Life Is Strange 2 saw a fantastic start with its first episode Roads. Sean and Daniel came with genuine chemistry, making their care for one another entertaining and moving. When we last saw them, they were on a bus heading to Mexico; we also saw Daniel use his new telekinesis power in a rage upon learning the death of their father. With that ending in mind, we enter episode two, Rules. Picking up sometime after that bus trip, Rules takes place in snowy Oregon.
Given how successful the first entry in this new series was, does episode two hold up just as well?
As players take control of Sean once again, Rules begins by helping Daniel hone in on his psychic power; the player interacts between rocks, cans, and snowballs, testing Daniel’s limits. Mechanically, Rules plays out like every other Life Is Strange game before it; regarding this episode, the fetch quests are a mixed bag of emotionally intriguing and flat out dull. There are fetch quests involving finding Daniel a Christmas gift, doing laundry, or even getting dressed (the more intimate quests appear just enough to keep things engaging).
At the core of Life Is Strange 2, however, is the bond between Sean and Daniel. Many of their conversations continue to inspire joy and hope as Sean does his best to take care of his little brother. The way the brothers joke and try to cheer up one another is beautiful, making for a big part of the game’s enjoyment. Their bond is what allows the player to immerse themselves into the story, curious to see what is in store.
After spending some time in the woods by themselves, the brothers travel to their grandparent’s home nearby. These are the parents of their mother (who we get to hear a lot more about in this entry). We learn that the boys are estranged from the grandparents and that their mother left them while they were young. Interactions between both the grandma and grandpa are interesting, allowing for great emotional conversations.
Where the game makes things more interesting is when it comes to how Sean decides to encourage Daniel with his power. “Rules” in this case applies to the rules Sean has for Daniel in using his telekinesis; your big choices come down to how you decide to treat Daniel regarding his gift. Do you tell him to play a telekinesis prank on someone? How do you confront him when using his power near grandma? These choices are make for interesting “big brother” moments.
There are other side characters for the brothers to engage with, one being Chris from The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. The brothers meet Chris at that moment when he is just falling out of his treehouse (with us aware it is Daniel who caught him). Chris and Daniel hit it off, making for a cheerful component to an otherwise dark journey. Also, we are introduced to some characters that are teased for future episodes.
It’s also interesting to note that unlike Roads, there is barely any existence of political commentary in this episode. Minus some online comments Sean finds about the police interaction, Rules retreats from further exploring the themes brought up in the previous installment.
Besides some boring fetch quests, Rules continues to head in a good direction. Thanks to a strong cast of characters, and the bond between Sean and Daniel, players can rest assured that Rules will take care of their Life Is Strange needs. There are those memorable moments that will linger in the mind of fans upon the credits rolling, keeping them anticipating what’s to come next.
Life is Strange 2 Episode 2 review code purchased by the reviewer.
Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 & 2 available now on PS4, Xbox One, AND PC.