Life is Strange: Episode 3 - Chaos Theory Review
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Life is Strange: Episode 3 - Chaos Theory Box Art
System: PS4*, PC, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360
Dev: Dontnod
Pub: Square Enix
Release: May 19, 2105
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Violence, Use of Drugs

Episode 3 also sets the tone well by using elements of our own culture to resonate with the player. For example, it’s not afraid to address bigotry and misogyny. Characters claim that Max is a “feminazi” quite a bit, so much so that the word loses all meaning. It’s simply something that angry and frustrated teenage boys yell when they are angry at a girl. Hits kind of close to home, doesn’t it?

It also shows how awful teenage internet culture can be very frequently. While it doesn’t go as far as Episode 2 did to show how people’s lives can be ruined with a few posts on Facebook, it does show how heartless people can be when they have anonymity on their side. This, coupled with the power that some of the more affluent students in school have, creates a situation where we see certain people caring more about being right and dominating others than having human compassion. Once again, it’s as if DontNod is holding up a mirror to the gaming community and saying, “look at yourselves” through their narrative, and it gives you the chills at points.

Life is Strange: Episode 3 - Chaos Theory Screenshot

Another important introduction to this game is yet another new power. Instead of rewinding events by a few seconds, Max can now rewind events by years. When the game was first being advertised they mentioned these “butterfly effect” style scenes, and we get our first big taste in Episode 3. Choices that Max makes in these flashbacks have deep and profound ramifications that will ripple through time so much that you’ll barely recognize where you are when you return to the present. In fact, these ripples can be so profound, you are left wondering if you did the right thing, or if you were just selfish. It’s these scenes that lead the episode to its incredibly heart wrenching conclusion that once again shows that DontNod are masters of emotional impact.

The final thing I want to mention is the camerawork in Episode 3. It’s rare that I praise a game for its cinematography, but Life Is Strange is a master of knowing where to put the lens. There is one scene where Max and Chloe talk about simply hanging about like old times, and you get this long shot of both girls as music plays in the background. It perfectly conveys the desire for a simpler life. This holds true for every scene, as the camera pulls tricks like focusing on something small before pulling out, moving to a wide shot as important characters move through the scene and more. It uses techniques we usually only see in movies, and I hope that other games start adopting these techniques soon.

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Giving a final rating for Episode 3 is a bit difficult. Honestly, the game started to slog at various points. I hated every single puzzle it threw my way, and couldn’t stand how I had to brute force my way through most of it. But the story was still so good and the ending was superb. At this point, I’d say the episodes would be better off sticking to Telltale style choose your own adventure formats. DontNod simply isn’t up to the task of designing puzzles. I swear to god, if I have to find one more bottle… but I digress. If you can deal with the frustration of the puzzles, then Life is Strange: Episode 3 is a fantastic game. If not, then I wouldn’t blame you if you simply watched this on a Let’s Play.

By
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Contributing Writer
Date: May 21, 2015

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.9
Graphics
The graphics are stiff at times, but the cinematography is excellent.
3.5
Control
KBAM controls continue to infuriate.
4.7
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is great, even though the voice acting can be lacking at times.
3.5
Play Value
I can’t stand these puzzles, but the story is amazing.
3.7
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • A beautifully written modern adventure game.
  • Rewind time to change the course of events.
  • Multiple endings depending on the choices you make.
  • Striking, hand-painted visuals.

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