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Video Game / Life Is Strange 2

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"What are we gonna do now?"
"There's nothing we can't do, as long as we're together."

Life Is Strange 2 is an episodic narrative adventure game by DONTNOD Entertainment and a sort-of sequel to the original Life Is Strange. Square Enix returns as the publisher.

It's October 2016, and Sean Diaz is like any other 16-year-old boy living in Seattle, Washington — he attends high school, hangs out with his best friend Lyla, listens to music, and gets bothered by his annoying 9-year-old brother, Daniel. One Friday afternoon begins like any other as he prepares to attend a party held by a classmate, but a tragic turn of events involving an asshole neighbor and a jumpy cop leaves Daniel's father dead, the neighbor in a coma, and their part of the street in ruins. Confused, scared, and desperate, Sean makes a snap decision and goes on the run with Daniel, fleeing the scene of the crime and heading south to some of their father's family in Puerto Lobos, Mexico. With little more than some pocket money from his father, some party preparations, and the clothes on their backs, Sean and Daniel must learn to survive in the wilderness and live on the fringes, steering clear of the many dangers that the world contains.


Compounding this is Daniel's mysterious power, which manifested during the shooting to blast the officer (and his car) away — a power he seems unaware of and unable to harness. Compounding that is Daniel's lack of recollection of the whole event, and Sean's unwillingness to let his brother know that their father is dead and they're on the run from the police. Sean is a kid himself in many ways, and is now the only caretaker that Daniel has. Life on the run is far from easy, and the choices that Sean makes as he and Daniel journey south will affect how Daniel acts as he and Sean both come of age.

Life Is Strange 2 is the first new chapter by DONTNOD in the LIS Universe, and with it, DONTNOD has left Max, Chloe, and Arcadia Bay behind to tell a new story with new characters. LIS 2 is meant to be more of a roadtrip experience, with the brothers meeting a wide variety of strangers who will enter, leave an impact, and exit just as quickly as they came in. Sean's choices during the game will impact how Daniel acts and sees the world, as Sean is now the only guiding figure that Daniel has. The creators have changed over from Unreal Engine 3 to Unreal Engine 4, which brings with it a vast graphical improvement and a shiny new interface.


As with the first game, LIS 2 consists of five episodes releasing roughly 2 months apart, starting with Episode One on September 27, 2018. The game is set to come out for PlayStation4, Xbox One, and PC/Mac/Linux via Steam.

Tropes found in this game:

