Square Enix A basic summary of whether there will be a Life Is Strange 3 following the culmination of season 2 with Episode 5. Life Is Strange 2 is receiving its culmination today with Episode 5. Next Episode 3 - Hell is Empty Chapter 3 Prev Episode 3 - Hell is Empty Chapter 1 This chapter contains a detailed walkthrough for the second chapter of Life Is Strange: Before the Storm episode 3. This chapter takes place in Chloe's house and on the junkyard.
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- Life Is Strange 2 Episode 3 Endings
- When Will Life Is Strange 2 Episode 3
- Life Is Strange 2 Episode 3 Choices
- Life Is Strange 2 Episode 3
Life Is Strange 2 Episode 1 and Episode 2 did a good job setting the stage for a dramatic tale about the bond between two brothers and what happens to them when a supernatural event shakes up their suburban lives. Now I’ve finished Episode 3, and I see we’re moving into a more intense story.
. Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 required to play. We recommend you purchase and play the episodes in order for the intended gameplay experience. Episodes 2 to 5 are available for individual purchase on release. Add-ons for this game. Life is Strange 2 Japanese Language Pack. On top of that, instead of a week, Life Is Strange 2’s audience has a four month wait between episodes, which after the saggy second instalment, some of them could be forgiven for giving up on this season altogether. Episode 3 “Wastelands” is a slight improvement on its predecessor. The story of Daniel and Sean Diaz continues in Episode 3 of Life Is Strange 2. In this step of their long journey to Mexico, the brothers encounter a drifter camp in California. Like every episode.
Dontnod Entertainment and Square Enix released Episode 3 on May 9 on the Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, MacOS, and Linux. I’ve played through all the episodes so far, as well as the teaser story, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. I also interviewed Jean-Luc Cano, lead writer for the game, after my playthrough. These are my impressions.
I think the appeal of this story for me is that you get a real sense of what it’s like to be a caretaker for someone you love.
Editor’s note: This review has story spoilers. We recommend that you play the episode first.
The story so far
Above: Sean, left, is responsible for Daniel in Life is Strange 2.
Episode 1 introduced us to the emotional story of two young brothers who lose their father and learn that the younger boy, 9-year-old Daniel, has supernatural powers. They flee the police and their Seattle life, surviving on the run in the woods with only each other to depend upon.
Life Is Strange 2 takes place in the same universe as the previous games — Life Is Strange (2015) and Life Is Strange: Before the Storm (2017). It happens about three years after the events of the original game, but it is an entirely separate story starring the Diaz brothers: Sean, 16, and Daniel, nine.
The game asks you which final decision you made at the end of Life Is Strange (2015) so that it can customize some elements in the game. Episode 2 also asks if you have played Captain Spirit, as the decisions you make in that story affect the boys’ tale.
In the first game, the character Max Caulfield discovered she had the ability to rewind time at any moment and re-enact choices that can have a “butterfly effect” on the world, where a small event like a butterfly flapping its wings can have a huge impact. Daniel finds out that he has the power of telekinesis: the ability to move physical objects with his mind.
While Max has to decide how to rewind time, Daniel and Sean have to decide when to use the telekinesis or to refrain from doing so. Since the boys are on the run, the older brother Sean has to spend much of his time forcing Daniel to hide his powers. That’s why the second episode is called Rules. Regarding his powers, Sean tells Daniel, “Never in public. Never talk about it. Run from danger.” They meet a couple of wandering vagabonds, Finn and Cassidy.
Above: The woods are not a happy place.
The third episode, Wastelands, starts in the middle of a Redwood forest. The boys have joined Finn and Cassidy in Northern California, and they’re all working on a pot farm in the woods. They are still very vulnerable, as they are wanted by the police. Daniel still longs to find their mother, Karen, who abandoned them. Sean wants to take them down to their father’s boyhood home in Puerto Lobos, Mexico.
Meanwhile, they’ve been hired to work for a dealer named Merrill, who has a harsh overseer. They’re hanging out with the hippies Finn and Cassidy, hoping to make enough money to continue their journey south. But Daniel has become harder to control, and he threatens the status of their jobs as Merrill won’t cut them any slack.
Sean is torn because he wants to spend more time with Cassidy, but that leaves Daniel feeling neglected. Daniel begins hanging out with Finn, and he resents the military-style behavior of Merrill and his guard. Just before the group is ready to be paid, Daniel is caught sneaking into Merrill’s office. Merrill refuses to pay anyone and then fires Sean and Daniel.
