Life is Strange 2 is the third game by Dontnod Entertainment in the Life is Strange universe featuring a new story. It was announced on May 18, 2017, primarily referred to as a "new Life is Strange game" at the time.[1] The first of five episodes released on September 27, 2018 (times vary slightly based on the platform and region).[2] The second episode ties in with the events of the spin-off game The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit and features protagonist Chris Eriksen.

Story Edit

Synopsis Edit

Life is Strange 2 Launch Trailer ESRB

Life is Strange 2 Launch Trailer ESRB

The story of Life is Strange 2 follows the brothers Sean, age 16, and Daniel Diaz, age 9, and their journey from Seattle, USA to their family's home town of Puerto Lobos, Mexico. The journey comes after the sudden death of their father, Esteban Diaz, age 45, who was killed on October 28, 2016 by a police officer after an incident with Sean, Daniel and the neighbor's kid escalates. When their father is fatally shot, a sudden explosion happens, knocking Sean and Daniel unconscious and killing the police officer. When Sean awakens, he picks up Daniel and runs.[3]

Official Description Edit

"One Journey. Many Paths.
The award winning Life is Strange series continues with a long-awaited sequel from DONTNOD Entertainment.

The second episode of Life is Strange 2 will launch on January 24, 2019 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC Steam!

Two brothers Sean and Daniel Diaz, 16 and 9, are forced to run away from home after a tragic incident in Seattle. In fear of the police, Sean & Daniel head to Mexico while attempting to conceal a sudden and mysterious supernatural power.

Life on the road is tough and now totally responsible for his much younger brother, Sean begins to realize that his decisions will impact their lives forever…"[4]

Episode 1: Roads Edit

After the sudden death of his father in the hands of a police officer and said officer ending up dead by inexplicable reasons, Sean Diaz flees his hometown in Seattle, USA, along with his brother Daniel fearing separation and being accused for a crime they did not commit. With barely any resources and Daniel not knowing what happened to his father, the brothers sleep in the streets and spend one night in the forest. The next morning Sean and Daniel make a stop at a gas station to supply and are recognized by the owner, who holds Sean captive and calls the police. Sean escapes capture with the help of Daniel, and the brothers find help in a stranger named Brody. Sean discusses his situation with Brody and decides to get out of the country and go to Puerto Lobos, Mexico, his father's hometown, and to tell Daniel the truth about their father. Brody gets the brothers a motel room and part ways with them. In the motel room Daniel angrily manifests telekinetic powers after finding out about his father's death before Sean could tell him. Sean manages to calm him down and, the next morning, the brothers take a bus to the south.

Episode 2: Rules Edit

A couple of months have past since the incident in Seattle. It's December, and the brothers are struggling against the colder weather. Daniel gets increasingly ill so Sean decides to risk travelling to their distant grandparents' house for shelter. Whilst there, they meet next-door neighbor Chris Eriksen who goes by the name "Captain Spirit". With this new found friendship, Sean and Daniel agree on some rules regarding his new power. (TBC)

Episode 3 Edit


Episode 4 Edit


Episode 5 Edit


Development Edit

Announcement and Reveal Edit

In an announcement video with Michel Koch, Raoul Barbet and Luc Baghadoust on May 18, 2017, the game was officially announced as a "new Life is Strange game". In the video and on official material, that was exclusively referred with that term, although Dontnod staff sometimes referred to it as Life is Strange 2.[5]

It was confirmed that the team has been working on the project since the release of the Limited Edition in February, 2016.

Before the announcement, it was already known that a second team at DONTNOD besides the Vampyr team was working on an unannounced project, which was rumored to be Life is Strange 2.[6][7]

In an interview with Polygon on June 24, 2015, it was said that if Dontnod pursues a second season, it's likely to feature a new set of characters.[8] In a different interview with IBTimes on December 15, 2015, it was stated that Max Caulfield and Chloe Price's story was told.[9][10]

On April 19, 2017, a roadmap released for DONTNOD's planned IPO mentioned the game in the "En production" (2018-2020) section and describes it with "Episodes".[11]

On June 9, 2017, a job ad on afjv by DONTNOD mentioned both the "Life is strange team" and Unreal Engine 4.[12]

