The series Life Is Strange, from developer DONTNOD Entertainment, is no stranger to delivering a compelling narrative in a world that feels real with characters that are relatable. The world constructed in Life Is Strange 2 draws strong parallels to the real world with some subtle and not so subtle references to certain people and issues in America.
In a scene in Life Is Strange 2, 16-year old Sean and 9-year old Daniel Diaz are forced to deal with the owner, an old white man, of a convenience store who accuses them of stealing. The old man shockingly kidnaps and captures Sean, and proceeds to call the cops. As the old white man leaves the room, Sean hears, “you’re the reason we need to build that wall.” This is obviously referencing Donald Trump’s stance on a border wall. As they begin to escape, Daniel accidentally uses his telekinetic power and blasts the convenience store along with the old white man. As they attempt to flee, the old man grabs Sean and calls him a “Spic”, a derogatory label that resonates all too well with those that have had to deal with the tense social environment brought about by the current administration.
Early on, in the beginning of the episode, it is revealed that the story takes place in 2016 during the last few weeks before Donald Trump was elected President. A subtle reference in a text message between Sean and his best friend Lyla also reveals this political link as she expresses her displeasure at his candidacy (though not explicitly stating his name).
Similar to the first game, choice plays a key factor in the experience as “life is difficult on the road and there are many shades of grey; there is never a truly ‘correct choice’, there is only your choice. Daniel is watching your every move, and he is learning from your actions, so consider your choices carefully!”
Speaking on the release of the first episode, Raoul Barbet and Michel Koch, the Co-Creative Directors of Life Is Strange said
“We are incredibly happy to finally share this new Life is Strange story of brotherhood and coming of age with the world. We hope fans will embrace our new story and characters with the same passion they showed for the first season.”
“Life is Strange 2 continues the core franchise tradition of telling compelling stories about relatable characters, realistic settings and real-world issues, all laced with a supernatural element, with a new tale that tackles themes like brotherhood, raising and teaching a child, responsibility and coming of age.”
Life is Strange 2 is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Episode 1, Roads can be purchased for $7.99 or players can buy the complete season and the ability to download episodes as they are released for $39.99.