This adventure game puts hard choices and a compelling story in front of players, forcing them to shape and define the life of two brothers they'll come to deeply care about. Life Is Strange 2 continues the theme of the butterfly effect from the original game -- the idea that simple choices, actions, or even inaction, that may seem minor in the moment, can have cataclysmic consequences later on down the road. One of the more interesting things about the story this time around is that it's less of a mystery and more a tale of family and responsibility in a world that's surprisingly true to life. The world of Life Is Strange 2 doesn't shy away from any parallels to the real world, nor is it unclear in its view. Sean and Daniel may be on the run, but it’s the racism and bigotry of the small-town folks they run across that pose a bigger threat than the authorities. The children are often looked at with suspicion not due to their situation, but to their ethnicity. It's a harsh reality for the players to face, especially through the prism of Sean's point of view.
It's difficult to critique the gameplay element of Life Is Strange 2 because there's not really much gameplay there to critique. The game is, for the most part, an intricate and interactive Choose Your Own Adventure story. To get the most out of it, you'll need to examine a lot of little things and pay careful attention to what you come across. Little snippets and plot points can be easily overlooked, and it's entirely possible to miss certain opportunities that may or may not prove important later. That's the only other major issue with episodic games like Life Is Strange 2. Because the story is told piecemeal one chapter at a time, you can't help but wonder how a decision you make in these early moments will shape events to come. Worse, by the time the story is complete, it's entirely possible you might forget exactly what choices you made when those consequences finally take shape. Still, it's a compelling story, with rich characters you can't help but care about. And it's a stark reminder that who you are and how you act doesn't just define you -- it can leave a lasting impression on those around you … especially those you care most about.