Merrill’s guard punishes Daniel, and he exposes some of his powers to the group. While everyone agrees to keep it secret, Finn senses an opportunity to use Daniel to go back at night, break into the safe, and steal Merrill’s money. Sean refuses to allow Daniel to participate in the plot, citing the risk if caught. But while Cassidy and Sean flirt and go off to skinny dip in the lake together, Finn and Daniel plot to break into Merrill’s office. After Cassidy and Sean figure out what has happened, they try to head off the break-in.
But Merrill catches Finn and Daniel first, and he threatens to teach them a lesson, preparing to shoot Finn. Daniel looks to Sean, who must decide whether to let Daniel use his powers. I chose to give Daniel permission. But he cannot control the power, and he causes a shockwave that injures everybody and causes a piece of glass to go into Sean’s eye. Out of control or not, Daniel hurts a lot of people in this scene.
I talked to Jean-Luc Cano, leader writer of the story, about this scene. He told me that the setup for the scene will determine who goes to the robbery. But regardless, Sean always goes, and Merrill always catches Daniel and Finn. The decision always comes down to whether Sean lets Daniel use his powers or not. I chose to let Daniel use his power, and 84% of my fellow players did so. And it always turns out in a catastrophic way. In a way, that robs the player of real agency, as it turns about bad no matter what you choose. On the other hand, it’s a dramatic moment and the writers wanted to bring the episode to a crescendo.
What you’ll like
Being a role model is a big responsibility
Above: Sean (left) has to make sure Daniel doesn’t screw up again, or Merrill (right) will be mad.
Daniel has always been impulsive, and Sean has to try to keep him under control. But it won’t work if Sean says one thing and then does another. Daniel will follow the example and go against Sean if he sees hypocrisy. I tried to make decisions that kept the bond between the brothers strong, like offering to help Daniel wash the dishes.
But if I stayed up late to get a haircut and to flirt with Cassidy or Finn, then Daniel would feel neglected and angrier. If I go with Cassidy or Finn to the lake, the same happens. If I go into Cassidy’s tent (only about half the players did this), the rift grows.
“We wanted to show that if you have to take care of someone, you have to sacrifice your own wants to do something for him,” Cano said.
Sean seems like he’s in a no-win situation. But he’s Daniel’s only guardian, and it tells you what it’s like to be a single guardian with a lot of responsibility for a younger sibling. If you can relate to this, then LIfe is Strange 2 is succeeding or you, as it is about relatable characters, realistic settings, and choices that you have to make.
You decide Sean’s sexuality
Above: Sean (left) and Cassidy are an item if you say so.
With Cassidy and Finn in the picture, you get to decide how Sean will relate to them. You can lead toward gay and flirt with Finn or be straight and flirt with Cassidy. You can also decide just to go to sleep and not sexualize Sean at all.
“We wanted to give the player the choice to do whatever they want,” Cano said. “We shape the relationships and the stuff with Cassidy and Finn to answer the question how you want it. You’re free to do what you like.”
This doesn’t matter at all in how the story comes out in Episode 3. It is a part of the story where the storytellers give you real agency to produce scenes in the game that are unique to you. You can go skinnydipping in the lake with Cassidy. You can take that a step further and join her in her tent. You’ll see some nudity (bare breasts), but the scenes aren’t graphic at all.
With Finn, you can exchange a kiss, but it doesn’t go as far. But the choice is there. It leads to different scenes and conversations, but it has no major impact on the story. It’s a great example of allowing the player to make a real choice.
Sean can choose himself or Daniel
Above: Sean is an artist.
As noted above, this sets up a good story about a caregiver. You can choose to explore your sexuality as Sean, but this takes up time that you do not spend with Daniel. And it’s clear that some moments here are crucial. You never know if you choose too much in favor of Sean’s interests that this will wind up hurting your relationship with Daniel in some way.
You can, for instance, choose to go to sleep with Daniel. And he will wake up less grumpy. Is that consequential? Probably not. But a lot of stressful times come where a strong relationship between Sean and Michael will matter.
Other characters can cause a lot of change for the brothers
Above: Finn (center) can drive a wedge between Sean (left) and Daniel.
I feel like I played Sean perfectly so far. As a brother, I have been taking care of Daniel. But Daniel can be led astray anyway. In this case, Finn enters the picture and wins Daniel’s favor. And he uses that relationship to get Daniel to agree to use his powers to break into Merrill’s safe and steal his money.
Finn sells this pitch as painless, quick, and something that will make all of their dreams come true. It really makes you, as Sean, want to smack Finn pretty hard. But it is a good acknowledgment that friends often hold more sway over kids than parents or siblings do.
What you won’t like
Slow moments again
Above: Snipping marijuana buds seems like fun. But it’s not.
