Sony

Life is Strange 2 (PS4)

lifestrange2

Life is Strange 2’s first antagonist is a cop, recklessly drawing a gun, leading to tragedy. Then come the racists, the bigoted conservatives, cultish Evangelical Christians, and finally, the border wall. Life is Strange 2 follows two Mexican boys – orphaned by police violence – as they road trip through Donald Trump’s America.

It’s obvious and truncated. Other than a big rig driver, who given previous events is more likely to be villain than hero, Life is Strange 2 fragments social issues into stereotyped and contrived confrontations. Each episode presents an issue relevant to modern dialogs: Episode 1, cops, Episode 2, racists. Episode 4 finds pickup truck-driving hicks, down to the overalls, and in Episode 5, vigilante border guards engage in crude, rudimentary talking points.

For protagonists, there’s the gentle liberal writer living on the road, forest hippies working a pot farm, or the grandparents who relent and allow the kids to stay despite religious differences. Heroes fall into cliche progressive ideologues, the only villains Republican backers. With that, playing as evil, Life is Strange 2 becomes a vindictive leftist fantasy.

To note, Life is Strange 2 isn’t inherently wrong. Two Mexican kids undoubtedly would stare down these issues while traveling, let alone in their daily lives. Their internal conflicts succeed, one brother forced to instantly become the parent to his younger, superpower-fied sibling. Family drama brings Life is Strange 2’s heat down to a thematic simmer, more akin to the first Life is Strange’s teenage conflicts, where the symbology was less vigorous in its intent.

3/5

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