Life is Strange Ep.5 Review - Polarized

Since the arrival on the market of titles divided into episodes like a TV series, a new element has been added to be evaluated during the review phase: the rhythm. There is a danger, in fact, that the narrative is constructed in an inconstant way, reaching the climax (the highest point of the story) too soon and therefore going to drop in the last part. Obviously it is also possible that the opposite occurs, with a story that slows down until it reaches the last 10 minutes, and then pushes the accelerator of the narration; in this case the damage is less, but it is always an unbalanced product. This short talk was made to introduce the review of the fifth (and final) chapter of Life is Strange, title created by the boys of Dontnod Entertainment and distributed, at the moment, only in digital version, its PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC. Will the French studio be able to amaze even in this last episode, or are we facing a drop in style compared to the previous "episodes"? Find out in our review of Life is Strange Ep.5 - Polarized!


Please note: Given the general intimate tone of this production, especially in the particular case of this fifth chapter, the following is a more personal review than the ones we usually post, almost an editorial. As far as possible, however, we have tried to insert some more "objective" references, within the limits of the possibilities offered by Polarized. As usual, however, the review is absolutely spoiler-free, in order to allow even those who have not played the title to be able to continue reading quietly.


Version tested: PlayStation 4

Life is… complicated
In a completely impartial way, however, we can admit that the Remember Me team managed to pull all the threads of the plot

Treat the narrative sector di Life is Strange it is extremely difficult, as the boys of Dontnod they have succeeded in creating something extremely subjective and linked to the emotions dormant within us. In a completely impartial way, however, we can admit that the Remember Me team managed to pull all the threads of the plot, reaching a satisfying ending free of any scriptwriting errors. The beginning of the episode, however, immediately forces us to enter an "intimate" sphere of the videogame, that is our relationship with it. With a narrative solution that we are not going to anticipate (as usual we try to make this review accessible to everyone) all of our choices made in previous episodes will in a sense be undone. Someone may cry out "scandal", stating consequently how useless it was to take certain decisions and then see them canceled, but personally I believe that the classic phrase "The important thing is not the destination, but the journey" is not entirely wrong. However, our characters have lived certain experiences and our decisions have actually been made in the course of the narrative, allowing us in this last chapter to look behind our virtual shoulders to see the narrative tapestry in its complexity and not to see it only as a succession of mechanical decisions. The concatenation of causes and effects was still present in the previous episodes and although it does not affect the finale in an incisive way, it will certainly remain within the life of Max Caulfield. Once the game is over, the protagonist will no longer appear to us as a simple character in a video game, the result of all our choices and the right pressure of a series of keys, but we will feel so close to her that it will be like having lived the story firsthand, with its good and bad moments. We realize that the speech can appear too emotional and not in line with most of the reviews, but we believe it is necessary to analyze to the best of our strength a title that, objectively, is written, thought, directed and created not to directly hit the player's brain, but his heart.

Life is… unfair
The "problem" about the ending is that only one of them was correct for "my" max. Another person's Max Caulfield, who has decided to opt for a different kind of approach to the story, may be more inclined to the other.

A speech deriving from what is written above can be said about it the end of this fifth episode. Or rather: the endings. Life is Strange, in fact, allows us to make a heavy choice at the end of the last "episode", going to complete our journey within Arcadia Bay. The "problem" about the ending is that, personally, I think only one of the two is "correct", while I believe that the other is going to completely distort the concept behind the title Dontnod. Beware, however, that that "personally" is not inserted at random. Based on our choices, our dialogues and our relationship with history, in fact, we will find one of the two endings totally senseless, loving the other instead. We then used social networks to probe the opinion of users a little and we realized how true what you have just read actually is. Furthermore, once the game is finished, it is possible to see the worldwide percentage of the choices, and consequently discover that 53% of the players preferred an ending, while the 47 opted for the other, creating two real factions almost in equilibrium. It is inevitable, in fact, that the story that we have built thanks to the choices and dialogues specially studied, allows us to accept only one of the two possible conclusions, rejecting the other as diametrically opposite.. In fact, I believe that one of the two endings completely distort the character of Max that I built slowly, hour after hour with the pad in my hand, but it is precisely my Max, which has evolved with me during these 15 hours of play and which acted as an intermediary to my emotions in every possible interaction with the game world. Another person's Max Caulfield, who may have decided to opt for a different kind of approach to the story, may be more inclined to the other ending, thus going to clash with my final decision. There is not a single Max. We are the Max we decide to be in the game. And be aware that this is not a bizarre, philosophical, ambiguous or uncertain ending, but of simple chemistry within our body which, in a totally emotional way, will lead us to press "square" or "circle" in the final scene.

