearly, the situation is such that he'd find himself in prison and Daniel would be sent to foster care, and there and then he takes the decision to travel south from the outskirts of Seattle to Mexico, the country their father the mechanic originates from. He picks up Daniel and heads out.

This sets up a game with a very different structure to the first one. Here we're not tied to one location like Arcadia Bay and we'll come across different people along the way, even if the developer teased that some may appear more than once. The brothers are on a road trip, they're on the run, but they're also exploring their world and seeing places for the first time.

Life is Strange 2Life is Strange 2
Life is Strange 2Life is Strange 2