The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, also referred to as Captain Spirit, is a standalone game inside the Life is Strange universe developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Square Enix. It was announced June 10, 2018, and was released on June 26th for free on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC (Steam). It follows Chris Eriksen, a 9-year-old[note 2] boy who dreams of adventure, and carries on the theme of childhood nostalgia that was a central element of the original Life is Strange. Likewise, the game tackles challenging social issues, such as grief, neglect and alcoholism.[1] The story is predominantly about imagination and how it helps us cope with reality.[2] The game takes place in Beaver Creek, Oregon, during winter time, 3 years after the events of the original Life is Strange.[3]

The game serves as a precursor to Life is Strange 2 that gives "a glimpse into Life is Strange 2's brand-new story... but only if you’re clever enough to piece the clues together!". Dontnod calls it a “perfect introduction” to the upcoming sequel. Dontnod confirmed that "some choices in Captain Spirit will carry over and have consequences in Life is Strange 2."[4]

Dontnod stated pre-release that the game will be between 1 and 2 hours long.[5] It is more open-ended than the original Life is Strange's episodes as Chris can complete an optional list of quests. Also after passing the ending and being returned to the menu, players can continue following the quests at any time by pressing "Continue".

"The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is not Life is Strange 2, but it does connect to it in multiple ways. This is the first step into the diverse world of Life is Strange beyond Arcadia Bay where you will find secrets and hints as to what to expect in Life is Strange 2. In addition to this, choices & actions you make in Captain Spirit will carry over to Life is Strange 2.", as stated on the official website.[6]

Official features:

  • An original narrative experience set in the Life is Strange universe
  • Play as Chris and his super-hero alter-ego, Captain Spirit
  • Complete a series of missions as Captain Spirit and discover secret content
  • Some choices and actions will link to your Life is Strange 2 experience

Story Edit

Captain Spirit Announce Trailer E3 2018 ESRB

Captain Spirit Announce Trailer E3 2018 ESRB

"In The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, you play as Chris, an ordinary [9-year][note 2] old boy who dreams of being a superhero. Chris has a big imagination that will take him on all sorts of adventures, but on this particular Saturday something truly extraordinary will happen to him..."[7]

"Have you ever dreamt of being a superhero? Meet Chris, a creative and imaginative 10 year old boy who escapes reality with fantastical adventures, as his alter ego - the Awesome Captain Spirit!
Return to your childhood and play a touching and heart-warming one-of-a-kind narrative experience from the directors and development team behind the BAFTA award winning game Life is Strange. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a self-contained narrative experience with plenty of hidden secrets to unearth with each play-through as you explore Chris’ world."[8][6]

Synopsis Edit

On this particular snowy winter's Saturday, Charles has promised to take his son to get a Christmas tree, but refuses to do so until the Basketball game is over on TV. Charles has already started drinking beer and heads to the living room with a half-bottle of whiskey. He tells Chris to wake him after the game if he falls asleep (which he does) so they can go get the promised tree.

Chris explores his environment, giving us a glimpse into his world and his imaginary super hero Captain Spirit. We learn more about his mother Emily, including the fact she once went to the Blackwell Academy and fell in love with his father Charles at the Eugene College. They got married and had Chris in February 2007. She was Chris' Kindergarten teacher and his dad worked at the same school. Emily was killed in a hit-and-run accident on December 16, 2014 and the offender was never found. His father lost his previous job at the school and is currently working for a railroad company. It is now December 2016 and Charles is currently seeing an exotic dancer named Audra, which he has yet to tell his son. The narrative leads the player to believe the boy has possibly been physically abused by his father, most likely due to his alcoholism and anger issues.

At the end of this chapter, Chris wakes his father as he was told to do. Charles is still very intoxicated and falls twice, the second time knocking over a side table. He swears and yells at Chris. The neighbor Claire Reynolds is out for a walk and hears the commotion. She rings the doorbell and an angry Charles sends the boy to the door, telling him to get rid of whoever it is. Chris and Mrs. Reynolds have a conversation and the story changes depending on how the conversation goes. After she leaves, Charles continues yelling at his son, and blames him for Emily's death, stating if it wasn't for the boy, she wouldn't have been in a situation to get hit by a car in the first place. He immediately apologizes and says he didn't mean it, but Chris refuses to accept it and runs out of the house in his socks to his tree house.

