Spoilers for the end of episode one and the beginning of two in Life is Strange 2
Well let’s get the important thing out of the way first: If you take plastic bottle tequila, add some cranberry juice, some tonic water and some lime, it’s good. Like, really good. Like WAAAAAAY too good. Like, I shouldn’t have enjoyed so much of it good cuz now I kinda have quite a headache good.
So finished episode one and started the first little bit of episode two.
I feel sheepish because if I had played five minutes more the last time I played I’d’ve finished episode one. Sigh.
So on one hand, saw that coming. The minute I saw the TV I had a pretty good feeling he’d see the news and hell would break loose. Fine.
I also really, really liked the end with them on the bus. That was powerful. Really well done just fading to music and the montage.
The transition jarred.
I get that it was a major plot point that Daniel had to find out about his dad from some place other than Sean. I was not surprised by this plot point, as it added tension to the relationship. Once you know that’s gonna happen, television becomes the obvious vehicle for it to happen (that is, unless you have a character like Brody break the news, but that makes the aftermath more of just the two of them, and it kinda had to be just the two of them). A hotel was an obvious choice. But they went through so much trouble to establish this was a cheap joint with paper walls. You hear everything going by the doors, even had Daniel ask about the ones having sex. People would’ve NOTICED that shit, man. So to just have it go poof to this peaceful bus scene was a little “what?”
Now, maybe, at some point, there was a draft of this where there was an episode end “QTE boss fight” or something and they decided to cut it for time or whatever. I’m not moping about that. I have no love for episode end boss fights. But there had to be come kind of way to get from point A of the hotel to point B of the bus.
I’m particularly bummed cuz I liked both points. They were both good, powerful, well done scenes. I hate it when I like two things but they don’t connect.
Then watched the credits to see if there was after credits and there was but it wasn’t worth watching the credits.
Then checked to see what you did and we did everything EXACTLY THE SAME except you questioned Daniel and I confronted Brett. EVERYTHING. Creepy.
Then threw rocks and snowballs with Daniel and read the journal to get caught up to speed.
So they’re gonna make Daniel sick, huh? Great. Cheerful.
Of course we did! We are the same person! I look forward to discussing all the decisions we will make in exactly the same way throughout the second episode.
My only thought with regard to the lights flickering, etc. was that maybe most of the people in the hotel were asleep and didn’t notice. Or having sex and didn’t notice. Because yeah, you kind of did expect that fire alarms would go off or people would be yelling and running around after that bit of excitement. I had to decide in my own mind that most of the disturbance was localized to their room. I mean, power goes out, it happens, that’s not that big a deal and if somehow the only room that was really shaking noticeably and having plaster fall was theirs…but yeah. You did kind of wonder how they got out of what seemed like it might have been more of a problematic situation.
And the implication of “no, it totally wasn’t a problem, nothing happened, they just got on the bus with no issues” is fine, as you say I didn’t necessarily WANT there to be some big dramatic fight or escape scene there, but it did seem a bit abrupt.
Ah well. They have limited time to tell this story within the confines they’ve established, and the brothers have to catch a break once in a while, I guess. Maybe the point is also that this is SUCH a run-down fleabag motel that people don’t even want to know when something weird happens, and intentionally don’t bother to investigate. “Lights went out? Weird shaking? Well, it stopped, that’s all I care about.”
At least we don’t have to ask each other what we did.
Quite abrupt transition. And it’s too bad, because both of those scenes were really good.
I wonder if they could’ve/should’ve had Brody do it, or at least have given you an option of “ask Brody to do it.” Brody knew what was going on, right? He said to Sean “I know what happened in Seattle.” That might have been a nice twist, and then it could’ve been “And I’ll get you a bus ticket instead of a hotel” kind of deal. The more I think on that, the more it should’ve been that, a choice of “ask Brody to tell Daniel, tell Daniel yourself.” Could’ve done it right by Arcadia Bay there, which would’ve been interesting to have Daniel freak THERE. Then Brody takes them to the bus and scene.
Hmm. My way’s better. There, game. Fixed it for you.
Maybe they did think of that. There’s no other real reason to make Brody KNOW. Then they were all “No, wait, need an exciting end,” then “Uh…maybe not.” It certainly read like there was SOMETHING between hotel and bus that got cut, didn’t it?
Also, there can’t really be fail points, right? At least not major ones. You can’t exactly DIE in this game (which is another thing I fucking hated about that fucking awful stealth scene in the first one, all of a sudden, fail states), and something major like “Daniel gets captured by the scientists from ET” or “Daniel escapes” would be too much of a fork in the road. That makes “The manager found out! Run!” kinda tricky.
Hm. Maybe. Though you’d think it would have to be a pretty major choice point, either telling Daniel yourself, or actively asking someone else to do it.
Arguably it’s the same effect whether Brody tells him or he learns it from the TV–in both cases, Sean didn’t tell him personally–but the way it FEELS is quite different, at least to me.
As it stands, Sean at least was planning to tell him…he’d put off the task, but not completely abdicated it. If Sean actually says to some near-complete-stranger “hey, tell my little brother our dad is dead, I can’t do it”…I dunno. Seems colder. More like abandoning a hard task to someone else.