  • Adult Fear: In spades. Not only does the game start with the death of Sean and Daniel's father via cop shooting but Sean also has to look out for Daniel on the road. In addition to providing the basic necessities, Sean also has to teach Daniel — if Daniel sees Sean steal, he'll steal too.
  • Alliterative Name: Daniel Diaz.
  • Animal Motifs: As the first game had the deer and the butterfly, this game has wolves — Sean and Daniel are both linked to wolves. The loading symbol for the game shows two wolves running, one big and one small. Certain choices made in the game will focus on the bigger wolf, the smaller wolf, or both wolves; this means the decision that you made has either affected Sean, Daniel, or both brothers.
    • Sean has a wolf on his hoodie, and wolves frequently show up in his sketch book.
    • Their father's hometown is called Puerto Lobos, literally 'Wolves Port' in Spanish.
    • Both brothers end up howling like wolves while camping out in the forest, and Sean later tells Daniel a bedtime story about two wolf brothers who had to leave home after their father was taken by hunters.
    • Sean also looks at a poster advertising a free puppy, stating that he already has one in the form of Daniel.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Sean and Daniel will often have conversations while walking around examining their environment. If the conversation is important, it will start again if Sean accidentally interrupts it while looking at something.
    • Pressing Q will focus the camera on Daniel, so you won't lose track of him. If Daniel is too far away for you to be able to locate him, then you end up having a handy button prompt to call him over.
  • Anyone Can Die: Established with Esteban in Episode 1, and then brought home even further with Mushroom in Episode 2. Also, if you make the wrong choices, then Chris can get hit by a car, though it's unclear if the accident was fatal or not. Finn can also be shot and killed by Merrill should Daniel not intervene with his powers in the ending of Episode 3.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Subverted. The cop in the opening is basically ignoring every law of gun safety (finger off the trigger, don't point at anything you don't intend to kill, handle your gun carefully) when he's dealing with the Diazes....and then Reality Ensues when he accidentally (and fatally) shoots Esteban.
  • Bland-Name Product: The Diaz household has a generic "Playbox" console, which in design vaguely resembles the Nintendo Wii and the name being a combination of the Microsoft Xbox and Sony Playstation lines.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Sean refers to his estranged mother by her first name.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Daniel has a nightmare while he and Sean are camping in the forest, and ends up sitting up suddenly when Sean wakes him up.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The dresser with the bad leg in Episode 2. At the end of the episode, it falls on Stephen, forcing Sean to choose between having Daniel reveal his powers to their grandparents or saving Stephen through mundane means, which injures his leg.
  • Chupacabra: A movie poster in Esteban's garage says "Chupacabra from outer space."
  • Coming of Age: Sean and Daniel are 16 and 9 respectively, and Sean has to grow up fast to deal with the tragedy of his new life on the road.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Brody eventually takes the brothers to a parking lot that oversees the entirety of Arcadia Bay. Depending on the player's choice before starting the game, it is either the same peaceful night-time scene as it always was (including the famous light-house) or a ghastly ruin.
    • Daniel watches an episode of "Hawt Dawg Man" in the motel and plays "Hawt Dawg Man: Mustard Party 2" on Sean's phone if you let him.
    • Brody keeps a blog about his experiences on the road and tells Sean to look it up later. In episode 2 Sean can do just that by using the internet on Stephen's laptop. The blog will contain an entry about the brothers' meeting with Brody.
    • Sean and Cassidy's skinny dipping in the river is heavily reminiscent of Max and Chloe's swim in the pool from the first game. The checkpoint is even called "Midnight Swim", which is what Chloe called it when suggesting it to Max.
  • Cool Down Hug: Sean gives Daniel one of these when he loses control of his power after learning about their father's death. Daniel pushes him away at first, before tearfully letting Sean comfort him.
  • Developers' Foresight: If the player decides to do the optional campfire sketch while Sean is wasted, the drawing will be appropriately messy and unfocused.
  • Dramatic Irony: While briefly looking over Arcadia Bay if it's still standing, Sean calls it boring. If only he knew.
  • Evolving Title Screen: As per tradition for the series, the title screen's background changes with each episode. When starting Roads, the background depicts the Diaz household and surrounding neighborhood in Seattle. After the prologue, it changes to a shot of Mt. Rainier National Park. During Rules, it depicts the Willamette National Forest while Wastelands shows the Redwood National and State Parks.
  • Failure Is the Only Option:
    • At the end of the second episode, the police will come to Claire and Stephen's house. If you log in to social media from the computer, they tracked Sean's location. If you call Lyla, they'll know you made the call from the house. Do neither of those things, and you'll be recognized at the market, i.e. something you have no control over.
