Life Is Strange: Season 1/ Episode 3 "Chaos Theory" – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

Within 2 and a half hours, like in the last episode, you are left wondering if you made the right decisions as you drastically alter Max’s life forever.

Developer: DONTNOD

Play through Time: 2 Hours and 28 Minutes

Review (with Spoilers) – Below

Characters & Story

After Kate’s attempted suicide, I stopped her in my play through, it is the talk of the campus. Though while Kate rests, you and Chloe are on the case. Leading to you investigating the principal’s office, David’s laptop, and Frank’s RV. Though before the episode is over we see Max’s power spike and present you with the type of opportunity that may leave you torn. That is, if you get the opportunity to change it.

Praise

When it comes to episodic games, as likely said many times, there are those which give you nothing but shallow decisions to choose from, and linear environments, and then there are games like Life Is Strange. Now, while in this episode we aren’t given as many people to talk to or things to do, nonetheless we are given the same choke point decisions which make you want to have multiple saves; opportunities to rewind and get more out of people; and also the chance to just see Max and Chloe have fun.

Which is perhaps the benefit of playing a game like this. For while many will say the video game industry is oversexed, has too much gratuitous violence, and in response the industry can show that is what sells, this game feels like a welcome change. If only because, even without both the violence and sex, there are still moments where you are left gasping, in shock, and are kicking yourself for not moving quick enough.

For example, in this episode we are given the opportunity to steal money to pay off Chloe’s debt; get David’s gun back from Frank; ruin David’s marriage; and a few other things which really make you feel that you can either try to maintain peace or begin to raise hell. Though it is perhaps the final moments, which is both worth praise and criticism, which presents the most interesting test for the series. For with Max’s powers letting her change the fate of Chloe’s dad, it presents a whole new amount of possibilities. Especially if we get to decide whether to leave things as Max changed them, or to pursue the original storyline.

Criticism

Thus far the game has pretty much given us only a handful of “you must pass this objective” type of scenarios. Most of which made sense since there weren’t really any alternatives. However, forcing us to help Chloe’s dad live is a slight issue. Not only because I’d rather the dude be dead than lost the Chloe we know, but also because it puts a pause, if not stop, to all the decisions we made so far. And even though it is episode 3, thus far I feel quite comfortable with my decisions so for them to possibly not matter in the 4th episode, the one before last, bothers me. Especially considering in this alternate world a lot of the things I was setting up, like Max being with Warren, now seem like it won’t be possible.

Though, again, there is always that possibility of the game having it where you may have to choose between a crippled Chloe, who is happy, and a Max who doesn’t have the friends she used to, or the boy she liked vs. a mobile and deeply unhappy Chloe, and a Max whose life is pretty much good and without any personal problems outside of Nathan.

Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?