Between Life and Freedom – Life is Strange 2: Episode 3 Wastelands Review
The journey of the two wolf brothers continues. With Wastelands the next episode of Life is Strange 2 by Dontnod Entertainment and Square Enix has been released. Here you can find out what to expect in the third episode of the adventure game.
Hint: Even if we don’t want to reveal too much in advance, it’s advisable to have played the first the first and the second episode before reading it.
Camping in the Forest
Wastelands continues the action about two months after the end of the last episode. Sean and Daniel met Cassidy and Finn again on their way and joined them. As the brothers continue to try to make their way to Puerto Lobos, they work on an illegal hash farm to raise the money needed for the trip. They now live in a temporary tent camp in the middle of the forest, together with a group of other runaways and outsiders. However, the supposed idyll of the adventurous forest camp is not preserved for long. What has happened so far has left its mark. Both Sean and Daniel struggle with conflicts that test their relationship more than once.
Sean strives to be Daniel both father figure and big brother. This is not easy for him. He wants to protect Daniel and do everything right, but he also has a desire for personal freedom. Daniel gets into a fight with Sean about this. He no longer sees himself as a little child. At the same time he is angry because he feels neglected and put back by his brother. An insight into the past shows that this is not the first time that he feels this way. In addition, Daniel’s powers will increase and the questionable, sometimes dangerous work at the hash farm will cause additional stress. Daniel’s behavior varies in some situations, by the way, depending on the decisions you made in the previous episodes.
The focus in this episode is even more on the characters, dialogues and relationships. In the tent camp you will get to know new characters and meet familiar faces. Each inhabitant of the camp has his own story to tell. In conversations Sean can learn more about his roommates and talk about himself. You’ll get to know Cassidy and Finn, who appeared in Episode 2, and the other characters. As in the predecessors, more sensitive topics such as alcoholism are addressed here as well. In addition, Sean’s attitude to the group has an effect on Daniel, who in turn has also joined in his own way.
Playfully, Wastelands stays true to the line. With Sean you explore the different places, look at different things and talk to the other characters. Unfortunately, there are less varied scenes to admire in this episode. Apart from the tent camp, which you can visit in detail at the beginning, there are hardly any new locations for action. You’re out with Sean in the woods and on the hash farm. However, you can hardly explore the latter freely, as Sean has no business there outside of work. You play the work as a kind of simple Quick-Time-Event.
In the camp, you and Sean will be busy with various tasks that need to be done, drawing again or listening to your roommates when they talk. There is a lot to discover, as you can learn more about a person not only through direct conversation, but also through the respective possessions. Optional collector’s items can also be found again and, if required, can be retrieved in “Collector Mode”.
Of course, you will again be faced with a series of decisions this time. Especially Sean’s relationship with Daniel and the other camp inhabitants is influenced by this. In some places possible consequences can be guessed at, but this does not necessarily mean that the choice is easier. What has worked better in Wastelands than in the previous episode is the impact of decisions. Although certain things always happen, which has to happen in the course of history, the course and individual details are noticeably influenced by your decisions. This was also the case in Rules, but works better in this episode.
Atmospherically, the third episode presents itself on the same high level as its predecessors. The graphics and the soundtrack are coherent, the tent camp and the forest are very detailed and beautifully designed. Sitting by the campfire among the giant sequoia trees while Cassidy plays her guitar, talking about the past and dreams of the future, creates one of those typical Life is Strange moments.
Wastelands is the third of a total of five planned episodes and continues the story in a very exciting way. The action focuses on the two brothers and the question of how far the common path still leads. While it looks as if Sean and Daniel could stay in relative safety in the camp for a while, it soon becomes clear that it won’t stay that way. There are quieter moments when you stroll through the camp with Sean or talk to him, but dramatic events soon take their course. Especially the end should make waiting for the next episode difficult.
The playing time is about three hours and is therefore somewhat shorter than the first two episodes. Wastelands you can buy individually for 7,99€ or in bundle with episodes 2 to 5 for about 32€. The next episode is expected to be released in August this year. Life is Strange 2 is available for PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
|+ Exciting story with dramatic and quieter moments|
|+ Decisions have consequences, also from previous episodes
+ Collector mode for optional collector objects
|– many dialogues and sequences in between
– less varied locations for exploring
|+ Quick-Time-Event quite simple
+ more relaxed play
|– hardly demanding|
|+ Controller support for PC||– Camera control occasionally annoying|
Graphic & Sound
|+ Locations in the forest very successful
+ Atmospheric graphics and sound
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