Life is Strange 2 – Episode 4: Faith continues to chronicle the story of the Diaz brothers, Sean and Daniel. At the beginning of Life is Strange 2, the pair of brothers were forced to flee from their home, living on the lam as they dodge pursuing police. Their woes only continued throughout subsequent episodes, as Daniel’s blossoming telekinetic abilities began grow in power. The end of Episode 3 left the Diaz brothers worse off than ever before. Now, the brothers fight for their freedom and survival, with hopeful horizons ahead.
Note: this review will contain spoilers for Episode 1, 2, and 3 of Life is Strange 2. It will not contain spoilers for Episode 4. If you have not played the previous episodes ofLife is Strange 2 and are worried about spoilers, consider this your warning.
Awake and Alone
Episode 4 picks up two months after the events of Episode 3, with Sean waking up in a hospital bed and sporting a brand new eye patch. After the explosion at the illegal grow operation, the brothers have been separated and Sean is seriously wounded. With Sean in police custody and hospitalized, Daniel will be forced to brave the life of a fugitive without his older brother’s guidance.
I won’t delve into the details, but Sean eventually finds himself on the road searching for his lost brother. Attempting to make it to Nevada, where Daniel might be hiding, Sean must endure various hindrances that lengthen his journey. Overall, Episode 4 places a bigger emphasis on Sean as a character, but it doesn’t do much with the extra focal time. There are a few flashback sequences that reveal more about Sean’s personality and thought process, but there’s nothing that made me feel closer to the character (despite some awkward attempts).
As the title would imply, Episode 4: Faith deals with religion, specifically radical evangelicalism. Some of the episode revolves around a small community of Christian believers, ran by the manipulative “Reverend Mother”. Like in previous episodes, Life is Strange 2 seems to have some sort of commentary it wants to make, but it doesn’t do a great job manifesting it. Although they provide some interesting story beats, the religious group in Life is Strange 2: Episode 4 feels painfully predictable and shallow in motivation.
Out of Their Depth
The biggest problem that has plagued Life is Strange 2 since the beginning continues to be an issue in Episode 4; the lack of compelling gameplay. Episode 4 is a brief affair, clocking in at around an hour. Most of that time is spent picking dialogue options or watching cutscenes. There are a few sequences where you get to roam around as Sean, but these are very limited. Without any substantial puzzle solving or exploration, Life is Strange 2: Episode 4 ends up being a very passive experience.
In other episodes of Life is Strange 2, there were some tangible consequences to your choices. Your actions as Sean usually had some impact on Daniel, but with the characters split up for the majority of Episode 4, most of your choices lack any noticeable effect. This is especially disappointing, as it was one of the few redeeming qualities of past episodes. There are a few key moments where the game poses a moral dilemma and forces you to choose, but I never felt challenged by these decisions.
The Bottom Line on Life is Strange 2: Episode 4 – Faith
Unfortunately, Life is Strange 2: Episode 4 – Faith continues the trend of mediocrity in this highly anticipated sequel. As a penultimate episode, Episode 4 should’ve felt monumental, interactive, and exciting. Instead, it lacks focus, feels boring, and ends up being far too predictable. The lackluster gameplay forces the weight to be held by the story, which buckles under the pressure.
The art design is still very pleasing and the music is relaxing, but I found myself getting frustrated with Life is Strange 2: Episode 4 the more I played it. Instead of meaningful character moments and interesting plot twists, the story often veers towards any hot-button issue it can muster, distracting from the main story and lacking any actual insight. Although I had hope at the start of the Diaz brothers’ woeful journey back in Episode 1, Life is Strange 2 has slowly dissolved into a boring and brief distraction. If you already bought the entire season or have been playing it through your Xbox Game Pass subscription, Episode 4 isn’t the worst thing you could choose to play. However, it is an utter disappointment and a sign that perhaps Life is Strange was better off without a sequel.