The free prequel-of-sorts to the second instalment in the Life is Strange series is here and it is as charming and full of meaning as it is short.
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is an original story set in the Life is Strange universe whose task is that of introducing both new and returning players to the new season of the famous episodic series, set to launch on September 27.
After the conclusion of Max and Chloe’s story which was the focus of the first season of the game and of its prequel Before the Storm, a completely new adventure and set of characters awaits in Life is Strange 2.
To guide players through this transition and to give them the chance to get a glimpse of what the future has in store for them, standalone episode The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit was announced by developers Dontnod Entertainment and Square Enix during E3 2018.
The main character is a 9-year-old schoolboy named Chris who lives alone with his father in a rundown house in the outskirts of Beaver Town, Oregon, where the two moved after Chris’ mother passed a couple of years before the events of the game.
While the boy relies on his fervid imagination and childlike wonder to cope with the loss and his loneliness, the same cannot be said for his father Charles, who has become an alcoholic and struggles to take care of his son.
The game starts on a Saturday morning with Chris drawing a costume for his superhero alter-ego, Captain Spirit. Just like the previous instalments in the series, the game is a graphic adventure in which the player has to interact with objects and people and make choices that influence the developing of the story, all the while learning details about the background of the characters.
While Charles nurses beers and whisky while watching a basketball match, Chris walks around the house doing household chores such as washing the dishes, doing the laundry and taking out the trash dressed as Captain Spirit. Superpowers are a core theme, as Chris imagines to do these action thanks to them, so for example, turning on the water heater becomes a battle against a monster that needs to be tamed.
The climax of the game takes place after the completion of a few objectives when Chris decides to wake up his inebriated dad to go buy a Christmas tree.
Chris’ story is truly enjoyable and while sad, it also gives you a sense of nostalgia for those days spent playing around during your childhood. Unlike the predecessors, Captain Spirit is made with Unreal Engine 4 which gives a new sense of reality and fluidity to the game.
While very short, it can be completed in less than two hours, the game gives you the opportunity to reflect on serious themes such as loss, grief, and difficult childhood, as well as to get attached to little Chris whose story will hopefully be a part of Life is Strange 2.
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit was released on June 25 and is now available for free on PS4, Xbox One and PC (Steam).