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Life Is Strange 2 | Episode 1 of 5 released 27th September 2018


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1 hour ago, Illyria said:

I'm not sure if that's the case, I just personally don't see the point of spending money on single episodes, since there won't be a meaningful conclusion if you don't play the lot of them.

 

Well, I'm saying one of the benefits of episodic gaming is that you get to buy the episodes one at a time if you want. If they have removed this, then they have removed a benefit. That's all.

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I feel like the main advantage was that someone could buy one episode without committing to the whole. I expect they will eventually make the first episode free and then the rest paid though... and I guess you could say they have sort of done that already with the "Captain Spirit" game. Now they have a built-in audience, and therefore have customers who will be perfectly willing to commit to the whole "season" in advance, they probably don't feel the need to sell it in parts - which would inevitably lead to some players dropping off and not buying the rest of the episodes. They are just doing what gives them the most security, basically.

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On 21/08/2018 at 17:35, Talk Show Host said:

believable characters of the first game.

 

Are you sure that's not mainly because they've traded girls for boys, of which you have personal experience?

 

The writing seems about the same to me, but I think there'll be less sympathy for emo lads.

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I question how much a middle-aged man (Divine) and most of us know about 18-year-old girls in 2013. It might seem well-written, but how do we know? Could it not just be a series of high-school cliches from US TV and cinema?

 

Do we have any young women here to offer a perspective on its writing?

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20 minutes ago, Escaped said:

I question how much a middle-aged man (Divine) and most of us know about 18-year-old girls in 2013. It might seem well-written, but how do we know? Could it not just be a series of high-school cliches from US TV and cinema?

 

Do we have any young women here to offer a perspective on its writing?

 

Not really. This is not a social experiment or some academic approach on writing. It is a work of art. We talk about believable characters as a whole if, on some level, show some human traits and complexity that we can relate to, girls or boys. That usually entails some thoughtful writing, good story pace and a secondary cast with, more or less, grounded characters who can evoke certain feelings to us, maybe a memory or even a friend or situation.

 

The result is a coherent world that feels validated in its fantasy, which can be exaggerated and dramatic, true, but it doesn't really matter as long as it resonates. By your argument, how the fuck did George R.R. Martin nailed Arya? Last I checked he is not a teenage girl. :P

 

 

 

 

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I love Arya (TV) because Williams has great chemistry with McCann, but I don't think she's very well-written at all. And Dolores Stormborn's terrible! Brienne's quite young, though, right? We could agree on her.

 

Max and Chloe are sympathetic characters in isolation of the ridiculous plot surrounding them. Their actions are near-universally incredibly dumb, and that becomes increasingly obvious as the chapters go by because they're in service to the outmoded conventions of games. It's Saved by the Bell in BoJack Horseman's era.

 

Writers are still prizing dun-dun-duns ahead of genuine agency, placing corralled adherence to their scripts above our misgivings that we're just pressing buttons to watch the next bit. When something affecting happens in a TV show you don't want to change it, because that's the appeal of drama in the first place! LIS understands this, which is why it screams GAME whenever it repeals The Thing, thus highlighting the desperation of its inclusion.

 

Fahrenheit was as big a breakthrough in 2005 as Life Is Strange is now (united by underwear scenes!). We need to see if a game drama can stand on its own feet without resorting to aliens, time travel, or superpowers. Rapture's world is heartbreakingly gorgeous, and its dreamlike conversations float through time as if you're not really listening to nearby people, but then you get to the final chapters...

 

I think the next big step for adventure games is a roguelike, where its hundreds of permutations risk narrative disappointment, but open up games to everyday excitements. Instead of continuing to overreach into fantasy, where everything's overblown to compensate for an inability to create interest in the comparatively mundane, I want games that respect our choices rather than just claim to. Not everyone wants to be a hero, and writers who fit that description are the ones we need.

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5 hours ago, Escaped said:

I love Arya (TV) because Williams has great chemistry with McCann, but I don't think she's very well-written at all. And Dolores Stormborn's terrible! Brienne's quite young, though, right? We could agree on her.

 

Max and Chloe are sympathetic characters in isolation of the ridiculous plot surrounding them. Their actions are near-universally incredibly dumb, and that becomes increasingly obvious as the chapters go by because they're in service to the outmoded conventions of games. It's Saved by the Bell in BoJack Horseman's era.

 

Writers are still prizing dun-dun-duns ahead of genuine agency, placing corralled adherence to their scripts above our misgivings that we're just pressing buttons to watch the next bit. When something affecting happens in a TV show you don't want to change it, because that's the appeal of drama in the first place! LIS understands this, which is why it screams GAME whenever it repeals The Thing, thus highlighting the desperation of its inclusion.

 

Fahrenheit was as big a breakthrough in 2005 as Life Is Strange is now (united by underwear scenes!). We need to see if a game drama can stand on its own feet without resorting to aliens, time travel, or superpowers. Rapture's world is heartbreakingly gorgeous, and its dreamlike conversations float through time as if you're not really listening to nearby people, but then you get to the final chapters...

 

I think the next big step for adventure games is a roguelike, where its hundreds of permutations risk narrative disappointment, but open up games to everyday excitements. Instead of continuing to overreach into fantasy, where everything's overblown to compensate for an inability to create interest in the comparatively mundane, I want games that respect our choices rather than just claim to. Not everyone wants to be a hero, and writers who fit that description are the ones we need.

 

I don't really disagree with any of that. When I'm talking about good writing and characters it's always in analogy with other videogames though, I'm not comparing it to Mad Men. It's very easy to say videogame writing is shit when you compare it to a TV Show or a book, but that's hardly fair, we are just now beginning to show some actual progress in this area. 

