I’ve come to think of the four main games in the Life Is Strange franchise as a bit like siblings in one big family. There are woolwho will always be showered with praise because no matter what others achieve, she did it all first. His twin Always wants to remind you that while she’s the younger and perhaps not quite as accomplished half of the duo, she’s more charismatic and less shy about who she is and what she wants. So there is the youngest, who is extremely likable, largely because she learned behaviors to avoid just by watching others make mistakes; even if she modeled herself a little too much on the eldest in her quest for approval, and therefore did not really forge her own identity.
So there is life is strange 2: the clumsy middle child. Still a very recognizable member of the family, but the one who stands out in every photo because he’s just a little clumsy. It experimented a lot with its storytelling and plot in an effort to stand out, and it kind of didn’t work. Its romantic subplots are underdeveloped, its villains are one-dimensional, and its attempt to tackle a very serious problem has developed in a twisted way.
Of course, a mother loves all her children equally, in their own way. (It seems in this analogy that I became the mother of this series of video games, which is kind of weird. I mean, I didn’t work on it, I just played it a bunch. Maybe I’m kind of Anyway, let’s go.) Anyway, the thing is, I really like all of these games; but three margaritas in it, you could hear me admit that LIS2 might objectively be considered my least favorite.
The thing is, because he’s the problem kid, I can actually devote the most time and energy to him. Its protagonist is one of my favorite video game characters of all time, and what this poor boy is going through never fails to touch my heart. Its deuteragonist is a pretty boring example of video game kids being the worst, but its supporting cast is pretty well observed, if sadly underutilized. It has the best soundtrack, in my opinion, even though its sisters have been extremely fierce competitors in this area (well done, son!). Its last episode never fails to make me very, very angry, which to be honest is what I’m sure the devs intended, but I still consider the ending(s) a bad escape from the subject.
So our relationship is complicated. LIS2 is everywhere, frankly, but I still love it. I’m sure I can help solve his problems if we work on it together, I tell myself as I start yet another game.