During the quick and angry climb up, a board comes loose and Chris falls. Just before reaching the snow, his body slows and comes to a brief halt. Chris, completely surprised by this, slowly lands in the snow. He gets up, checks himself over, still completely baffled as to this 'power' that kept him from getting hurt and looks at his hands. He then notices two children in the Reynolds's back yard waving to him and waves back.

Characters Edit

Locations Edit

Nods to the Original Edit

Development Edit

Concept and Idea Edit

Co-Director Michel Koch on why they decided to make an additional game set in the Life is Strange universe:

"Because Life is Strange is not a single set of characters or a single town. It's not just Max and Chloe. For three years now, we've created lots of new characters working on Life is Strange 2, and Captain Spirit is one of them. When we started working on Life is Strange 2, started talking about settings and characters, it was quite a huge story. We saw potential in a lot of characters, to find a bit more about their backstory and their side stories."[5]

Captain Spirit is meant to work as both an introduction to the second season of Life is Strange and an entry point to the franchise and the kind of games the developers team works on. "I wouldn’t say that [it is a demo]. It’s formed around our relative experience. It’s a standalone experience. It means that if you don’t know Life is Strange, you can play it and discover the type of game we’re creating — and, I hope, the DNA of Life is Strange. Of course, if you know Life is Strange you can find a lot of details in Captain Spirit. It’s really a perfect introduction to Life is Strange 2," Co-Director Barbet explained.[9] Dontnod explained that they’re hoping people who’ve never played Life is Strange will play The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, and that it’s designed for both newcomers and fans to get enjoyment out of.[10]

Themes Edit

The game is all about seeing the world through Chris' eyes. "We really wanted to talk about being a kid, and this sort of blending of imagination and reality and how, for the player, we could use this vivid imagination to have fun, but also use it to tell Chris' story. What are his fears? What is the relationship with his dad like? And so on."

"We knew the game would be free, so it sort of changed the way we designed and wrote it," continued Koch. "We were completely free to create this small sandbox of a kid on a Saturday morning. What do you want to do? Do you want to help your father out? Do you want to revel in your own imagination?"[5]

Childhood nostalgia: "We’ve all been children, boy or girl, and we had our bedroom, our own toys. (...) We hope that players will love Chris and be able to put their own memories into this game, just as they did with the first one," Raoul Barbet said.[11]

Gameplay Edit

Dontnod has worked to make dialog more natural. Players can now respond in some instances while moving. In the demo, this was on display as Chris’ father, Charles, called to him from upstairs. Players can choose to respond or ignore all while continuing to explore. "We wanted to improve the feeling of answering someone," says Co-Creative Director Raoul Barbet. "It was interesting to us to have the feeling for the player to walk with someone near me and they can answer or not." Another change is the inclusion of a quest system. As Captain Spirit, Chris has a number of objectives to undertake, some of them are optional.[12]

Featured Music Edit

Like for the original Life is Strange, the use of music was a key element of the development. Co-Director Michel Koch explained in the developer's diary on Captain Spirit, "It's not just about having some decent strikes in particular music, it's also how you're going to use it within the story."

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: 5 GB available space Hard Drive: 5 GB available space

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

Reception Edit

The game received generally favorable reviews.[13]

Like the original game, Captain Spirit has been praised for its well-written and relatable characters, notably protagonist Chris's characterization, its emotional story and the way it tackles childhood and its problematic sides. Furthermore, it was praised for its improvement on graphics and animations, as well as for being a non-linear gaming experience that offers multiple ways of shaping a single playthrough. "Rather than being the normal linear affair, Captain Spirit opens up a set of opportunities that can be completed in any order or ignored altogether."[14]

It was criticized that the game is quite short and that the ending can be triggered by accident.[14]

  • On Metacritic, it has a score of 75 based on 31 reviews and a user score of 71.
  • IGN calls the game "good" with a score of 7.0.

