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Life Is Strange 2: Everything you need to know

We got a glimpse of the game at Gamescom 2018. Here's what you should know.

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PlayStation/Square Enix; screenshot by Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The first Life Is Strange drew massive praise for its emotional, story-driven gameplay and cast of interesting, relatable characters. After various teases, and The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, a free-to-play miniprequel, we've had our first proper experience of the game at this year's Gamescom 2018.

So here's everything we know about Life Is Strange 2, including plot, characters, release dates and more. Though we don't know enough to give major spoilers, we'll include a plot point that happens early in the game. If you want to remain entirely spoiler-free, then, well, don't be reading "everything you need to know" articles about the game. You've been warned. 

What's the plot of Life Is Strange 2?

The game follows the story of 16-year-old Sean and his 9-year-old younger brother, Daniel. You play as Sean. Early in the game, Sean is getting ready to attend a party, hoping to get lucky with a particular girl on whom he has a crush. It's as he's discussing his plans for the night with a friend over Skype that he notices his little brother being bullied by a neighbour. 

Sean rushes to Daniel's aid, and after a fight between Sean and the bully ensues, the bully is knocked to the ground and seems to smash his head -- presumably, fatally. A police officer arrives and immediately begins waving a gun in the children's faces and then at their dad, when he shows up. 

The officer fires a shot at the dad, and things go... odd. There seems to be a blast from somewhere, the presumption being that it came, somehow, from Sean, though details about his powers aren't known. This supernatural element follows from the original game, which saw Max use powers to manipulate time and space. Following the "blast", the policeman, the bully and the dad are all dead. As more police cars show up, Sean picks up the dazed, but living, body of Daniel and carries him away. 

Later in the demo we were shown a scene where the two boys are walking along a wooded road and enter a forest, where they chat, explore and look at the lovely views. It's all very charming, despite the nature of what's been going on. 

That's about as much as we saw of the plot, but lead writer Jean-Luc Cano explained that the overall story is of the two boys fleeing their home town of Seattle, making their way to Mexico, the hometown of their father. "This journey is the basis of Life Is Strange 2," explaind Cano, "It's not in one area. They'll see a lot of locations and meet a lot of people."

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Square Enix

What's the gameplay of Life Is Strange 2?

The overall gameplay looks much the same as that of the previous game. It's completely story driven, with choices of how to act, how to speak and what to do being tossed up all the time. 

In one example we were shown, the boys find a parked car, window slightly open, with a chocolate bar on the dashboard. You're able to make the decision whether you reach in and steal it for your brother, or simply tell him you'll buy him one soon. Decisions like these, we were told, not only change what happens at that moment but also have a lasting impact that can change how characters will interact with you down the line. 

The same will go for conversations. Another moment showed the boys chatting playfully about wild animals in the park. As Daniel starts to get scared, you, as Sean, are given the option to comfort him or tease him. Your choice will change your relationship with Daniel and will therefore determine how he, in turn, responds to you later. In short: Mind what you say.

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Square Enix

The game mechanics remain the same; explore your immediate environment, pick up objects, read posters, search cupboards -- do everything you can to learn about the characters and their stories. 

When can I play Life Is Strange 2?

The game will be released as five "episodes", though we're not sure how long these episodes will be. The first will land on 27 September, with the others following roughly 6-8 weeks apart afterward. 

What platforms will Life Is Strange 2 be on?

It'll be coming to the Xbox, the PS4 and the PC. Personally, I think it looks like a great title for a Nintendo Switch release, but maybe I'm just being hopeful there. 

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Square Enix

What else is cool?

It's got a banging soundtrack. There's original music written for the game by the same composer involved in the last one. The boys' walk down the forest track was beautifully matched with some acoustic guitar and piano tunes, which created a lovely ambiance. There's other music too, and in one scene, Sean raps along to a section of a song by The Streets.

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