Everything We Learned from the Life is Strange 2 Gameplay Reveal
After months of speculation following the finale of Max and Chloe’s heart-wrenching teen drama in Life is Strange and prequel Before the Storm about what could possibly be in store for us next, developers DONTNOD gave us a sneak-peak at what to expect from the sequel with the release of the free prologue The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, which placed us in the shoes as new character Chris, and released a short teaser trailer (below) for the upcoming title.
With no concrete answers being revealed in either Captain Spirit or the teaser trailer about what the sequel will be about, who’s story we’ll be following, or how it could connect to the first game, it looks like we now have a more solid idea about what to expect with the release of a shiny new reveal trailer and a whole 20 minutes of gameplay to feast our eyes on. Now that we’ve had a chance to take a close look at both, here is everything we know about Life is Strange 2.
A Tale of Two Brothers
With the introduction of a male playable character in Captain Spirit, it wasn’t hard to believe that the sequel would change things up by focusing on a young boy’s perspective instead of a teenage girl’s as in the two previous instalments. Although we won’t be playing as the young superhero, we do know that the sequel will follow two male characters, brothers to be exact – and we’ve met them before.
In the reveal trailer, we learned that the game will centre around two brothers (Sean and Daniel Diaz) on the run together in the forest following a tragic incident (more on that shortly). While the trailer didn’t uncover any major story beats, it does look like the game will focus heavily on themes of brotherhood and family as Sean learns to look after his younger sibling. If you’re wondering where we’ve seen these two before, they were the two boys at the end of Captain Spirit we see waving at Chris.
Although some may be disappointed with the change from female friendship to a familial angle, we’re feeling positive about the new perspective. Family has been a topic that’s already been explored in the series in relation to Chloe coming to grips with the death of her father in Before the Storm and more recently with Chris and his alcoholic father in Captain Spirit. This is a series that knows how to deal with emotional themes in touching ways, and we can’t wait to sob our hearts out in what’s certain to be an incredible exploration of brotherhood.
One of the defining characteristics about the original Life is Strange was its implementation of a time “rewinding” ability that, from a gameplay standpoint, emphasised the importance of decision making and allowed us to test different outcomes before sticking with our final choice. While Before the Storm did show that a Life is Strange game is technically doable without supernatural powers, we know it won’t be a true sequel without some more abilities to play with.
Although there wasn’t any concrete details about powers within the reveal trailer, the teaser trailer did give us our first hints about what powers we could expect in the sequel as we seen a police officer and patrol car being tossed across the street by some unseen force.
In the gameplay, though, we got to see this source of this strange occurrence play out in what seems to be the beginning (or near the beginning) of the game. While defending your brother from a bully who’s shirt he ruined by spilling fake blood all over, a fight breaks out between the bully and Sean which consequently sees him being punched straight onto a spike (in a fashion not unlike Shaun of the Dead). This is the event that the police officer (an officer Matthews, as we can see from the teaser trailer) intervenes, and in a tragic turn of events shoots the boys’ father.
Like in Life is Strange, it was the traumatic event of seeing Chloe being shot that ‘unlocks’ Max’s powers so to speak, and it looks like something similar happens here too. It’s after unintentionally committing manslaughter and witnessing his dad being shot that Sean’s abilities are revealed. Given we now know that Sean possesses telekinetic abilities, can we assume that it was in fact him who stopped Chris from falling from his treehouse at the end of Captain Spirit?
It’s as yet unclear how these abilities will manifest themselves from a gameplay perspective or how or even if they will impact the choices we make, but we have a feeling that the “power action” mechanic introduced in Captain Spirit that allowed us to use Chris’s “superpowers” might be involved somehow.
Although last time we saw a teenager with telekinesis go to a party things didn’t go so well for Carrie…
Connection to Captain Spirit
We know that Captain Spirit was a prologue of sorts to Life is Strange 2, but we weren’t sure how it would relate to the full game at the time, but now we think we have a better idea of how it will all fit together.
For starters, both games being so closely connected, the both take place in the town of Beaver Creek, Seattle in 2016, three years after the storm hit Arcadia Bay. Likewise, it’s implied that Chris knows Daniel and possibly even knows they have superpowers given the friendly wave he gives the brothers and doesn’t seem to freak out that they levitate him. Could Sean’s real-life superpowers be part of the reason Chris is obsessed with becoming a hero of his own?
We’re also fairly confident in saying that the Diaz brothers aren’t Chris’s neighbours, and we have a very good reason to make this claim: we know from Captain Spirit that there is only one house directly next to Chris’s and that belongs to Claire Reynolds, the elderly woman who comes to Chris’s aid at the end of the game, and not the Diaz family. However, this isn’t to say that the Diaz brothers don’t live nearby – the house we see in the gameplay demo is very similar to the Eriksen household.
The biggest detail we noticed, however, is that the events of Life is Strange 2 will take place before Captain Spirit. From finding a Christmas list and advent calendar in Chris’s room and his dad promising to take him to get a Christmas tree, not to mention all the snow, it’s made clear that the Saturday morning this game takes place is in December compared to the Halloween decorations in the recent gameplay footage that let’s us know that the start of the main game will take place in October (October 28th to be precise).
This means that the brothers have presumably been on the run for at least two months, and this only raises more questions. Did they know Chris before they ran away? When did they meet Chris? How much does Chris actually know about the events of October 28th? These are questions that we’ll just need to wait to get the answers to when we get our hands on the game.
Connection to Life is Strange
Let’s just get this out the way now: Life is Strange 2 is not about Max and Chloe so it’s incredibly unlikely that we’ll see these characters again, especially if you consider that the final episode of Before the Storm was intended as a final farewell to these characters. Nevertheless, this is a sequel and we already know from numerous snippets from Captain Spirit that these games take place within the same universe.
Although we might not see any direct references to the besties from the previous adventure, some details did catch our attention. One of which was that the girl that has Sean’s teenage heart, Jenn Murphy, can be seen with blue hair in her social media profile picture. Who else do we know from this series who’s known for having blue hair? While we’re not saying that Jenn will be a replacement for Chloe, we do think that this detail is more than a coincidence and could possibly tie in on some thematic level – or it could just be a loving nod to a beloved character.
There are smaller details, too, that highlight this as a Life is Strange game such as a the mentioning of a huge party which could possibly be similar to the Vortex Club shindig of the first game; a teenager dealing with the loss of one parent, and the possible death of another; a close friend who could possibly become a romantic interest if the player so chooses much like Max and Warren; and, naturally the series’ trademark angsty teen aesthetic.
That’s everything we spotted from the latest gameplay of upcoming emotional adventure Life is Strange 2, and you can experience what’s sure to be another incredible tale when the first episode is released on 27th September.
Did we miss anything? Let us know your thoughts below.