Life is Strange Episode 5 (Finale): “Polarized”: Review

Life is Strange Episode 5 (Finale): “Polarized”: Review

Developed by: Dontnod Entertainment
Published by: Square-Enix
Reviewed on: Xbox 360 (also available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC)

The final episode of Life is Strange has finally released after a brief hiatus following the previous episode’s cliffhanger ending. This episode cranks up the weird and twisted factor, going in depth with the true identity culprit involved in the Rachel Amber disappearance and even more reality warping than we saw in Episodes 3 and 4.

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Episode 5 starts off on the heels of Episode 4 where Max needs to figure a way to escape from The Dark Room she was trapped in. From there reality continues to warp and twist with each attempt that Max tries to resolve the situation into completely new and different scenarios. The kind where things seems to get worse the further along as you try to repair the damage that occurred. All this leads up to the the impending tornado that Max had visions of all the way back in Episode 1. The more the story continued with Max’s attempts to fix everything fail, the more reality seems to bend and break. This essentially changes the whole game’s tone from a mystery and information gathering game to a bizarre mind altering experience. This increases the weird factor up to near uncomfortable levels.

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It’s a little difficult to go into detail any further into the story without spoiling any specific moments of the game. However, everything does boil down to one final decision at the very end after reviewing several decisions that you’ve made throughout the series. Unfortunately many of those decisions could turn out to mean nothing with all of the reality altering that occurs after the use and abuse of the time altering powers. However, the fact that Max still retains the memories of everything that she’s done as well as the point of view the player gets to see makes the ride enjoyable.

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It’s going to be nigh impossible for Life is Strange to bring up the same level of enjoyment from the puzzles that we saw from Episode 4, but there are some interesting moments where the gameplay was still interesting. The game features a few interesting puzzles, one of which where you had to avoid being detected by shadows of people from your memories. Sure it was no Metal Gear game, but it was still pretty fun to play. The puzzles this time around weren’t as mind intensive as the last episode but the ones in Episode 5 were still fun to play.

The graphical issues in this episode were limited to mostly screen tearing throughout a sizable amount of the episode. Like the last episode it was mostly noticeable in highly lit rooms with overbearing light. The only other issue that was noticeable was that some textures took a little extra time to load, but aside from those issues, the episode looked graphically amazing for an Xbox 360 game.

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Life is Strange is now fully complete and if you’re still a little late to the party, now would be the perfect time to go through all of the episodes. With the potential options of how the game can end, many of the important choices you make will happen in the final hours. This will make it seem like many of the decisions you make through the series won’t make a difference in the end. But games like this are more about the journey getting to the end as opposed to the final moments of the game. So the replay value is definitely there, but you may either just play to see the differences in how some of the scenes will play out right away or give it a little time before playing again. This way you don’t remember how the entire game plays out, which is an issue for games where mysteries are the central theme of the story. Still Life is Strange as a whole is a great game to play and I highly recommend it.


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