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Captain Spirit is a free slice of Life is Strange’s charm

By reviews / 14. June 2018
Captain Spirit Key Art Wide

It might not be Life is Strange 2 (thats not due to be announced for another couple of months) but The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is every bit the same charming narrative focussed experience.

The game, which will be made available for free on the 26th of June, tells a story that as yet seems completely unconnected to what we saw in Life is Strange and its Before the Storm prequel, but its structure couldnt be more similarif a little shorter at around two hours.

You play as Chris, a lonely 9-year old whos trying to keep himself entertained in an isolated cabin on a snowy hillside. His mum isnt around anymore (whether shes died or just moved away is unclear), and his dad has taken to drinking early in the day before collapsing in front of the TV to deal with his loss.

Captain Spirit might be a childlike game (in fact, each of your objectives are scrawled on a menu as though drawn by Chris himself), but its far more mature than a lot of titles announced at this years E3 with their gore and adult language.

Captain Spirit Gameplay PreviewWhats it like to play?

We were treated to an extended gameplay demonstration at the show in which a member of the development team played through the games early sections.

Make no mistake, this is a Life is Strange game. Its very slow-paced, and if youre not here for its story and characters, then theres little in the way of difficult puzzle-solving to keep you entertained.

Instead, youll progress through the game by picking your way through branching dialogue trees, and exploring your environment for the items youll need to complete your objectives.

We didnt get a chance to see how the games narrative would diverge based on which dialogue options we chose, but each of the dialogue choices given to our presenter felt natural and fluid, and even though the game was attempting to deal with difficult topics, it didnt feel too heavy handed.

The titular Captain Spirit is an imaginary superhero that Chris in his loneliness and boredom has invented (as the player youll get to choose the specifics of his costume). At various points throughout the game youll find this imaginary world creeping into the real world.

One objective asked Chris to go and tame aWater Eater’, which saw our protagonist overcome his fear of the dark utility room in order totamethe monster that appears. In actual fact, this monster is nothing more than a misbehaving water heater, but its Chriss childlike fear of darkness that builds it up into a mythical beast thats shown to the player.

Square Enixs decision to release the game as a free standalone experience is an interesting one. It seems clear that the game is going to build up to you confronting Chriss and his Dads grief at losing their mother and wife respectively by using the Captain Spirit alter-ego to discover an inner bravery.

Perhaps the free price is Squares attempt to make the game available as a therapeutic release for children that have experienced something similaralthough the company hasnt explicitly confirmed any such intention .

Alternatively, the game works nicely as a teaser for whats to come in Life is Strange 2. It uses the 4th generation of Unreals graphics engine (an upgrade over the originals Unreal 3), and hence has much more fidelity to it than the previous games, helped by a bright and cartoony art style thats now crisper than ever.

With the Captain Spirit being set in the same universe as the mainline Life is Strange games, theres also a chance the original characters might make an appearance, as suggested by a brief glimpse of a letter we got to see as Chris was hunting through his dads garage.

First impressions

Whatever the thinking behind this bite-sized release, its hard to argue that its not great value as a free release. Its slow pace and innocent sensibilities wont be for everyone, but anyone whos emotionally connected to the Life is Strange universe should have little to loose by giving this two hour experience a goalthough well have to wait for the full release to find out for sure.

Will you be giving Captain Spirit a try when it comes out at the end of this month? Let us know @TrustedReviews

The post Captain Spirit is a free slice of Life is Strange’s charm appeared first on Trusted Reviews.

Original source: http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/captain-spirit-release-date-gameplay-3486400

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