Life is Strange 2 – Cloud Game Review

Life is Strange 2 Brothers Graphic

It was near the end of Stadia’s life that we had a reliable leak that indicated that Life is Strange 2 would be making its way to the platform. The folks at StadiaHoy, a spanish Stadia blog first tipped this off, and then the game got rated for Stadia. I was excited to play! I had discovered Life is Strange Remastered, Life is Strange: Before the Storm Remastered and Life is Strange True Colors all because of Stadia. I found each of these narrative games to be stirring. While waiting for the game to arrive on Stadia, unfortunately the entire platform shut down. Leaving Life is Strange 2 a missing puzzle piece in my gaming repertoire. But, thankfully, Stadia wasn’t the only cloud gaming service around.

From our Cloud Games catalog, you can see that Life is Strange 2 is available on GeForce NOW via Steam and PlayStation Plus Premium. I actually own the title both on Steam and Xbox (native). The game plays equally well on the two. Just about 5 months after Stadia’s shutdown, I’ve finished my play through of the game.

Without further ado, here is my review of Life is Strange 2.

Overview

Life is Strange 2 is an exceptional game that effectively continues the tradition of the previous entries in the series (Life is Strange and Life is Strange Before the Storm). With a deep and moving storyline, superb graphics for its time, engaging gameplay mechanics and an amazing soundtrack, the game has set a new bar for video game storytelling in my playbook.

The characters are compelling, with hauntingly realistic backstories and beautifully crafted personalities that make them feel like real people. The game’s meticulously crafted narrative kept me hooked throughout, with twists and turns that never ceased to surprise and captivate.

The game tackles a range of complex themes with grace, including adolescence, brotherhood, family, immigration, and prejudice. These themes are handled with sensitivity, respect, and nuance, providing players with a rich and emotionally impactful experience that will stay with them long after the game is over.

All in all, Life is Strange 2 is outstanding, and a must-play for anyone who loves an engrossing and emotionally-charged story-driven experience.

Game Play

Life is Strange Capture 1

Life is Strange 2 is a choice-based narrative adventure game, where the player takes on the role of Sean Diaz, a teenager with a troubled family life who must protect his younger brother Daniel while they run away from home after a… let’s just say “tragic incident.” The game features an episodic structure, with each episode having multiple dialogue options, branching story paths, and choices that can have significant consequences on the characters and the world around them.

The gameplay mechanics also include exploration of beautifully crafted locations, puzzles, quick-time events, and use of the telekinetic powers that Daniel (the younger brother) gains as the story progresses.

Overall, the game successfully interweaves its gameplay with its well-written narrative, making it an engaging and immersive experience.

A Powerful Narrative with Social Commentary

Life is Strange 2 Capture 3

Life is Strange 2 contains social commentary on a variety of important issues. Throughout the game, it tackles topics such as racism, prejudice, immigration, and police brutality. The story follows two Mexican-American brothers who are forced to flee their town after the above mentioned “tragic incident” involving a police officer. As they travel through different parts of the United States, they encounter various characters who hold different views on these issues.

As I said in the overview, the game presents a nuanced exploration of these topics, often showing the complexity of the situations and the different perspectives that people hold. For example, it depicts characters who hold prejudiced views as real people rather than caricatures, while still presenting these views as harmful. It also shows the ways in which systemic racism and social inequalities can impact people’s lives in different ways.

Ultimately, Life is Strange 2 uses its social commentary to create a compelling and emotionally resonant story, highlighting the importance of empathy, compassion, and understanding in a divided and often unjust world.

Compelling Characters

Life is Strange 2 Capture 2

It’s easy to identify with one or more of the characters in the game. The main characters in Life is Strange 2 are:

  1. Sean Diaz – the protagonist, a 16-year-old high school student with Mexican-American heritage. He is responsible for taking care of his younger brother, Daniel, after the “tragic event” forces them to flee their home.
  2. Daniel Diaz – Sean’s nine-year-old brother who possesses powerful telekinetic abilities which becomes a central aspect of the game’s progression. He is energetic and cheerful, but also vulnerable due to his age and the dangerous world the brothers find themselves in.
  3. Lyla Park – Sean’s best friend since childhood who provides emotional support throughout the game via text messages and phone calls.
  4. Brody Holloway – a friendly road-tripping journalist who offers Sean and Daniel a ride, and becomes something of a mentor to Sean. You see glimpses of his own complicated-life evolving from his blog that you can read from time to time.
  5. Cassidy – a positive and adventurous young woman who works at an illegal marijuana farm the brothers work at to earn some money.
  6. Finn – a charismatic but reckless young man who also works on the farm and becomes involved in risky behavior.
  7. Jake – a young man who grew up in a religious cult who embarks on his own struggle to free his sister from the same environment and come to terms with his own back story.
  8. Claire and Stephen – the grandparents of Sean and Daniel who are forced to reckon with disruption in their small-town world and the reality that their daughter and grandsons don’t fit into the box they were expecting.

Conclusion

From looking at the broad reception that Life is Strange 2 received, it is clear that people are as divided on the title as they are the issues the game seeks to bring to light. If you can keep an open mind, there is a powerful story here that will quickly grab your interest and not give it up. Life is Strange 2 represents gaming as an art form. It’s an experience not to be missed.

Life is Strange 2

Jack Deslippe

Life is Strange 2
Life is Strange 2 – Cloud Gaming Review
Gameplay
Presentation
Performance
Value
Fun Factor

Summary

Life is Strange 2 is an impactful narrative game that takes on many of America’s social issues in a nuanced and creative way. The story is compelling and addicting, the graphics are beautiful and the gameplay and puzzles fit in well with the rest of the experience. It isn’t a fun-filled mindless shooter, but it’s an impressive showing of video-game development as an artform. And, it is absolutely worth your time.

4.3

Advertisement

Jack Deslippe

Jack Deslippe is an HPC professional with a PhD in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley. As a hobby, he is passionate about consumer technology and Cloud Gaming in particular. He volunteers as an editor for Cloud Dosage in his spare time. See the games Jack is Playing at ExoPhase. Like his content? You can follow Jack on Threads: @jackdeslippe and Buy Jack a Beer.

Leave a Reply