I think it would have felt very weird. Maybe, as you say, they did consider it, but then decided it felt very weird.
We shall never know.
Well, either way, not giving you the choice to just tell Daniel was odd. Before you go out and get the coke, you could’ve chosen to tell him then. He still could’ve reacted the same way. There was a choice of “Be direct,” which I didn’t pick, so maybe that was “tell him,” but I don’t think so. I’d google, but I don’t google games I’m playing.
The chance to promise him not to lie, to gain his trust back AFTER was certainly a thing, but usually in games we see a two layered choice, like, “Tell him/don’t,” and, if you didn’t, you done fucked up and “Promise to never do it again/don’t.”
These games usually pause and give you the black screen for BIG FUCKING DECISIONS that are even bigger than Weighty Decisions. This seems to be doing that at weird times, like “discuss/run” for the redneck. That didn’t seem to really matter. You’d think, before you go get a drink, you’d get “Tell Daniel/Don’t.” Or something.
The last game things were like “Kill Chloe/Don’t.” “Go back in time and let Chloe die/kill everyone else.” BIG FUCKING DECISIONS! And here, we don’t get to choose to tell Daniel? At all?
Yeah, I do sometimes wonder about the big decisions. Would it really have made a difference if we’d tried to run away from the gas station jerk? I mean…maybe. We don’t know. Maybe we could have run away and found Brody and gotten the hell out without getting locked up in the office at all.
But there was a lot of stuff in the office that it seems like maybe we wouldn’t have missed. I wonder if maybe the big difference wasn’t in what happened, but in its effect on Daniel: we were always going to get smacked and locked up by the jerk, but we demonstrated to Daniel that we’ll stand up to people rather than just run, and then he’ll be more likely to confront someone later instead of flee (which could be either good or bad), or something like that.
Hmm. Maybe. The only thing I did differently from you was one of those decisions, the fight Brett one. And yes, that wasn’t going to change the main story arc of the game, but Daniel did say “I’m really glad you stood up for me….for a change,” and I apologized for not doing it more. So yeah, that did resonate with Daniel.
Ah, interesting. Yeah, I didn’t get that.
So yeah–maybe the Big Choices are less about what’s going to happen, than about how Daniel is going to feel about it. Which is interesting, since it puts the focus of the game directly on the relationship between these two characters, rather than on what they do in the world around them.
It also, once again, makes the game about Daniel. HE’S the one with powers. HE’S the one whose feelings matter.
Even in this little bit of episode 2 I played, yes, Sean is “teaching” him, but not really. While I do think there’s going to be some kind of “ask Daniel to do things” mechanic similar to Elizabeth in Bioshock Infinite, this part was very much Daniel being in control, really. The prompt when I wanted him to deflect snowballs or lift things was “ASK to lift” emphasis mine. Usually, when the player hits a button, stuff happens. Even in Infinite, Elizabeth never said “Uh, no, don’t feel like that right now.” You hit a button, she did the stuff. It wasn’t ASKING.
The game really is, repeatedly, saying “Hey, player, this isn’t all about you.”
Yeah, it really is. Which is the precise opposite of most of the games we play, which are ALL ABOUT the singular awesomeness of YOU, the PC, and how your weighty decisions affect YOUR fate and the fate of the world.
Very interesting shift in focus.
Though what’s particularly interesting is that Sean is the only one that doesn’t get it. HE’S not in on the conceit. He’s still acting like the big, in charge, protector of Daniel’s universe big brother, right up to him thinking he’s the one teaching Daniel his powers (it seems more like cheerleading than teaching). Sean is acting like a typical video game hero, the one in charge, the one who’s stressing about his relationships, the teacher, the protector.
But he isn’t, and everyone seems to know that but him.
Well…everyone who? Who else is in this game, really? You mean, just we and the game itself know this?
I feel like maybe this is just saying that we’re all the protagonist in our own lives, however non-superhuman we may be. We may realize we don’t have superpowers (I have more or less come to terms with this in my own life), but we are still going to be the main actor in our own drama, even if it’s a pretty dull one from an outside perspective, because we can’t process it with any consciousness other than the one in our own head.
In this case, the most important stuff in terms of the actual story is definitely all about Daniel, but Sean still has to live in his own life.
Well, we the players, and, likely, Daniel. Certainly the cops that blew up and the store owner.
I need to get into episode 2, but when Daniel did the cans and Sean was all “Whoa, you can do that?” That sorta implies that Daniel knows that he’s ahead of the curve, that he knows stuff that Sean hasn’t “Taught” him.
Maybe. I’ll get more into episode 2.
Well, the cop that blew up just knew there was an explosion, and then he was dead. The store owner similarly just knows something exploded or something. No one else has SEEN Daniel do his thing.
So as far as the rest of the world is concerned, Daniel is just a little kid, and if anyone is afraid of or going to approach either of the two, they’re probably going to be focusing on Sean because he’s older and presumably the one in charge.
I think even Daniel still assumes Sean is in charge because he’s older…maybe the game is going to be partly about how they both negotiate this balance.