 

I also mentioned it in the LiS thread, as you did above more or less, that this could be the start of something new for the industry, where we don't have to rely on fantasy to keep things interesting, but we could just enjoy a story because it's well written and the characters feel quite good. Will LiS characters suffer if we put them under the writing microscope? Sure. But most will, and that includes other media. 

 

At the moment the characters here and the general feeling of youth coexist in a satisfying manner and create a world that feels like a place, considering of course that one of the main protagonists can rewind time. Good writing is not only the words used by characters but also how the surrounding details and general atmosphere are brought out, either by scenes, environmental details, plot twists, etc. As a whole I don't think we can deny that both Max and Chloe, as part of this world, feel quite solid and rounded for the general feelings they evoke, even if they do it clumsily from time to time. 

 

That's quite an achievement for a videogame in my book. :)

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Paradoxically, I feel the idea of your choices having real input to the game's end state is something that is being pushed forward by other genres much more than these narrative games. Look at some like Deus Ex or Dishonored, where your decisions become manifested through your play style, not "now choose ending A or B" as the first LiS bathetically boiled down to. And while gimmicky, even Far Cry throws in the possibility for the most astonishing curve-ball endings.

And don't get me started on the Tell Tale games, where you don't even get to choose an ending half the time because there only is one, and all that changes is who is dead or alive. (Props on the other hand to David Cage and Heavy Rain - no matter what you think of him as a writer that game had the whole gamut of possible endings.)

 

OTOH, I did read a good defence of the TellTale style of game, where by driving your character through hundreds of choices that are in themselves meaningless, you still manage to build a mental map of the characters and story that could be totally different to someone else who had played the same game. Your journey really was unique in that sense. I can see some truth in that, and it is probably why I still enjoy them.

 

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5 hours ago, SozzlyJoe said:

Paradoxically, I feel the idea of your choices having real input to the game's end state is something that is being pushed forward by other genres much more than these narrative games. Look at some like Deus Ex or Dishonored, where your decisions become manifested through your play style, not "now choose ending A or B" as the first LiS bathetically boiled down to. And while gimmicky, even Far Cry throws in the possibility for the most astonishing curve-ball endings.

And don't get me started on the Tell Tale games, where you don't even get to choose an ending half the time because there only is one, and all that changes is who is dead or alive. (Props on the other hand to David Cage and Heavy Rain - no matter what you think of him as a writer that game had the whole gamut of possible endings.)

 

OTOH, I did read a good defence of the TellTale style of game, where by driving your character through hundreds of choices that are in themselves meaningless, you still manage to build a mental map of the characters and story that could be totally different to someone else who had played the same game. Your journey really was unique in that sense. I can see some truth in that, and it is probably why I still enjoy them.

 

 

To be fair I would say that these narrative style games are now being split as a genre from traditional multi branching story games and focus more on smaller events which also shape the character you control (plus others). Games like the new Deus Ex stick closely to the older format where you have a couple of major plot points for the main story, while the side stories are finite and don't carry on in the narrative like the Telltale games or LiS, where NPCs can potentially treat you differently or remember your actions by various choices you make. It's a delicate distinction but a very important one, because compared to something like Deus Ex or the BioWare style of multi branching, where the world and NPCs are shaped mainly by big events, the style of smaller narrative choices allow for far better characterization.

 

The major problem that most of these narrative games have (and mainly all games except the really superlative ones when it comes to writing like the W3 or the LoU) is the God syndrome for the main character, where in order to make everything interesting all outcomes and stories must be filtered through him or her, which is so outdated and idiotic now that hurts my eyes and ears when I see it (still in the vast majority of games). LiS deviated from that formula quite a bit, allowing relationships between NPCs to take center stage and having also one of the main two characters developing through an important relationship NOT with the main character but with another. This plot hook was excellent and the different stories working independently of one another is one of the reasons why LiS must be considered a very good written game.

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I still love the genre and feel it has heaps of potential, but I think most writers need to learn to stop imposing their visions at the cost of player agency. PRESS X TO FRIENDZONE WARREN

 

Because it's one of the few remaining genres where principal credit fosters egos. If Kurt Sutter's the writer, Katey Sagal's the character we keep playing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

I’m not sure about the game after watching the trailers because while the first game had dark moments there was lot of levity while this trailer makes LiS2 feel like The Walking Dead games which are just unending misery with no good choices.

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5 minutes ago, BadgerFarmer said:

It seems you can buy the first episode on its own now too. £6.49.

 

Wait, 5 episodes at £6.49 = £32.45. Buying full season in advance = £32.99.

 

Hmm...

 

On the Xbox store there's a (currently not priced) listing for Episode 1 on its own, and an Episode 2-5 bundle (also not priced) along with the £32.99 complete season. From the looks of it it's only Episode 1 you'll be able to buy on its own, so I imagine the 2-5 bundle will bring the total price to at least £32.99.

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1 minute ago, Mogster said:

 

On the Xbox store there's a (currently not priced) listing for Episode 1 on its own, and an Episode 2-5 bundle (also not priced) along with the £32.99 complete season. From the looks of it it's only Episode 1 you'll be able to buy on its own, so I imagine the 2-5 bundle will bring the total price to at least £32.99.

Ah, OK.

 

There's no 2-5 bundle on PSN though, so that's confusing if it's the case.

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1 hour ago, Darhkwing said:

Pretty sure i saw the entire season on cdkeys for 24 quid but i must admit being able to buy individual episodes is tempting.

 

Hoping to give it a go after i finish of tomb raider sometime over the next week.

PC version is £24.99. Shame it's not the PS4 version at that price.

 

https://www.cdkeys.com/pc/games/life-is-strange-2-complete-season-pc-steam-cd-key

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