The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a free first glimpse into the extended universe of Life Is Strange 2, which is set to debut later this year. Starring a 10-year-old named Chris several years after the events in Arcadia Bay, the entire episode takes place during a lazy Saturday morning several miles away in a new town named Beaver Creek. With original developer DONTNOD back at the helm, the adventure once again leans heavily on environmental storytelling and dialogue trees, as you piece together the youngster’s life story thus far – and begin to uncover some unsavoury truths.
Without spoiling too much, the episode toes the trademark Life Is Strange line of balancing the optimism of youth with the realities of growing older. Chris’ mother has recently passed away, and his father (a former NBA prospect) has turned to alcohol to cope with the cards that life has dealt him. The boy’s relationship with his clearly abusive widowed parent makes for difficult viewing; it’s a dynamic that swings recklessly (and regularly) between unconditional love and heartbreaking resentment.
Of course, the entire episode is viewed through the lens of Chris – a clever and resourceful individual who knows how to deal with his Dad’s temper and also uses his imagination as escapism. This is where Captain Spirit comes in: a fictional superhero that the boy’s invented, and who permeates his every thought. There are scribbles of the character littered all around the house, and various other toys and objects represent supervillains and allies. All of them can be interacted with to further the story.
It’s a wonderful snapshot of how a child’s mind works: the house’s boiler represents a water monster, which Captain Spirit must slaughter by switching it off; there’s a snowman in the backyard, his spiked hair constructed out of cigarette butts and bottle tops. You start your Saturday morning with a list of ‘Awesome Things to Do’, and it’s then down to you to explore and tick everything off one by one, filling in Chris’ backstory along the way. The small set is densely packed, and you’ll easily get a couple of hours out of the short story – if not more.
DONTNOD has definitely not lost its touch; despite the absence of franchise favourite characters like Max and Chloe, you can “feel” the Life Is Strange in this short story – the jangly folk soundtrack, the heavy subject matter bubbling beneath the surface, the intricately detailed backdrops. While the explorable environment may not be massive, every inch of it feels like it has a purpose; there’s a voyeuristic appeal to the episode, with the lives of a troubled family laid out before you if you’re willing to look.
But you do have to dig for it; there’s really nothing to this short story if you’re not willing to look. Dialogue is kept to a minimum and most of the content is completely optional – it’s more walking simulator than this series has ever been. Which is fine if you care to search for all of the secrets that Chris’ house harbours, but if you’re not feeling it from the offset, then it’s unbelievably easy to gloss over the episode’s good bits.
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit thoughtfully examines a troubled childhood through the eyes of the 10-year-old living it. This non-linear episode encourages you to explore, refraining from beating you over the head with its difficult subject matter. It’s building into something, and it’s hard to determine exactly what that is with DONTNOD being so coy about its plans for the sequel. You need to really dig into the experience to get anything out of it, and while we found the backstories of the small cast to be well thought out, it’s hard to know what purpose they will serve yet.
I read ''Review score provided by Square Enix'' lol
This is free right? I'll check it out this week or next week.
"The Average Adventure of Some Kid"
Sounds reasonable though. For a completely free bonus to the Life is Strange universe, it's definitely something I'm keen to check out. and hard to grumble with.
I'll definitely give this a play, it sounds pretty interesting!
Just make Remember Me 2 already.
@Octane Yeah but they still got us early access.
Needs the Wet Bandits to spice it up.
@NintendoFan4Lyf Same here! I work a 40 hour weekly job, so it usually takes me around 2-3 months to play and beat games lately.
Whatever happened to all the free time I had as an actual kid?
Are there any trophies attached to this Sammy?
@LiamCroft No, unfortunately.
When we were young the future was so bright.
@Enuo They always forget about Remember Me.
@ApostateMage Or at least IT.
@get2sammyb You could also write “smells like teen spirit”, lol.
@PS_Nation Not teens, though! (But I like it.)
So how obvious are the supposed 'clues' for LIS 2?
If I haven't played the first Life is Strange will this spoil anything for me?
I'm currently halfway through Life is Strange which I'm really enjoying now I've finally got round to it.
How long is this? Guessing as it's free it's very short.
@Kai_ Think they'll become more clear once we know what Life Is Strange 2 actually is. Hard to say at the moment.
@dok5555555 Not at all.
@Dange Took me a couple of hours. I missed a couple of things, though, so could be a bit longer.
Great review and a 6 out of 10 is fine...I wasn't expecting an 8 or higher for a free episode.
I'm really looking forward to LIS 2 so will definitely be trying this.
