DONTNOD Entertainment has released another teaser trailer for Life is Strange 2, the much-anticipated sequel to their episodic teenaged mystery / romance / drama / tragedy game, Life is Strange, which released back in 2015 to critical and commercial success. It follows the releases of spinoff / prequel Life is Strange: Before the Storm, developed by Deck Nine; and DONTNOD’s own The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit – a free, standalone, sort-of prequel to their new game.
Granted, the teaser was released a few days ago, so I’m technically late to the party, but I’m going to talk about it anyway.
All 57 seconds of the teaser are police dash-cam footage, but looking at the heads-up-display in the margins we can see some useful information. The number and name at the top left probably belong to the officer driving the car. Not sure if this is a character for the trailer only, or if we might be looking at a future game cutscene, or if we’re looking at anything remotely resembling the end product.
In the bottom right we have, importantly, the date: October 28, 2016. If DONTNOD is to be believed and Captain Spirit is indeed a primer for LiS2‘s narrative, then the date fits continuity. Captain Spirit takes place around Christmas of 2016, with young boy Chris Eriksen navigating his weekend around the drunkenness of his father. Both still dealing with the trauma of losing Chris’s mother in a car accident several years prior.
So we have our setting confirmed, but this teaser throws a wrench into the swirl of speculation surrounding the ending of Captain Spirit.
*Spoilers for the end of Captain Spirit below*
If you played all the way through the small prequel, which would take you anywhere from thirty to ninety minutes, realistically, then you remember Chris had an obsession with superheroes and would indulge in his own hyperactive imagination in order to one: cope with the loss of his mother; and two: have some damn fun on a lazy day. His imagination manifests into the world around him in creative ways. In one instance he uses his “mind” to turn on his television, only to reveal the remote hidden behind his back.
Well, after all the trauma and drama comes to a head, Chris argues with his father and runs screaming to his treehouse in the yard, only to slip and fall from the top-step in slow-motion. But as he sticks out his hand, his descent is slowed, until he lands gently on the ground.
Ah! Real super powers! We get a little glimpse of this other kid in the neighboring yard, a smile and wave, then cut to black – roll credits. The audience then left to ponder what the hell just happened, and whether or not Chris is imbued with the supernatural.
This new teaser trailer offers an answer. Sort of.
Officer down. Squad-car down. After seeing something suspicious, the officer hops out of his car to be met with a shockwave of some sort.
And if you take a look at that scenery there, it’s more akin to the rolling hills of LiS’s Arcadia Bay than the middle of the forest, where Chris and his father live. Not to mention that the date in the lower right corner says October – months before the events of Captain Spirit take place. So, this could be someone else with supernatural abilities, or it could be that Chris doesn’t have powers at all.
LiS left the future wide open regarding the ins and outs of who can be, uh, powered. After all, protagonist Max Caulfield received her time-warping abilities from seemingly nowhere.
There isn’t much to the trailer after this. Just a shot of the road, LiS’s signature hand-painted textures fleshing out the asphalt, trees, picket fences, and power-lines flanking the street. I, for one, am hoping this is in-engine footage, because it looks great.
It’s ominous, for sure, but we’ll find out what happened soon enough. We then see the backpack with the game’s title embroidered across the front – imagery from the first teaser released in June – and a promise from DONTNOD that all will be revealed August 20th, about two weeks from now.
There’s plenty to reveal, as every aspect of the game – aside from Chris, Oregon, and mind-powers returning in some capacity – is a complete mystery.
Life is Strange 2 : Episode One is set to release September 27, 2018.