Like many episodic games, it is truly the build to the ending which makes the series good. For once that climax is hit, it is all downhill from there. Now, as for Life Is Strange Episode 5, what you’ll get is a lot of recaps and then one major decision. Which, to me, wasn’t that hard.
Playthrough Time: 3 Hours (Includes lots of time making mistakes and not knowing how to solve 2 puzzles presented)
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
For the majority of the episode you’ll find Max going back and forth, to and from the Dark Room, all while trying to do the same thing she has tried to do since the beginning: Save Chloe. But in her way is Mr. Jefferson who does such a 180° turn that to not be left with your mouth agape might be impossible. For with him becoming so sick, and so twisted, it makes every positive memory of him tainted. In fact, being that Max continuously goes back in time to when Mr. Jefferson was just the cool photography teacher, it almost upsets you that you can’t kill him yourself.
Mr. Jefferson aside, however, what you’ll mostly be doing is puzzles, and dealing with the setup for the ending. One in which you have to decide between the citizens of Arcadia Bay and Chloe. Which, to stack things in Arcadia Bay’s favor, quite a bit of the game is dedicated to trying to make you hate her. However, being that the first 4 episodes were dedicated to you saving her, the question becomes if maybe an hour of bashing Chloe, and the potential of sacrificing everyone, is enough to screw over Max’s sole best friend?
The nightmares and Mr. Jefferson, in general, were creepy as all hell. Almost to the point where a part of me wonders how DONTNOD would handle an original horror series. For I found myself loving the atmosphere, as well as the dialog, used during the more tense scenes, and thinking about what they could do if we were meant to be scared, and not just put on edge a bit, quite excited me.
Lackluster ending: To me, the “Saving Chloe” ending feels very anti-climatic. All that happens is you drive through Arcadia Bay, seeing the town destroyed, and you aren’t really presented with the full weight that you likely killed everyone you knew. There are no images of Kate or Victoria, much less Warren, it is just a random body and lots of destroyed real estate. Adding insult to injury, Max doesn’t even search for the possibility of survivors. She and Chloe just drive out of town without much in the way of emotion.
On The Fence
The puzzles, hard enough for a finale, but not much in the way of hints: Between the helping David puzzle, to the one dealing with finding sand in front of the diner, I spent at least a 20 minutes wondering what the hell am I supposed to do with Max not giving no sort of hint
The killing Chloe ending, as opposed to saving her, I was sort of iffy about. Granted, it brought on such a feeling of regret to go back to my last checkpoint and save her, but I do feel like it still lacked the feeling of loss I should have had. After all, this game is dedicated to saving Chloe, and yet you have to choose between her and an entire town. Yet, even with all of Max’s friends there, I just don’t feel the game really pushes this ending as a viable option enough.
Being that a season 2 isn’t guaranteed, or perhaps even likely, a part of me wished for a perfect ending. For while I didn’t do all the pictures, you’d think they would have something special for those who did. An ending where, just maybe, Chloe lived and maybe the town was destroyed, but everyone lived. Yeah, they would be forced to take part in rebuilding, and likely many would move, but it still would have been a good reward for all the photos which so easily could have been missed.