    • At the end of the third episode, you end up confronting Merrill at the farm one way or another. If you don't agree to Finn's plan, Daniel will go with him anyway and you and Cassidy will follow. Regardless of which group you are part of, Merrill will wake up (due to Big Joe, his security cameras, Daniel lashing out, or the sound of the safe opening) and will ambush the group.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Everyone who already played The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit knows that Sean and Daniel will not only meet Chris, they'll save him from falling from his treehouse.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Cassidy tells Sean that she and her friends travel the country by hitchhiking on freight trains. The Diaz brothers do this at the end of Episode 2 to leave Beaver Creek.
    • A photo in episode 1 show Sean wearing a shirt with the colors of the bisexual flag.
    • For Sean losing his left eye:
      • Snowmancer is missing the left side of his face depending on Chris' actions in The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. Chris can mention that Snowmancer needs surgery in Episode 2.
      • Sean mentions that he has trouble with perspective in the flashback in Episode 3.
      • The teddy bear in Jacob's tent is missing its left eye in Episode 3.
  • Good Parents: Esteban lets Sean go to a wild party — and even gives him money for booze — as long as Sean is honest about it, only warning him not to drink and drive.
  • Guide Dang It!: You earn Chris's trust by guessing who's the hero and villain out of his toys...but for those who didn't play The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, you'd be hard pressed to know which is which.
  • Hassle-Free Hotwire: In Episode 3, Sean breaks into one of Big Joe's trucks by hotwiring it. Justified, since Esteban taught him in case he never had keys on hand.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Episode 3 features bare breasts, skinny dipping, and a heavily implied sex scene.
  • Internal Reveal: The game makes it clear from the beginning that something supernatural is going on, and most players will probably put together early on that Daniel is the source of it. Sean and Daniel themselves don't realize this until the very end of Episode 1.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Downplayed. At the start of the game, if you confirm that you've played the first game, the game gives you an option to select which ending of the first game you picked. If you say you haven't, the choice is randomized.
  • Learned From the News: The news gives Daniel quite a rude awakening at the hotel.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Justified as Sean and Daniel are on the run, and weren't able to grab any clothes to take with them. As a result, their clothes grow dirty and tattered during their journey.
  • Love Interest: In Episode 3, Sean can romance either Cassidy or Finn.
  • Mind over Matter: Daniel has powerful telekinetic abilities which allow him to flip a cop car and do quite a number to the surrounding properties. He has no control over it to start with, but quickly gets the hang of it between episodes with Sean's help.
  • Missing Mom: The Diaz brothers' mother, Karen, abandoned her family shortly after Daniel was born. Sean is still bitter about it and won't even consider seeking her out for help.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • You spend the first scene of the game worrying about such things as whether to drink at a party, how to make a good impression on your crush and staying in your dad's good graces. And then, just when you've gotten comfortable with that level of drama, wham — here comes the destructive superpowers, the being on the run from the law and the desperate struggle to find food and shelter day by day!
    • Episode two starts with Sean training Daniel on how to use his powers. They're doing pretty well for themselves given the circumstances, having found a little cabin deep in the woods to shelter in. They're having fun, despite their circumstances, and Sean is finally able to relax for the first time. Then Daniel starts getting sick. When Sean makes the difficult decision for them to move on, poor little Mushroom is killed by a cougar.
  • Mundane Utility: Daniel uses his powers to play a prank on Sean, stack their breakfast plates, and tidy their room. Sean can also ask him to use them to fix a crooked painting and get something down from a tree.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing:
    • Encouraging Daniel to be more restrained about using his powers seems like the smart thing given how irresponsible the kid can be, but this can lead to Daniel being too scared to use his powers to stop Chris from being hit by the cop car at the end of Episode 2, unless you avoid the cops and thus that situation.
    • Choosing not to call Lyla in Episode 1 seems like the smart thing to do since Sean doesn't want the police to contact her. Not calling her and later trying to contact her in Episode 2 will reveal that she is in a psychiatric hospital due to depression from losing her best friend while calling her before and doing it again will reveal that despite the police contacting her, she continues to help make sure the Diaz brothers will be seen as innocent and said that both phone calls have helped her with her mental health.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Daniel accidentally spills fake blood on their neighbor, then Sean gets into a fistfight with him and causes him to collapse on a rock, making the neighbor look a lot worse than he really is. When a cop sees them fighting and responds, he assumes the worst and things quickly get out of hand.
  • Only One Name: We never learn the last names of Finn, Cassidy and the rest of the drifters (except Penny, whose ID card can be found in his tent).
  • Pet the Dog: Daniel ends up rescuing an abandoned puppy from a store. He calls her Mushroom and is shown cuddling up with her and carrying her. Both Sean and Daniel can play fetch with her.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain:
    • Brett tells Sean and Daniel to "go back to their own country," and calls Daniel a retard.
