Life is Strange is about to be released in its entirety in the form of a retail edition on PC, PS4 and XBOX One in North America on 19 January 2016 and in Europe on 22 January. This presents an opportunity to binge through all 5 episodes of this acclaimed game for those that have yet to engage with its divisive narrative.
In this article we'll be discussing Life Is Strange, with particular attention being directed on its ending, in order to hypothesize on where Season 2 of developer Dontnod Entertainment's game may take us. Spoilers abound people, ye have been warned!
Life Is Strange - Episode 5 & Its Endings
The conclusion to Life Is Strange in Episode 5 has been divisive for many reasons. There are those who love what the game accomplished, and those who loathed its predictable nature. Let's simplistically summarize the entire 5 episodes:
- Max Caulfield, a teenage photography student, uncovers the fact that she is indeed a time wizard. She possess the ability to rewind time and alter the events of the past.
- In Episode 1 of Life Is Strange she uses this power to save a beautiful schoolmate of hers, Chloe Price. Thus, Chloe becomes her best friend and gradually the love of her life.
- However, she realizes that saving Chloe has unexpected knock-on effects which ultimately culminate in the bizarre creation of a tornado. This tornado has the ability to destroy her hometown of Arcadia Bay, along with all of its inhabitants.
- Max then has to choose between using her power one last time to go back to the moment of Chloe’s death and let her die, or kiss the town and possibly everybody in it goodbye.
Though some have defended this ultimate choice, a lot of fans of the game were furious for various reasons. For instance, Life Is Strange can be utterly unpredictable. There are some genuinely shocking moments and cliffhangers peppered throughout the game's 5 episodes. That's why the predictable nature of the ending was an even greater disappointment for some. We expected something unique and challenging.
Additionally, the endings are very simplistic. We've seen the same outrage over Mass Effect 3 and other controversial endings, but having everything simplified in the end is never a good idea. Even the cinematics that followed this ultimate choice were disappointing! They were vague, short and failed to answer numerous questions. Therefore, how can Season 2 of Life Is Strange carry on from this point?
What's Left For Season 2?
What questions haven't been answered by the conclusion of Life Is Strange? Well, probably the biggest question is how Max got her powers, or why the use of these powers resulted in a natural disaster.
There’s a vague nod to the butterfly effect—the idea that small changes to complex systems can have drastic consequences over enough time—but no causal link shown between a teenage girl not dying and the unseasonal tornado, snow, dead birds and whales, and appearance of two moons that marked the altered timeline. - PC Gamer
Max's powers have impacted on the final choice, therefore the understanding of these powers is fundamental to Life Is Strange's narrative. That's why it's so infuriating that nothing is uncovered. Have Dontnod Entertainment left this question for Season 2? Will our choices carry over to the second season? Or will we be presented with new characters in similar situations?
It'd be extraordinary if the developer's allowed Season 2 of Life Is Strange to feature Chloe in its narrative if you kept her alive, but this seems pretty unlikely. Therefore, we feel like Season 2 will focus on different characters that are somehow connected with Max's story. But that's just our two cents. What do you guys think? Let us know where you stand in the comments!