Life Is Strange still has its dull moments, earnings its criticism of being a “walking simulator.” Just as with Episode 2, this episode has you doing some really boring things. Like exploring a campsite. Cleaning up the campsite. Washing dishes. And training Daniel how to control his powers, over at a lake, in the same way, that we did before.
It’s like this boring part is inserted into the game to lower the drama and make you wish that something would happen. You can pass the time, as Sean, by drawing pictures of the landscape. But you still have to listen to the same conversation. Only at the end of the episode does the tension hit the high point. I just wish I had some more enjoyable interactivity in the middle of the intentionally dull parts.
Daniel is really annoying
Above: Sean has to come down on Daniel for using his powers.
Daniel is as annoying as a nine-year-old can be. He agrees to rules. He breaks them. Then he doesn’t think about the consequences. Sean has to be patient with Daniel, but he already knows that Daniel has a history of not behaving. Sean can see the basic problems at hand. If they are exposed, the police will get them and maybe pin a charge of murder on them. To escape, they have to get out of the country. To get out of the country, they need more money. To get money, they have to hang on to their jobs.
Sean can see that making waves — or just being a kid — will get them fired at the pot farm. But Daniel isn’t so logical. He goofs off. He causes trouble because he’s bored. He follows Finn because he’s more freewheeling than Sean. I can see how Daniel is a realistic character for his age. But if I were Sean, I would be so pissed. I would be tempted to leave Daniel. I would go on an endless tirade.
But as a caregiver, I cannot. I’m stuck with this kid who is so annoying. I have to be understanding, and that’s really tough. It makes me want to pick up the computer and throw it at the wall. I expressed this frustration to Cano.
“Well, [Daniel] had his dad killed in front of him. His brother Sean lied to him in the beginning. He’s had a tough life. Things have been complicated for him,” Cano said. “I get your point.”
Above: Daniel gets a lot off his chest at the campfire.
I’m glad that the writers made the story dramatic. But at the same time, they took away the power of my choices. I was proud that I was a good big brother for Daniel, but I was not rewarded for that. No matter what happens, I, playing as Sean, wind up with a piece of glass in my eye at the end of this episode. That’s not fair.
Life isn’t fair. In fact, Life is Strange. Finn even says, “Life is like a river. You have to go with the flow.” But seriously, the fact that 84% of layers made the same critical choice of letting Daniel use his powers is a sign that Dontnod set this story up with a foregone conclusion. I loved the dramatic moment, but I felt a little betrayed because my choice did not matter in the end. Daniel would use his power even if I told him not to, or Finn would wind up getting shot or even killed. It was a no-win situation.
I’m glad that we’re getting into a much more dramatic story than we saw in Episode 2. But now we have no more illusion that Sean and Daniel are going to get out of this with their relationship intact. Sean has a piece of glass in his eye, and Daniel is responsible for that. Daniel is also the one who chose to go with Finn to rob Merrill. And the consequences of this will be disastrous for the brothers. But is that irreparable?
“We totally know where we’re going in episodes four and five,” Cano said. “We have a lot of surprises to show you. The story of the brothers–we have a few more key moments to reveal.”
I am anxious about what the next episodes will bring. Episode 4 comes on August 22, and Episode 5 arrives on December 3. I’m hopeful. I can see the story getting better, but my level of frustration is high as well.
And now I’m sure the Dontnod writers know what it’s like to be a writer for Game of Thrones. Angry fans are in the waiting, no matter what. But I don’t want to be one of those fans who doesn’t realize that they should be happy, not angry, that they care so much about what happens in the story.
Disclosure: The publisher provided us with a code to play the game on the PC
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- Platforms: PC | PS4 | XBO |
- Developer: DONTNOD Entertainment
- Publisher:Square Enix
- Release: September 27, 2018
Dontnod Entertainment has unshackled the story of Life Is Strange 2 in Episode 3: Wastelands, bringing forward a narrative that is as potent as the themes that are on full display (more on that reference later, folks). Ever since Sean and Daniel Diaz made their debut back in Episode 1: Roads, the brothers’ story has been laced with the French developer’s commentary on politically and socially charged issues in the U.S. From police misconduct to racism to echoing comments from Donald Trump (a reference to the U.S. President’s wall was made in the opener), it sometimes felt that different topics were heavy-handed in the narrative rather than effectively being worked into the backdrop first. When it came to Episode 2: Rules, however, it felt far better balanced. Of course, it was evident that Dontnod would place a major focus on drugs in Episode 3: Wastelands, but it also dabbled its hands in many other interesting themes that were executed exceptionally well. While players will walk away from the story yearning for more after an enthralling ending, the third episode will also leave a lasting impression thanks to its colorful cast of characters introduced, the added complexity behind the brothers’ erratic relationship and the branching choices that can be made.