    • Hank assumes that Sean and Daniel are undocumented, assumes that they stole from him because they're Mexican-American (regardless of whether or not the player actually did), supports building a border wall, threatens to call ICE on them, and eventually outright uses an ethnic slur against latinos.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: Daniel passes out when his powers first manifest, and he has no recollection of the event.
  • Precocious Crush: Daniel has a crush on Lyla, which annoys Sean since he tries to show off while they're on Skype video chat.
  • Reality Ensues: Of the Free-Range Children variety.
    • Daniel and Sean are on the road after a cop accidentally kills their father, causing Daniel to use his powers in a state of panic. A terrified Sean is forced to become the guardian and lead them both to the border. He tries to keep the reason a secret but the event is broadcasted on the news and Daniel learns what happened in the worst way possible.
    • The racist, Hank, was hailed by the police as a hero for locking up two kids in the basement and hitting one of them. Why? These kids were outlaws, he hid his reasons for doing this and the security footage looks like they assaulted him when they looked for supplies. Then stole a dog for good measure.
    • Daniel takes said dog without permission and it becomes a travel partner. However, the dog doesn't survive the first quarter of the second episode since it came across a wild puma and was promptly killed and eaten. As harsh as it is, all three of them were living in the wild and you never go there alone without a form of protection or escape.
    • At the end of the second episode, Sean and Daniel have to flee from their grandparents' home because the police managed to find them. Even if you don't use the phone or the computer, thus leading the police to the house, Sean and Daniel are fairly infamous at this point in the story. So, naturally, someone will recognize them even in the small town of Beaver Creek.
    • You can choose to hide the truth from Chris, letting a 9-year old boy believe he really has superpowers. This naturally results with him trying to do something dangerous and potentially getting seriously hurt.
  • Relationship Values: The game keeps track of Daniel's attitude towards Sean, depending on how nice Sean is to Daniel. If Sean is mean, Daniel will refuse to do what Sean tell him to do.
  • Run for the Border: After a cop confrontation goes tragically wrong, Sean decides to head south with his brother and cross the border into Mexico to live with some of their relatives. This is made more complicated by Sean and Daniel living in Seattle, Washington, which is far closer to the Canadian border than Mexico.
  • Scenery Gorn: If you said that you sacrificed Arcadia Bay when starting the game, Brody takes the Diaz brothers to an overlook near Arcadia Bay, which is still a desolate ruin three years later. The image of the desiccated town is quite haunting.
  • Shipper on Deck: At the start, Sean's BFF Lyla is doing her damndest to play matchmaker for Sean and his crush, Jen.
  • Shout-Out:
    • As Sean goes to open the storage shed, he announces, "Get ready for Storage Wars!"
    • Sean has a sign on his desk in his room, saying "So it goes."
  • Sliding Scale of Gameplay and Story Integration: Deliberate example — near the end of Episode 1, Sean throws his phone away. Up until the very instant the phone leaves his hand, you have access to the cell phone texts menu. The instant the above happens, that is no longer the case.
  • The Stinger:
    • The first episode ends with Sean gently encouraging Daniel before a rock starts to levitate up into the air, suggesting that Daniel is starting to learn how to control his powers.
    • The second episode ends with Daniel and Sean being shown around a greenhouse by Cassidy.
    • The third episode has Sean walking alone on a hot desert road while a voiceover indicates that Sean has been caught by the police.
  • Time Skip: Episode 2 jumps ahead a few weeks to where Daniel has trained to be reasonably competent with his power, and then another week after they reach their grandparents' house. Episode 3 takes place two months after the previous one.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • The plot is kicked off by Sean sending Daniel out of his room, leading to a series of events which ends with them on the run from the law.
    • You could also make the case that the real UIOD is Daniel, for teasing their Jerkass neighbour Brett. Or Brett, for overreacting and generally being an ass about it, causing Sean to run out and intervene, which in turn resulted in Brett being knocked out and looking dead. Or the cop who turned up, saw what looked like a body on the ground and promptly panicked and drew his gun. Or Esteban, who ran up to a gun-toting cop and started yelling at him. The whole thing is like a game of Disaster Dominoes where each domino is a person who could have shown better judgment but who also never meant for things to get so out of hand.
  • Walking the Earth: Definitely not the romantic version. On the run from the police and other authority figures, Sean and Daniel are doing their best to get south and stay alive.
    • Brody is another example, having left his rich yet conservative family to live on the road with nothing but his car, laptop and the blog he keeps about his experiences and the people he meets.
  • Wham Shot: The reveal of Mushroom's dead body early in Episode 2.
    • Sean, on the ground unconscious, with a glass shard through his eye at the end of Episode 3.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Hank has no problems striking both Sean and Daniel, and even goes as far as to kick Sean in the face while he's already tied up.
    • Merrill will shoot Daniel in the shoulder with a handgun should Sean encourage Daniel to use his power in the lineup, right after possibly striking Sean in the face with the butt of his shotgun and kicking him while he's down.


Example of: