|Your first task in the game is to choose Captain Spirit's outfit
- Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
- Developer: DONTNOD Entertainment
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Release Date: 26 Jun 2018
- Time played: 1.6 hours
What is itDONTNOD Entertainment is a French video game developer based in Paris and founded in 2008. The first game they released was an action-adventure called Remember Me in 2013 which received mixed reviews and in 2014, French media outlets reported that the company was filing for bankruptcy due to poor sales. Their fortunes changed in 2015 with the release of Life is Strange which was a critical and commercial success. A sequel to Life is Strange is scheduled for release on 27 September 2018 but fans can already experience an adventure set in the Life is Strange universe thanks to the free-to-play title The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit released last week. The choices that players make in this game will apparently have consequences in Life is Strange 2 (so I'm guessing you'll be able to export a save file or something otherwise, how would they be able to tell?)
In The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit you play the role of a 9-year-old boy named Chris who is really into super heroes, especially his alter ego, "Captain Spirit". You'll get to experience a typical day with Chris and his dad, Charles; gameplay is similar to Life is Strange in that the extent of player interaction consists of exploring your surroundings and deciding what to do or say from a list of options.
How I got itThe game was released for free on Steam only a few days ago and since I quite enjoyed Life is Strange, I was curious to see how this game was related to it.
|To a child, a seemingly, harmless inanimate object, can be a terrifying villain
What I like:
Child's imaginationThe concept of exploring how a child views the world especially one with a vivid imagination, isn't new; heck, there's even a whole movie in the 80s about the power of a child's imagination, complete with flying dog-dragons and a theme song by Giorgio Moroder. However, I've rarely played games that have explored this concept and rarely have they been so effective at bringing a child's vivid imagination to life; The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit does this rather well.
The game also gives you the choice to either perform tasks in a normal manner or use "superpowers". For example, you can choose to simply wash the dishes or you can use superpowers to do it, although the latter actually results in a less than satisfactory outcome in terms of a broken glass.
Sense of forebodingAs you play the game, you'll piece together scattered bits of information to figure out what actually happened to Chris and his family, not unlike walking simulators such as Gone Home, although you'll soon learn that Chris's Dad, Charles, isn't the most patient of parents and a mixture of life dealing him a raw deal along with heavy doses of alcohol means he is prone to angry outbursts. How Chris deals with his father is totally up to you but one thing's for sure, you always feel a bit worried for Chris's safety as he is only a 9-year-old boy; I felt a similar sense of worry while playing as Clementine in the second season of The Walking Dead. For a game to be able to bring those emotions to the fore is a good thing; it shows it is having an impact.
Similar art style to Life is StrangeI liked the art style in Life is Strange and DONTNOD continues to use the latest iteration of the Unreal Engine for The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit.
MusicI'm not usually a fan of indie folk and its derivatives but the genre suited Life is Strange and it suits this game too; it's the perfect background music while watching a lonely boy making his way through life, trying to retain some semblance of optimism, honour and dignity by emulating the superheroes in his imagination.
Voice actingI'm not familiar with any of the voice actors but they all do a good job. So at least they didn't do a quick and nasty job with the voice cast, just because the game is free!
FreeAnd while we're on that topic, yes, the game is absolutely free. So, even if you're not a fan of Life is Strange, all you've got to lose is a couple of hours of your time.
|Just when you're getting comfy, the game ends abruptly on a cliff-hanger
What I dislike:
ShortIt's a minor complaint since the game is free after all but as a consequence you're only just starting to get used to the characters and your surroundings when the game abruptly ends on a cliff-hanger. I guess as an interactive teaser trailer, it does its job really well, but it means you don't feel as satisfied at the end as you would when playing a proper game.
Not quite sure how it relates to Life is Strange… yetI have no idea how the choices in this game will affect Life is Strange 2 and there doesn't seem to be any hints as to which choices will have the greatest impact. It may have been beneficial to include a summary (as Telltale tend to do nowadays at the end of each of their episodes) as to what critical choices were made so you have some inkling of how much of an impact this game has on Life is Strange 2.
Score – 7/10 (Good)The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is essentially an interactive teaser trailer for Life is Strange 2 as just when you're starting to get used to the game, its characters, its story and your surroundings, the game abruptly ends leaving no indication of which choices you made will actually have an impact on Life is Strange 2 (or at least a hint of which choices were recorded). However, the game is absolutely free and it will give those who aren't already fans of the series, a taste of what a DONTNOD adventure game feels like.
If you like this game, you might like…
- Life is Strange (2015)
- Batman: The Telltale Series (2016)
- Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series (2017)
[ LINK: Official Webpage @ Square Enix ]