Life Is Strange 2 Fitgirl
One of the biggest issues with Life Is Strange 2, unlike its 2015 predecessor, has been its release window for each episode. Sure, Dontnod revealed back in March a release date schedule for Episode 3: Wastelands and the two remaining episodes in the five-part adventure series, but the wait between episodes has been unbearable at times. Either way, the French studio has tried to deal with that issue by offering a story recap at the beginning of the third episode, which is done effectively well through the wolves-themed story animation. Over the course of the first playthrough, which can range from two to three hours, the story unfolds seamlessly and offers plenty of time to explore Sean and Daniel’s relationship. In fact, Dontnod has done fantastic work in keeping the brothers’ father, Esteban Diaz, an important focus of the story, especially for how his words continue to reiterate to Sean the need for him to step up and fulfill his duties of looking after his younger sibling. There’s also an enjoyable flashback to highlight the early friction between Sean and Daniel when they lived in Seattle, which will be fleshed out more as the cracks start to widen in their relationship.
Unsurprisingly, players will find that the story pulls no punches on the impact of Sean and Daniel’s journey to Puerto Lobos, Mexico. The Diaz brothers find themselves stopping in the redwood forests of California and becoming reacquainted with some familiar faces from Episode 2: Rules. Yes, players will find themselves learning more about — and connecting with — Cassidy and Finn, who both have an impact on the two brothers in their own separate ways. When we had the chance to speak with Sarah Bartholomew, who voices Cassidy, ahead of the episode’s release, she said her first impressions of the character was that “she was a bad***.” True to her word, Cassidy lives up to that reputation as she plays a major part in the story and her natural charm, free-spirited nature and sassiness is a delight to watch. The chemistry between Cassidy and Sean is sublime, built up over a number of key moments in the story and a constant tease about where their friendship will head next. Cassidy is no mere love interest that is susceptible to female tropes, even suggesting that she doesn’t need Sean to be her ‘white knight.’ She’s far from being a one-dimensional character and her own story arc is equally as interesting as the one she shares with Sean. In fact, Bartholomew’s performance will make Cassidy an instant fan-favorite character in the series.
Cassidy might have been the standout character of Episode 3: Wastelands, but there has to be credit handed to Dontnod for their fantastic work in writing Finn and voice actor Matthew Gallenstein bringing him to life. It’s easy to make the character a pothead with little substance behind his personality, but it’s the exact opposite here. Finn, to be fair, is the male equivalent of Cassidy in many areas, adopting a similar kind of charm and wittiness. Players will watch Finn become a big brother-esque figure for Daniel, helping to increase the friction between the youngest Diaz brother and Sean. In fact, the drifter even sees Sean like his brother and their relationship, which has developed in such a short space of on-screen time, feels very much believable. While the signs of jealousy evidently creep into Sean’s mind, Finn also has moments where he shares his two cents about not treating Daniel like a child. Just like the two previous episodes, there are emotionally-charged scenes throughout Episode 3: Wastelands and Sean and Finn share in one of them. Finn reveals his backstory and, like Cassidy, feels like a character that players will instantly connect with and will care about as more than a misfit.
Outside of Cassidy and Finn, Life Is Strange 2 shows shades of the first title through the other supporting characters featured in Episode 3: Wastelands. While Sean and Daniel’s adventure in the first two episodes had taken them across multiple locations, the camping site is the primary location in the third episode and it allows players more time to interact with different characters over the course of the story. From the likes of Jacob and Hannah to Penny and couple Ingrid and Anders, players will want the same experience as they had in Life Is Strange in terms of learning more about their backstories. Sure, Cassidy and Finn are two of the more predominant characters to reoccur in the episode, but Dontnod doesn’t neglect it from adding the same attribute to all of the campsite-based characters: purpose. Players will feel engaged with their backstories and understand how they ended up being where they are now, giving every incentive to interact with them before completing a certain objective. Players will also find themselves crossing paths with Merrill, who is the episode’s antagonist and the owner of the marijuana plantation. The drug dealer has the support of henchman Big Joe and also works well as the ‘big bad’ figure for the story, yet the developer also humanizes him for his motive of supporting his family, which Sean can very much empathize with.
