An interesting operation that of Square Enix, certainly aimed at exploiting the successes of the series, which has established itself as one of the best modern narrative adventures of recent years, but above all to fill some holes and curiosities that the first season left for things (and time limits) discovered.
The prequel has been thought of as a shorter product, a starter of Life Is Strange 2, currently under development at Dotnod, and with Il Mondo nuovo we are already halfway through history: a story that, despite the overall quality of a good narrative, is grants many high but in this case also some bass.
In our review we tried in every way to avoid spoilers and annoying anticipations on the new episode: we find ourselves, however, always within a plot developed in several chapters, and references to Awake are necessarily necessary.
If you have not played the first chapter then we advise you not to go further in reading, and to come back when you are tied; for the moment, go downstairs to play football.
A WORLD OF ASH
The new world takes up the story of Chloe and her new and unlikely friend Rachel where we had left her, or grappling with a “hot” question, in every sense. As if this were not enough, a problem will soon pull another and the world will collapse on the shoulders of the fragile protagonist, crushing it. From its ashes it will be necessary to orientate itself, in fact, in what is a completely renewed context.
As a fitting poetic title, the “new world” of Chloe presents many aspects but all equally tormented: it is that of a school that does not have too many problems, slams it in the middle of the street, also because it belongs to a disadvantaged family context; that of a family that does not feel its own because of the cumbersome presence of the new mother’s companion;
is that of an Arcadia Bay that hides dirty secrets under the aspect of a happy and quiet town, linked above all to the world of drugs and drug dealing minors, a true theme center of the episode, as the solitude was that of the previous one.
The new world is unstable, the relationships between people become more and more complicated, and according to the metaphor of fire (which returns several times) seems to be sprinkled with ashes, with no safe points of support for girls. Girls in the plural: because “new” is also the world of Rachel Amber, because of the secret she is forced to endure about her father, in which Chloe will also be involved.
The link between the two protagonists will become stronger and stronger, with the possibility of evolution between friendship and a deeper affection, depending on the wise and clever choices made available by the developers during the episode.It must be said that while Svegliati represented a pleasant breath of fresh air in Life Is Strange, because it changed point of view and above all it was met for the first time a fundamental character like Rachel, the new world is not exempt from frequent moments of fatigue.
In some of them we will be forced, for example, to find objects scattered in certain environments, for purposes then completely futile as to decorate the carcass of a car, completely superficial situations that dampen the tension and slow down the pace too much. It should be added that the key moments, however convincing, are just a handful and all placed near the end, thus generating an unbalanced balance from the beginning. The episode, narratively speaking, is therefore a consolidation operation focused on the bond of the girls, and we have the impression that it will collide with a final tense, quick, and intense episode.