When the developer Dontnod announced that he was working on a new title in the series Life is Strange that would focus on completely new characters, I, along with many of the fans, felt a mixture of excitement and concern. This came from a fear of the unknown. What is the franchise without Max and Chloe? Is it possible to connect with future characters at the same intimate level?
However, these concerns became obsolete in the first five minutes of playing Life is Strange 2. Once again I immersed myself in the familiar world of adolescent anguish and friendship, and immediately began to connect with the new ones characters: brothers Sean and Daniel.
We met with the main writer of the series Life is Strange, Jean-Luc Cano, at EGX 2018 to talk about what the essence of Life is Strange is, to navigate the tides of adolescence and to bottle fraternal love.
Beware, the spoilers of episode one of Life is Strange 2.
Changing the status quo
The biggest difference between Life is Strange and its sequel are the characters in themselves. Instead of focusing on white, female and adolescent protagonists, Life is Strange 2 tells the story of the Diaz brothers: Sean (16) and his younger brother Daniel (nine). Although many fans had trouble getting away from Max and Chloe, the Dontnod team felt the change was organic and there was a new story to tell.
"When we started working on Life is Strange 2, the first question we asked" What is life is strange like a franchise? & apos; "Screenwriter Jean-Luc Cano explained to TechRadar." We discussed it a lot and we feel that Life is Strange is about related characters, everyday problems and big questions, social issues that we want to explore and a little supernatural stuff besides that .
"We did not do it … Think about making a story that would please the community If we look at what the community wants, it's more Max, Chloe and Arcadia Bay Ok, I totally understand it, but for us the story of Max and Chloe, we just have to add, maybe in a few years, but for now the story is over. "
The bonds of the brothers
This change of characters and history brought with it a new set of challenges. How to capture The relationship between brothers and make it credible narratively? Playing the first episode, it feels as if the team really captures what feels like a true relationship between siblings: the fights, the anguish of teenagers, the innocence of childhood and, most importantly, the underlying love that Cements this bond .
There is no better example of this than the crucial point of the story itself (look the other way if you do not want spoilers). After the tragic incident in his home that resulted in the death of a policeman and his father. Sean, like the older brother, makes the decision to pick up Daniel and hit the road. Your reasoning? He knows that Daniel is responsible for the incident, and is scheduled to protect him and keep them together instead of being sent to a foster home.
While Sean fights back and forth to tell Daniel or not the truth about his father, he feels sorry for him. He wants the best for his brother and Sean's childish ignorance about the situation leads him to constantly ask where his father is and want to play or jump stones, without noticing the inner turmoil that Sean is experiencing. In addition to this, Sean, like the older brother, has the responsibility to be a role model for Daniel, with his (and therefore) his actions that shape the story and behavior of his younger brother, even though Sean he simply wants to do what other teenagers do. : baby, go to your friends and talk to girls. According to Cano, this characteristic becomes even more frequent in episode two.
The relationship between brothers is a new territory for Dontnod both in the sense of development and reality. Jean-Luc explains that he only has a little sister, while the game directors Michel Koch and Raoul Barbet are the only sons in their families, so to build a fraternal relationship was something none of them had experienced first-hand.
"We read a lot of books about how children behave: educational books," Cano explains. "There is a book and it's about how you mold a child and how you educate him." It was a lot of research for us, among our own experiences, our family and our friends, make your relationship as believable as possible. "
Brothers and sincerity
So, what is it? about the Life is Strange franchise, a title that staggers between AAA and indie, that attracts people of all ages, sexualities, genders and races?
"I think maybe it's because it's linked to the DNA of what Life is Strange," Cano tells TechRadar. "We're dealing with themes that are universal, so everyone can relate to our characters, even if you're a man, you can relate to Max or Chloe, and if you're a girl, you can relate to Sean and Daniel. a little brother, or not, you will experience the main difficulties Sean is in. Life is Strange 2.
"I think it's one of our strengths in Dontnod: create characters and stories that can touch a lot of people. It is maybe because we are … sincere. The history of life is strange and life is strange 2 means a lot to us. I think when you're true and sincere, the story you're writing will touch the people around you. "
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