Life is Strange 2 Switch review — Handheld adventures

Life is Strange 2 is developer Dontnod’s second and seemingly last installment in the Life is Strange narrative adventure game series. After its initial release in 2019, the game has finally been ported to the Nintendo Switch to mostly favorable results. While it doesn’t run as well as it does on other consoles, much less PC, it is still a more than suitable platform to play and experience one of the series’ most interesting games.

For those unfamiliar with the game, it follows the Diaz brothers, Sean, a standard American teenager, and his younger brother Daniel, who live peacefully with their single father. Unfortunately, this peace is swiftly disrupted merely in the game’s first hour. Without spoiling too much, the brothers lose their father in a tragic shooting and, after a series of progressively worsening events, have to go on the run abandoning everything in the process while Daniel suddenly develops mysterious superhuman abilities.

Life is Strange 2’s story hits the ground running right from the first few hours. Players will essentially follow the brothers’ journey trying to survive the many harsh situations of their current predicament, as well as doing their best to make good decisions that, contrary to other narrative games, actually matter to the progressing story and affect the two leads. However, while I’m an avid fan of the series, having played through all the games, I have to admit that this is my least favorite entry yet. This is because while the game adapts critical, real-life issues, circumstances, and tragic events in a poignant manner, the experience isn’t all that fun, especially when compared to the other games in the series, which have a great mix of intense and lighthearted moments.

The game can be very depressing, especially during the first two episodes, as you’re essentially playing through the journey of two homeless children, all while making decisions that significantly affect their lives. It also doesn’t help that the game has plodding pacing, with not many things happening, especially earlier on. This, combined with the depressing elements, made the first half of the game especially unenjoyable. However, as you progress through the game, you’ll slowly appreciate the story for what it is and be enthralled in the brother’s journey despite its numerous heavy themes. 

Another highlight of the game is its character development. Sean and Daniel’s relationship is at the forefront of the story, and their interactions and dynamics are depicted realistically and compellingly. The side characters are also well-written, and each adds depth and nuance to the story. It’s also worth noting that the game is a lot more impressive than its predecessor, at least in terms of the number of choices, interactable items, and things players can do in general.

Life is Strange 2 has notably gorgeous graphics and a unique art style that’s reminiscent of other games in the series. The environments are beautifully designed, and the character models are expressive, especially compared to the first game. However, it is worth pointing out that the quality of the visuals on the Switch is far inferior to next-gen consoles and PC, as every model is noticeably not as detailed as other platforms. The game’s soundtrack, on the other hand, is incredible, as is standard in the series. Its sound design also enhances the overall experience, adding to the atmosphere and emotional impact of the story.

Performance-wise, Life is Strange 2 runs well on the Switch despite the graphical difference, and save for the painful load times and the occasional slight screen tearing I noticed, playing on the Switch is a relatively painless process for the player. However, it’s also worth highlighting for some that the port takes a ludicrous 26GB space to install, which I found ridiculous as it does not reflect its quality.

Overall, Life is Strange 2 is an excellent game with solid storytelling, great character development, and impactful themes. While some of its execution and pacing make it far from my favorite entry in the series, and its quality on the Switch is far from the best, it’s still a game that provides a highly impactful experience.



Life is Strange 2

Review Guidelines

While bad load times and mediocre visuals make its Switch port far from perfect, Life is Strange 2 still provides an impactful experience.

Abdul Saad is an avid gamer and computer geek. He's been writing for four years on news, reviews, previews, and more on multiple gaming sites. When he isn't writing or playing the latest JRPG, he can be found coding games of his own or tinkering with something electrical.

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