No Trophies no download 😠
@3Above Yeah, I mean... I just don't understand how devs still fail to see the importance of Trophies. Like, it's not a BIG deal, but still...
Downloaded & ready to play tonight, preferably with pizza. Looking forward to it!
@get2sammyb i get its a larger game but even Fallout Shelter has a platinum trophy and its free as well. Ill probably still play this cause i want the LiS 2 clues but c'mon DontNod its 2018, EVERYTHING should have trophies!
@3Above Agree with you
@get2sammyb Dont see the problem i play games to have fun. 😁 Not to get trophies that have no value. I guess you rather play my name i mayo to get a Platinum. 🤣😂😑😔
@3Above Its not like they are losing money to you. 😁 😃 😂 🤣
The kid always reminds me of Macaulay Culkin when I see him.
Hello there, was interested in your comment as I've never been too bothered with trophies on full releases, I can take them or leave them, occasionally i try for a specfic trophy (Riddler Challenges in Batman) but I get that people like collecting them all/seeing them as a measure of achievement/other for every game they play.
I see this as essentially an interactive gaming "trailer" , or teaser you can play, or a demo.
Open to being convinced, but I can't fathom why would trophies be required for this, or a deal breaker?
How does it affect the game play in anyway?
How does it remove from the experience in having them/not having them?
Why are trophies for everything so important that you'd pass up on a small experience purely because of them?
I cannot find this in the PSN store anywhere. Maybe its just me...
Trophies have a bit of an addictive quality to them. I think for many, if they're playing a game and that play time is not making progress towards one or multiple trophies in some way or form, it's time wasted. The ultimate achievement of course being a platinum trophy. I know some people who will very likely refuse to play a game as it doesn't have a platinum in the trophy list.
I get the nature of collecting and 100% , and even Tell Tales games' trophies really are just chapter markers for a short choose your own adventure game, but considering what this actually is, I am curious as to whether people feel a Platinum is really necessary? What trophies could this have? What trophies could and should a demo have?
@Flaming_Kaiser No but LiS2 will have trophies. 😉
@LieutenantFatman @RPE83 I feel very much that same. The 3 motivators for ne to keep playibg any game are: 1) the story 2) fun gameplay 3)trophies. Often if i have finished the story of a game and there are no more trophies to be earned i will stop playing even if there is post game content (thats not story related) because i feel like " whats the point, im done already"
@RPE83 Regarding Captain Spirit i feel this should have had at least a handful of trophies. Not necessarily a Platinum but some. Its a 2hr or so experience with some albeit limited replayability andcollectables. There are other "experiences" with the same run time that have trophies like Gone Home or Actual Sunlight. So its not unprecedented. While it doesnt change the quality or content of this experience it would have been a nice icibg on the cake for those of us who really like trophies and it wouldnt have been THAT difficult to implement. But because it lacks trophies there are some who will ignore it completely. This was unnecessary.
@RPE83 For me Trophies/Achievements were a way to validate the dozens, sometimes hundreds of hours ive spent playing games with nothing to show for it but a time clock un a save file. I enjoyed my time playing for sure but when i look back through my trophy list and i see for instance the Pure trophy from Flower it instantly brings back the memory of that game and the many many attempts and getting through that section of the game unscathed. As you mentioned before the "Crack the E Nigma" trophy in Arkham Asylum is another proud accomplishment. Or my platinum trophy in White Night, brings back such fond memories of shuffling through the dark withba candle hidibg from Margret. I dobt get feelings like that from just looking at a title screen. Thats why i like trophies.
I just finished this and wow was it awesome I have no idea how the reviewer only gave it a 6. I hope since they’ve said this ties into season 2 in some way that we play as Chris in season 2 because there’s so much they could do with him playing a superhero and using his imagination to have really cool scenes and his relationship with his dad.
@oats-81 You have to search for the game via PC.
I've also heard it can be found as a demo underneath Life is Strange 2.
@ToddlerNaruto Thanks- yea I found it on PC website.
Thanks for taking the time to reply, I guess thinking about it, I like to log EVERY run / bike ride no matter how long or short, so it's the same principle for different hobby, I can't just "run" , it has to be logged.
@RPE83 Yeah, i wasnt like this before trophies but once you start its hard to go back to the old way. I remember how much of a BIG DEAL it was when it was confirmes that the Vita would have trophies. As someone who spent countless hours on FF7 on my Xperia Play and then again on Vita (PS1 classic) i was SO happy to get the PC port on PS4 with trophies. Its just a comfort now lol.
@RPE83 its always a pleasure to have calm and coherent conversations about games here. Thanks for the opportunity to explain why i like trophies.
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