Life is… unwritten
As for the previous episodes we are faced with a larger and more detailed work than the Telltale titles

Abandoned the main feature of Life is Strange, we can now focus on gameplay of the title made by the boys of Dontnod Entertainment. As for the previous episodes we are faced with a larger and more detailed work than the Telltale titles, with multiple objects to interact with and with areas larger than a single corridor. We underline, however, that some choices of direction have forced the French studio to slightly reduce the size of the areas, preventing the player from wandering for a long time and losing the fast pace of the narrative. As anticipated in the section dedicated to the plot, decisions in Life is Strange: Polarized are limited to the final one, with which we decide the fate of our protagonists. It should be noted that in case you are looking for a title where your choices heavily modify the narrative, Life is Strange could appear to you as a half disappointment., as the latter goes to work not on the physical and environmental consequences of your decisions, but on your relationship with them. An example to make you understand what I mean could be this: you own a time machine and decide to go back “n” years. In that timeline, you meet a beautiful girl (s) and decide to offer her / him a drink at the bar. You then discover that she is engaged and that her boyfriend is ready to kill you in order to defend his / her partner. In self-defense you react and by mistake you kill him / her. You then decide to go back in time again to prevent the occurrence and, once the damage is fixed by preventing yourself from committing a murder, go back to the present to avoid doing more damage to the space-time continuum. In that case your choices have not substantially changed anything, but psychologically you will have undergone a change and you will hardly approach a girl sitting at a bar table with the same lightness again. Life is Strange goes something like this. Your choices will not ultimately change the fate of all the characters in a definitive way, but you will always carry within you the scars of your mistakes and / or victories.

Life is… musical
Life is Strange Ep. 5 - Polarized, technically, does not differ much from the previous episodes

There isn't much to say regarding the technical sector di Life is Strange Ep. 5 - Polarized, As does not differ much from previous episodes. The adventures of Max and Chloe, in fact, turn out once again pleasant to see, even with some woody animation e a couple of completely unmotivated frame drops, but nothing even remotely annoying. Impeccable once again the sound sector that thanks to a mix of neat dubbing and a wonderful soundtrack (and highlighted in the right moments) appears to everyone's ears as something sublime and unforgettable. Although not strictly part of the graphic and sound sector, we feel like making a special applause to the director which, right from the start, is brilliant, well structured and able to rival the heavyweights of the videogame industry.

Verdict 9/10 Life is ... Strange Comment Life is Strange Ep.5 - Polarized, fifth and last episode of the Dontnod Entertainment series, is among the spearheads of videogame storytelling. This is the conclusion of a work that, like few others, will be able to accompany you throughout your life as a gamer, remaining in your hearts forever and simply becoming a must have for all fans of well-written and direct stories. Of course, if you are looking for a purely playful title, the ideal would be to go elsewhere, but we are sure that if you can give even half a chance to Life is Strange you will not be disappointed. Rather. Pros and cons Almost perfect story, direction, narration and dialogues
Unforgettable sound sector
Choices that do not affect the story, but directly on our emotions x Choices that do not affect the story, but directly on our emotions
x One of the two endings, inevitably, you will not like it

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