Life Is Strange is a five part episodic series that will be delivered over the next few months. This review is for Episode 2, titled Out of Time. It will attempt to cover the value of Episode 2 both by itself and as part of a larger experience. More importantly, given how important the story is to experience Life Is Strange, this review is spoiler free but may contain light spoilers for the first episode.Life Is Strange follows Maxine Caulfield, or Max for short. Returning to her hometown of Arcadia Bay in Oregon, she enrols in a prestigious academy as senior photography student, working with some of the most prestigious in the business. The academy is rife with rumours and speculations regarding the mysterious disappearance of Rachel Amber, a girl whose reputation changes depending on who you talk to.
Without spoiling, the events of Life Is Strange are thrown into motion when Max reunites with her estranged best friend Chloe, whose father died the year that Max left town. To make matters even more coincidental (or perhaps not), while Chloe was grieving for the loss of her father, she became involved with Rachel, the same girl who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. With a shared mutual interest and lots of time to make up for, Max and Chloe decide to investigate Rachel’s disappearance together.The second episode is titled Out Of Time, and much like the first episode it couldn’t be a more apt title. Several mysteries from the original episode are left untouched thus far, but characters are developed cleverly to make players question whether the mysteries revealed in the original episode were as sinister as we once thought. As you’d expect, the episode is structured in a way to keep you interested and intrigued but keeps you wanting more by the time it’s done.
But realistically speaking, Out of Time focuses more on Max and her relationships with other characters rather than a looming threat to the entirety of the academy. It results in a story experience that not only feels more personal and closer to the player and Max but one that rewards those who play while paying full attention to the events. I’ve never been in such a situation presented in Out of Time before but I daresay the experience presented would be somewhat similar if it were to happen in real life.Life Is Strange’s second episode doesn’t vary much from the first in terms of presentation. The game still utilises a unique and quirky visual style that is best described as The OC meets Instagram. It’s dreamlike and idyllic, and it’s unapologetically “indie” flavoured in its presentation.