On July 10, 2017, Jean-Luc Cano, the main writer for Life is Strange 2[5] confirmed on a podcast that the motion capture sessions began in August 2017. He also suggested that the game would be released in 2018.[13][14]

On March 5, 2018, it was said that DONTNOD is awaited to return with a new story and characters in the release announcement post of Before the Storm's bonus episode "Farewell", stating the following at the end, "We now look forward to the coming months, when Michel Koch and Raoul Barbet’s team at DONTNOD returns to present the new story and characters of the next Life is Strange."[15]

On June 10, 2018, a standalone game set in the Life is Strange universe was announced, called The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, that serves as a precursor to the events of the second season. During the E3 conference, Dontnod said they will be releasing Life is Strange 2 "properly soon".[16] Emphasizing on not wanting to canonize either final choice from the first season, Co-Director Michel Koch confirmed that the player's final choice will affect some elements in Life is Strange 2.[17]

During Gamescom 2018 (...)

On August 2, 2018, another teaser trailer was released, which showed dashcam footage of a police officer responding to a code "10-10" that seems to stand for "fight in progress". Once the cop stopped the car and got out to investigate, a giant gust of wind struck and knocked over both the cop and the car, possibly killing the cop. It is speculated that the gust of wind relates to a superpower(s) in the game.

On October 1, 2018, Feral Interactive have announced that macOS and Linux ports of the game will be released in 2019.[18]

On November 29, 2018, a release window of January 2019 for Episode 2: Rules was announced in a blog post.[19]

On November 30, 2018, the previously pre-order exclusive Mascot Bundle was made available for regular purchase.[20][21]

On December 18, 2018, a live action video of Episode 1's ending with the voice actors including a teaser for Episode 2 was released.[22]

Setting Edit

With the intention and ambition to be more expansive than the original Life is Strange, Life is Strange 2 is written in the classic American road movie template where the player will encounter multiple characters and new environments.[23] The writing team at Dontnod including American writer Christian Divine are huge fans of road stories like Stand by Me, Into the Wild and Keruac's On the Road. Writers Michel Koch, Raoul Barbet and Jean-Luc Cano have been travelling around the Northwest and the United States to gather inspiration. They also went to Mexico to do research on the Diaz brothers' Mexican descent.

Central Themes Edit

The game's central themes are brotherhood and education, and explores how an older brother has to try to teach his younger sibling, thus the player's choices and actions will determine the younger brother Daniel's behavior in the narrative.

During the PAX West 2018 Panel, the following was said:

"The game's about education. You know, it's about teaching. I mean I have an older brother, same exact age difference between Sean and Daniel, so if you have siblings you all know what it's like to have a little sibling chasing you. I know that I was the obnoxious sibling to my older brother, like 'hey Scott, what are you doing?' when his friends are out. So that's a universal. Doesn't matter, we all understand that sense of sibling rivalry or, you know, companionship. And so this game is going to be about Sean having to try to teach Daniel and of course your choices and actions will determine Daniel's behavior in the narrative."

"I think what Michel, and Raoul and Jean-Luc Cano as the original story writer and the character writer for the game, and also for Life is Strange: Captain Spirit, I think he just wanted to explore this world of brothers in this kind of desperate situation and how younger people respond to, you know, trauma and obstacles and also, you know, the learning and evolution of a person. And plus it's a road movie story so you're actually going to be encountering all these different situations and people. So it's a tapestry, and it's a larger tapestry from Life is Strange, so it's part of the universe, but it's expanding on that so it's different. We want to be ambitious. We're trying to be ambitious and keep moving forward and push the boundaries for the Life is Strange universe."

"We want to do things differently. Ambitious characters, new characters, and we, you know, we want to -- Life is Strange, we all love Max and Chloe, and it was so wonderful to write those characters, and even more wonderful that you all embraced those characters. That was the greatest thing about it, honestly. Thank you, that was the greatest thing about it. So we want to be ambitious, though, and the team wants to move forward and we want to create new stories, new characters. There's other - there's a whole diverse world out there and we want to try to capture as much as we possibly can."

