While the first two episodes have felt off in this season, this third episode really delivers as something that feels more natural to the franchise. Aside from having a generally better narrative, this episode was also more polished and refined than the last one.
The second episode ran rather poorly, and this was largely smooth in comparison. This was also a better use of open space as the area was used to convey a change of time and mood as the episode progressed. It had an odd activity that I hadn’t anticipated and some more adult based content. I was actually rather surprised by this, felt more artistic in nature.
It dealt with the coming of age aspects of being out in the wild while actually leaning into that wolf aspect. This wolf part of the series has been teased for awhile and it’s nice to see it feel as though it’s actually applicable for once.
The visuals of Life is Strange 2 are very impressive as the distinct art style has evolved and it's just a treat to take in. They really have improved the quality of the world, yet I'm disappointed not to see Xbox One X enhanced visual choices like in Before the Storm. It plays well, featuring a mix of cinematic segments with open world exploration to the side.
They've built upon the prequel's open world situations allowing you to explore larger areas. That being said, these segments slow the pacing and don't exactly offer a lot of excitement. There's more freedom with this title as well with options to buy items and more dynamic choices. In this episode there were some issues present such as a character standing in the spawn “T” position. Other than that, it actually ran fairly smooth and was the most visually impressive of the episodes thus far.
Life is Strange 2 Episode 3: Wastelands is a better effort than the previous episodes and feels more like the original game in the franchise. It still doesn’t necessarily hit those heights and it does come across as slow yet again. I can see this really being a breaking point for some in terms of interest, yet some of the nuance here was great to take in. They leaned into the wolf themes literally and in other ways. We got to see a fresh location that dynamically altered the flow of the episodes, it was still sort of odd.
It didn’t progress far necessarily, but you get a sense of change in seeing these free spirits interact in the wilderness. There were some excellent music choices and one bizarre cinematic segment set to Justice’s Dance. I didn’t understand the point of it, but I enjoyed it none the less. This is a better episode for sure, but it still doesn’t hit the high notes I expect from this series. I’ll end with a note that this was the most visually appealing and striking episode thus far in the season.
Read our Life is Strange: Before the Storm Episode 1 Review
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Life is Strange 2 Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Square Enix