Cannabis might be central to the story, but remember the part about themes that are on full display? Well, Dontnod is not shy in exploring sexuality in Episode 3: Wastelands and giving players the choice of different routes of relationships that can happen over the story. That’s not to mention there is a fair bit of full-frontal nudity. At one point, the hippie lifestyle is shown in full effect when a female character walks past with her breasts out. For the Life Is Strange series, it’s a first for how forward the developer is with nudity, but it thankfully strays away from the same unnecessary levels as Game of Thrones. Considering the drifters and hippies that players will spend their time around as Sean, they’ll find themselves interacting with characters that are very much open about their sexuality. That is only one aspect where the studio should be commended on how it handles its commentary on different topics. With the episode featuring many, many meaningful backstories provided by the new characters, Cassidy’s story would very much resonate with some people and how racism had an impact on her personal life, something that she shares with Sean and who can relate to it on some levels.
Life Is Strange 2 Episode 3 Endings
Gameplay might be limited in Episode 3: Wastelands, but it does help to break the episodic gaming trope of unnecessarily relying on fetch quests. When players do have the chance to be a bit more hands-on with the title, they will be treated to different mini-games over the course of the episode. One of the enjoyable moments comes when Sean is cutting the weed at the plantation, especially for how much is going on during the scene. Depending on how players approach the segment, they’ll spend time concentrating on hitting the prompts at the exact time needed to trim the weed. That’s coupled with washing the scissors every so often, mainly for how it becomes increasingly difficult to cut the weed. During the segment, players will see Cassidy flourish in terms of speaking her mind about how the task is mind-numbingly boring, that she has dreams of doing more than just that in her life and also fighting with another member from the campsite over her talking — or moaning — instead of working. While there’s much to enjoy in watching the different exchanges, the episode does suffer from bugs. When Sean and Daniel are talking in the woods, for example, the animation messes up in the scene and it’s difficult to see Sean’s reaction.
After Episode 2: Rules spent so much of its focus on Sean teaching Daniel to follow the rules, that all begins to unravel in Episode 3: Wastelands for different reasons. It’s not only players’ choices that will impact that, but also the fragile relationship between the two that becomes increasingly stretched. Both Cassidy and Finn play their parts in testing the two Diaz brothers in their most tenuous situations, even putting in doubt if they want to return to their father’s hometown. Daniel also hints at wanting to find their mother, Karen, and while this story angle is touched upon, it does feel like it fades out of existence on a number of occasions before quickly being brought back up to remind players about it. It did feel like there could have been a bit more focus on it, whether it was the two brothers talking about it in depth or even Daniel sharing what he learned about their mother in a separate scene with Finn.
When Will Life Is Strange 2 Episode 3
Dontnod has come a long way in its writing for the series, but it still feels clunky in parts. Sean refers to Daniel as ‘emo Daniel’ and it’s cringeworthy to hear it repeated. Daniel, however, has his best moments where he wants Sean to treat him with more respect and not like a child, with Episode 3: Wastelands also highlighting the massive improvement in his powers since Episode 2: Rules. It does feel like Daniel’s powers are withdrawn for most parts of the story due to all of the other subplots in the narrative, but it doesn’t diminish players’ interest when the attention is placed back on it. All of this, above anything else, is backed up with a nail-biting conclusion that will leave players on the edge of their seats. It could arguably be one of the best cliffhanger endings in the Life Is Strange series to date, building up plenty of anticipation for players to find out what happened after Episode 3: Wastelands’ rollercoaster experience. The branching system of choices is far-reaching in the episode, which is highlighted at the very end with how many pages of decisions that players have made in the story.
Life Is Strange 2 Episode 3 Choices
Episode 3: Wastelands might be a shorter experience compared to past episodes, but that doesn’t stop Dontnod from pulling off an excellent story at the halfway point of Life Is Strange 2. Just when Cassidy’s charm caught the attention of players in Episode 2: Rules, her story is fleshed out brilliantly in this episode and introduces another memorable character to the series’ ever-growing roster. Sean and Daniel’s relationship continues to hit the rocks and reiterates the devastating impact that Esteban’s death had on the duo. That’s not to mention that Sean is put in a more difficult position now in controlling Daniel and his powers. Life Is Strange 2 continues to retain the franchise’s core strength of superb voice acting, with the actors delivering all-round performances for their respective characters. While the developer still has the overarching plot of the brothers returning to their father’s hometown, there are plenty of storylines that are going on and which fans will be hoping are tied together in the penultimate episode. For all of its criticism with themes, Dontnod exemplifies its fantastic approach to different issues, such as sexuality, in a respectful manner and naturally injects them into the story. If Episode 3: Wastelands is a taste of what’s to come from Life Is Strange 2, then the episodic series will continue to move from strength to strength going forward.
Life Is Strange 2 Episode 3
Version Reviewed: PlayStation 4