In an interview, Creative Director Michel Koch explains: "Over the course of the game, most of your actions, the things you do and the things you say will have consequences on Daniel. He'll be around you, he'll listen to you, and he'll look at what you're doing. Education is a core theme and the basis of the choices and consequences in Life is Strange 2, where you'll have to decide what kind of brother you'll be, and what kind of actions you'll make to take care of Daniel."[24]

Visual Style Edit


Gameplay and Mechanics Edit

Co-Director Raoul Barbet said about the differences in how choices and consequences work and how Sean and Daniel's relationship has become a core part of gameplay: "We wanted to evolve both the choice and consequences system for Sean, because it won't only affect his story – like, say, the character of Max from the first one – but it will have an effect on another character too. This is where it was interesting for us to link to the notion of education. If you choose something for you, it can change your life and have some consequences for you, but here it's even more important, because it will have some consequences on Daniel himself."[24]

A lot of work went into the development of Daniel's AI and what he's be doing in each moment to ensure he feels like a real person the player can form a connection with. Daniel's AI presented Dontnod with a unique challenge- creating a character who's capable of naturally reacting and responding to the choices the player makes, while also having a personality that can be influenced over the course of the game. This adds a new level to the player's experience of choices and consequences as compared to the original Life is Strange.[24]

Dontnod has upgraded the dialogue and interaction mechanics compared to Season 1, some of the enhancements were already present in Captain Spirit. The protagonist can react to ambient conversations during gameplay and the conversation continues during the action, similar to the system seen in Night School’s Oxenfree.

Featured Music Edit

  • "Lisztomania" - Phoenix
  • "On The Flip Of A Coin" - The Streets
  • "No Woman" - Whitney
  • "Banquet" - Bloc Party

System Requirements Edit

Minimum: Recommended:
OS: Windows 7 or above (64-bit) OS: Windows 10 (64-bit)
Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 (3.1GHz) or AMD Phenom X4 945 (3.0GHz) Processor: Intel Core i5 3470, (3.20 Ghz) or AMD FX-8350, (4.00 Ghz)
Memory: 4GB RAM Memory: 6GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 2GB or AMD Radeon HD 7770 2GB Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB or AMD Radeon R9 280X 3GB
DirectX: Version 11 DirectX: Version 11
Hard Drive: 14 GB available space Hard Drive: 14 GB available space

Note: 32-bit operating systems will not be supported.

Reception Edit

Episode 1 received generally favorable reviews.[25][26] It was praised for its charmful and humorous writing, its improvement of animations and graphics, the new ambient dialogue feature and fleshed out means of interaction, as well as the artificial intelligence of Sean's little brother Daniel as his companion.[27]

The tackling of political topics like race and police brutality are discussed controversially among fans and critics. On one hand, the game is praised for tackling these issues[27][28][29], on the other hand some players complain about the game being "too political" or heavy-handed.[ref needed]

New camera techniques are used, from soaring birds-eye-view shots of the brothers to clever close-ups and wide angles that provide room for the player to reflect and ponder on what unfolds before them. "This means that the game doesn’t just lock you out when you choose to interact with something, and there’s not much dead air when you’re exploring."[27]

  • Its first episode is rated as "very positive" (with 90% of over 3,000 user reviews positive) on Steam. On Metacritic it currently has a Metascore of 81/100 and a User Score of 5.9.[30]

Awards and Nominations Edit

  • Life is Strange 2 received an honorable mention for "Best Narrative" in the Game Developers Choice Awards 2019.[31]
  • Episode 1 of Life is Strange 2 was nominated for the Melville Award for "Best Writing" in the New York Videogame Awards 2018.[32]

