Life is Strange: Episode 3 Review – Mind-Blowing (PS4)
Life is Strange: Episode 2 left off with some pretty depressing events. At the end of my game, I was not able to save Kate Marsh, and she jumped from the roof of one of Blackwell Academy’s building and died after hitting the ground. I thought the way the end of the second episode handled her tragic death was less than adequate, and Episode 3 of the game really doesn’t do much better. However, it does offer up a far more interesting and entertaining piece of the Life is Strange puzzle than the first two episodes.
Forgetting Kate Marsh
Life is Strange: Episode 3 begins only hours after Kate Marsh kills herself. Strangely, the school is still open and most of the students, including Max herself, have mostly moved on from Kate’s suicide. Candles placed on the spot that she died and some occasional comments made by Max are the only real reminders that a student just died in front of her classmates literally only hours ago. Compared to the realism of the first episode, this sudden departure from the whole Kate Marsh issue seemed sudden and extremely strange. It feels like the game is simply trying to rush through this issue in an effort to get to the numerous other mysteries going on around the town.
And that isn’t the only part of the episode that seemed rushed. Some conflicts arise with David, too. And again, it feels like Life is Strange is trying to hurriedly get through these issues to move onto some new ones, even though the way the conflicts get brought up and then dismissed really doesn’t make any sense. Actually, most of this third episode feels a little rushed. There aren’t as many areas to really explore, and there aren’t nearly as many people to talk to. Instead, the episode is fairly linear, and even tries to add in some stealth game elements. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as these new elements and the linearity make the game a bit more exciting, but it does take away from that personal feel and the feeling that my choices mattered that really made the first episode so appealing to me. I’m sure some of you might appreciate the faster pace, but to me, I thought that it pushed aside heavy topics and issues that probably shouldn’t have been pushed aside.
Look Out for Some Surprises
I will say, though, that the issues were pushed aside so that Life is Strange could bring in a new issue that is just mind-blowing. Seriously. While I don’t want to give anything away, I will say that you should be prepared to throw down your controller in shock near the end of the episode. I almost did. A whole new layer of crazy gets added onto the already thick coating of it, making me extremely anxious for the next episode to come out.
Of course, there is a bit of a downside to that. There are already a sizable number of pretty intense issues floating around in the Life is Strange universe, like the things with David, the things with Nathan Prescott, the disappearance of Rachel, that giant tornado, Kate Marsh, and more. With only two episodes left, I find it hard to believe that Dontnod Entertainment is going to be able to address all of these problems and mysteries, including the newest one, in a way that won’t feel incredibly rushed or under appreciated. While I am hoping the next two episodes will maybe be a bit longer and be able to fully cover everything that needs to be covered, the rushed feel of Episode 3 is making me a little nervous.
But, despite having a rushed feel and under appreciating some pretty large issues, Life is Strange: Episode 3 is highly intriguing, entertaining, and surprising. Even though it offers up a different type of gameplay experience than the first two episodes, it still holds its own against the larger story.
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