Life Is Strange 2 Doesn’t Shy Away From Controversial Subjects, And Game Director Likes It That Way

Life Is Strange 2 Doesn’t Shy Away From Controversial Subjects, And Game Director Likes It That Way
Credit: Life is Strange via YouTube

Too often, developers stay away from making political statements for fear of alienating some of their fans.

The creators of Life is Strange 2 have no such compunction.

Game director Michael Koch said that it’s one of the reasons he was drawn to the project. He spent six of his 11 years with Dontnod Entertainment working on the game. He also credited Square Enix for giving them free rein on topics for Life is Strange 2.

He acknowledged that some developers are hesitant about tackling heavy themes because they can be divisive. But the hyper-realism nature of the game requires that they take on these issues head-on. They can’t escape from the controversial issues that are hogging the headlines today.

For instance, among the themes explored by the game are racism, bigotry, sex, abuse, neglect, and addiction.

In Life is Strange, the theme centers around the coming-of-age story. It also explored that some choices might have serious repercussions. And you have to accept the consequences of your actions no matter how hard they are.

In Life is Strange 2, the story centers around two siblings. Sean, only just 16, has to take care of his younger brother after their parents abandoned them. They are on the road after trying to escape their circumstances and seeking a better life. The Mexican-American brothers are also trying to deal with racism along the way.

The theme is about the inner superhero that is present in all kids. That innate creativity and faculty for imagination allow them to look at the world in a certain way.

He said they tried to stay away from the toxic masculinity that you see in social media and pop culture. Sean, for instance, is shown as crying when he’s frustrated or feeling overwhelmed.

In the same vein, he also thinks that video game makers must not be afraid to tackle heavy themes. Video games should not exist solely for entertainment. For instance, TV shows, books, and movies are allowed to be political, so why not video games?

One advantage of video games is how interactive it can be. The players can put themselves in the game, so it’s a powerful platform. It will force players to confront an issue while they are playing the game.

The first episode for Life is Strange 2 was released in September 2018. The final episode will be on Dec. 3, 2019. The game is available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Windows.