After nearly a two month wait since Episode 2, it’s good to see Life Is Strange has finally returned for its third outing. DONTNOD Entertainment have done incredibly well so far, leading to high expectations for Episode 3 “Chaos Theory”. If they can carry on impressing with this time manipulating story then this could be one of the greatest episodic adventures.
We re-join the goings on in Arcadia Bay, immediately following the shocking ending seen in “Out of Time”. In most cases this would be the calm after the storm, but not in Life Is Strange. Instead Max continues to search with Chloe for answers and clues about Rachel Amber’s disappearance, why Kate did what she did and whether that scumbag Nathan had anything to do with either one. It’s time for some detective work.
I am naturally an inquisitive player and so the extensive searching throughout this episode’s areas was something I’d be doing anyway. Obviously there are a few supposed puzzling moments along the way, although I’m not sure if my experience of the game helped but they were pretty straightforward this time around. There weren’t any of the slightly irritating memory ones either thankfully; you just have to leave no stone unturned to solve the problems in front of you.
Due to the sneaky nature needed to try and acquire some of the answers that Max is looking for, there’s an air of creepiness at times. Apart from the tornado flashbacks/forwards in the series opener, this is the first time I’ve personally felt that Life Is Strange has added a creep-out vibe to its emotional spectrum, even if there’s nothing to be afraid of as such.
As for the environments in which this episode will take you, well there are a couple of new ones to keep things fresh. Ranging from relatively small rooms to a whole new area within the school grounds, the swimming pool. I wouldn’t normally complain about visuals; however the look of any of the characters in the water is poor, in the way that the top of the water just looks like a line across their body. It’s hard to explain and is just disappointing given some of the artistically beautiful areas we’ve seen.
It must be said that story development is the strongest area in “Chaos Theory”, where the dynamic of Max and Chloe takes things up a level. The focus is well and truly on their friendship throughout this episode and in some ways it makes you forget the support characters whilst subtly adding to them with little bits here and there. I was engrossed in their relationship and how different, yet deep down similar, these two girls are. If it wasn’t for a certain event then maybe Chloe wouldn’t be such a rebel.
I’ve barely mentioned Max’s power to rewind time and with good reason because I wanted to leave the best till last, the evolution of her ability. It’d be a shame to spoil it for those whom are yet to play, so just know that her time manipulation has evolved to the point where she can go back a bit further. And at this point, the term “Chaos Theory” is very appropriate because changing one thing could lead to the inevitable consequences being far worse than you could ever approximate.
This was a strange episode in the way that it lacked much substance in the way of puzzles but made up for this with storytelling that you can’t take your mind away from. Once again the ending shocked me but in a completely different way than I was expecting during the build-up. I had a few answers to the questions from the previous episode and now I need even more in order to process what has gone on. A very good episode if you’re easily drawn into to the story.
Life Is Strange “Chaos Theory” has hit the halfway mark in the series with an episode I won’t forget and completely throws a spanner in the works for the last two episodes.