At long last, after what seemed like an interminable wait, “Polarized” the last episode of Life is Strange has swept up on us much like the timenado horrorcane has finally swept up on Arcadia Bay! Only with much less death and destruction, I hope.
I’ll get to my final decisions here in a moment, but first, my overall impression of the game as a whole. Holey moley, what a great game this is.
It has its issues, to be sure. They obviously tried to make the textures look like watercolor, and to a good degree the effect does work and can be gorgeous a lot of the time, but if you stop to look more closely and at length, you can see that it’s actually disguising some pretty low resolutions and polygon counts in a lot of places. Likewise, the animations when characters are talking to each other outside of cutscenes are pretty simple, with a handful of stock poses and movements being cycled through. The most obvious of these for me was the way almost everyone would occasionally reach up to brush something away from their cheek. The lip synching is pretty terrible too, even taking into account their attempt to fix it up with this latest update. It’s better, but still not really good.
But there is so much about it that is great and more than makes up for these minor deficiencies. The story is absolutely killer and well worth playing LiS for all on its own. Several questions are left wide open by the end, but since they’re going to be making a season two, there’s still a chance these points are going to be addressed. The characters are all interesting, both as individuals and as a whole, with all but a very few getting a range of facets to show off, be it villainous, sympathetic, or otherwise. The time-rewind mechanic is wonderfully implemented, and the puzzles revolving both around it and other elements are generally pretty well thought out and executed. I love the music and I would very much like to throw money at them in exchange for a soundtrack download.