Trivia Edit

  • The songs in the announcement trailer are "Death with Dignity" by Sufjan Stevens and "May Weather" by John Francis.
  • The promotional artwork depicting protagonist Chris strongly resembles the promotional artwork for the original Life is Strange depicting Max Caulfield.
  • Co-Director Raoul Barbet said that Sailor Moon was a reference they had in mind.[15]
  • Before the release, the game won one of Android Central's "Best of E3 2018" awards.[16]
  • The game doesn't have any trophies or achievements.[9]
  • Toby Palm, the community manager for Life is Strange, called the game a "significant piece of content" and not a "quick throwaway."[17]
  • Chris's costume's design varies based on the player's choices at the beginning of the game.
  • Some documents can be viewed in the Document Gallery in the menu that aren't shown as documents during normal play.
  • If dad is awake in the recliner, Chris can antagonize dad by continuously trying to talk to him using the speak option to the point that dad becomes rather irritated (the equivalent of "Dad, Dad, Dad....").
  • A Super Comic Store pamphlet found in Chris's room contains a QR code. When scanned, it provides the text, "A ragged cold may make a good horse." It's speculated that this easter egg is a hint at Life is Strange 2.[18]
  • One of the dates on Chris' height chart on his father's wardrobe is "09/10/2013". When read as a European date, this is possibly a link to the third episode of the original Life is Strange, "Chaos Theory", which takes place on October 9th.
  • There are two variations of the main menu game logo that changes based on Chris' costume color choice at the start of the game.[19]
  • Charles falls asleep after 23 minutes and all events pause the timer.[19]
  • When Chris gives the "Radio Interview" in front of the mirror in the bathroom, the radio station he pretends to be speaking with is "WHERO". However, radio stations in the US start with either a "K" or a "W", depending on if they are west or east of the Mississippi River, and with Beaver Creek being located in the state of Oregon, all radio stations there would start with a "K", making it odd that Chris talks to a station that starts with a "W".
  • Chris and Ms. Reynolds respond specifically to the following conditions: 1) Chris shovels the steps outside of the house. 2) If Chris takes the waste basket full of beer cans outside. 3) If Chris manages to fully complete the costume before waking up Chris' Dad. Also, right at the beginning of the game, as soon as Chris finishes eating the eggs, Chris can call Ms. Reynolds on the phone. Chris will have a chat about Stephen, plans for the day, etc. If Chris tries to call her after waking up Charles, she will not be home. Lastly, Chris' Dad will be angry with him saying the phone is not to be used to prank call others.
  • If Chris completes the quest to defeat the Water Eater early, Chris will have a special dialogue when using the kitchen and/or bathroom sink.
  • In Charles' room, Chris can steal a cigarette. If Chris takes it to the tree house, there is special dialog when used with the "Old Bowl". Chris laments about his special bowl being misused by his Dad as an ashtray.
  • The developers had planned to use a song by Bruce Springsteen in the game, but it didn't happen.[20]

Images Edit

Promotional Art Edit

Promotional Screenshots Edit

In-game Screenshots Edit

Videos Edit

External Links Edit

Notes Edit

  1. Official release times image.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The initial marketing messaging incorrectly stated his age to be 10. Square Enix's and Dontnod's Community Managers both have confirmed that he is 9, close to 10. The Steam product description also mentions this age.

References Edit

  1. Captain Spirit looks heroic, but sometimes tragic too (June 19, 2018)
  2. Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit world premiere: Life Is Strange, but not (June 15, 2018)
  3. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit: Life is Strange Prequel Revealed at E3 2018 (June 11, 2018)
  4. Choices you make in Captain Spirit will carry over to Life is Strange 2 (June 11, 2018)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 25 minutes with Life is Strange 2's brilliantly unexpected free prequel (June 10, 2018)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Official Website
  7. Announcement blog (June 10, 2018)
  8. An ordinary boy on an extraordinary day
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit Won’t Have Trophies or Achievements (June 23, 2018)
  11. Life Is Strange spinoff draws inspiration from a classic anime (June 19, 2018)
  12. ‘The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit’ Sets Stage for ‘Life Is Strange 2’ (June 13, 2018)
  13. Metacritic
  14. 14.0 14.1 WCCFTech: The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit Review – Hella Good (June 29, 2018)
  15. Life Is Strange spinoff draws inspiration from a classic anime (June 25, 2018)
  16. Twitter post by Dontnod
  17. ResetEra post
  18. Reddit post by /u/MusicalNerd72
  19. 19.0 19.1 Blackwell Podcast Episode 57 - Captain Spirit
  20. Interview with the developers of Life is Strange 2 - JeuxVideo-Live (August 26, 2018)