Trivia Edit

  • Exactly two years prior to the announcement of Season 2, on May 18, 2015, the trailer of Episode 3: Chaos Theory of Life is Strange's first season was launched.
  • The game uses Unreal Engine 4.
  • The production music used in the teaser is "Held Apart" by Stephen John Bernard Kielty, Glenn Herweijer, Ben Sumner.
  • The song used in Episode 1 launch trailer is "Colour to Colour" by Seyr.
  • The key art was created by Lead Artist Edouard Caplain.
  • The Diaz brothers are confirmed to be half-Mexican.[33]
  • At the end of Captain Spirit, it is confirmed that Chris will be featured in Life is Strange 2, although it is not known or confirmed how involved Chris will be in the coming sequel. Captain Spirit seems to take place during the events of Life is Strange 2 as it's set in December 2016 while the released Seattle gameplay footage of Life is Strange 2 is set in October 2016. 
  • The working title for Life is Strange 2 seems to be "Promenade". With the possibility to pre-order the game on the release day of Captain Spirit, the name was displayed in some cases such as a mentioning of "Life is Strange: Promenade" on the Xbox One dashboard.[34] The name "Promenade - Season Pass" was also added to the "Life is Strange 2 - Episodes 2-5 bundle" package as the metacritic name.[35]
  • On October 6, 2017, a 9gag post titled "Mocap session for Life is Strange 2" with a photo seemingly shows someone in a motion capture suit with a framed Life is Strange image in the background was posted.[36]
  • The first episode's credits list Steve Gaynor and Karla Zimonja, co-founders of Fullbright and creators of Gone Home as additional writers. It was previously stated that Gone Home, which was released around the same time as Life is Strange was being developed in late 2013.[37] Co-Director and Writer Michel Koch stated that it was "awesome to have [his] insight on the episode".[38]
  • During Captain Spirit, Chris can come across an e-mail on his father's computer detailing accounts of "unruly teenage freight-hoppers" in the area. Michel Koch later revealed in an interview that one of his major inspirations for Life is Strange 2 was Mike Brodie, a photographer known for having train-hopped across the U.S.A. for four years while capturing images of the people he met along the way.[39] Both prior to and after the release of this interview, it was speculated that the protagonist of Life is Strange 2 would encounter and join a group of the aforementioned freight-hoppers during the game.

Gallery Edit

Key Art Edit

Concept Art Edit

Promotional Screenshots Edit

Menu Screens Edit

Videos Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. Tumblr announcement post
  2. Official Tweet
  3. "Life is Strange 2 Details Revealed", Tumblr post
  4. Square Enix Website
  5. 5.0 5.1 Facebook post by Jean-Luc Carradines Cano
  6. Summary of the German article claiming season 2 is in development by Reddit user /u/Bardewi
  7. German article claiming season 2 is in development (February 8, 2017)
  8. Life is Strange's second season would star a new cast (if it happened) (June 24, 2015)
  9. Life Is Strange: Directors say season two would work but 'Max and Chloe's story is told' - IBTimes UK
  10. PCGamesn Interview (January 22, 2016)
  11., image
  12. Job advertisement "Character Artist H/F Junior"
  13. Jean-Luc Cano invited in the ABCD podcast
  14. Reddit post by /u/magicarrot
  15. "Before the Storm’s bonus episode Farewell out now!", official Tumblr post
  16. Choices you make in Captain Spirit will carry over to Life is Strange 2
  17. E3 Q&A Choices for Life Is Strange Season One Carries over to Season 2
  18. Feral Interactive news page
  19. " Official Tumblr post, "Life is Strange — Hello everyone, As you know we have kept you..."
  20. Official Twitter post
  21. Life is Strange 2 - Mascot Bundle DLC Steam
  22. Life Is Strange 2 Live-Action Trailer, Episode 2: Rules Screenshots Released - Hardcore Gamer (Dec 18, 2018)
  23. PAX West 2018 Panel (August 31, 2018)
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Find out why your choices really matter in Life is Strange 2 (November 13, 2018)
  25. Metacritic
  26. Opencritic
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Trusted Reviews: Life is Strange 2: Episode One – Roads Review (August 26. 2018)
  28. Life Is Strange Fans: Life Is Strange 2 – Episode 1: Roads Review (Septemebr 26, 2018)
  29. GameSpot: Life Is Strange 2: Episode 1 Review - What Doesn't Kill Us (September 26, 2018)
  30. Metacritic Life is Strange 2 PS4
  31. Red Dead Redemption 2 Leads List Of GDC 2019 Choice Awards Nominees! (January 4, 2019)
  32. 2018 New York Game Awards Nominees Revealed (January 3, 2019)
  33. Michel Koch's Twitter post
  34. Reddit post by /u/Viggymaster
  35. Life is Strange 2 - Episodes 2-5 bundle on SteamDB
  36. Mocap session for Life is Strange 2 on 9gag
  37. Steve Gaynor's Twitter post
  38. Michel Koch's Twitter post
  39. Life is Strange 2 Developers on Leaving Chloe and Max Behind - Gamescom 2018