Xbox One Review: Life is Strange: Episode 4 – Dark Room

Can Max change the past and save the future?

This review contains spoilers for the previous episodes as well as some in this episode.

We left Episode 3 on an incredible cliffhanger, Max had rewritten history so Chloe’s dad was never killed in a car crash and in doing so, sadly ended up making Chloe wheelchair bound to the point where she doesn’t have long to live, she also doesn’t become the punk-chick we’ve come to know over the past episodes, but is kind and considerate….but at the end of her tether, she even asks Max to give her an overdose at one point. It’s powerful stuff and one hell of a moral dilemma for anyone, let alone your average gamer.
It’s hard to see Max struggle with the choice she made, but ultimately it has to be undone in order to save Chloe, even if it transforms her back into the old Chloe. As you return to the original reality, the hunt for Rachel Amber moves forward to an unexpected conclusion. But first you need to piece together all the clues to find a location to search, which is a tricky puzzle as you need to cross-reference times, dates and locations from texts, a log book and photos. Another tricky thing is hacking Nathan’s phone in order to get the texts, but ultimately is a clever one. It’s the first puzzle in a long time that had my head scratching, which is very welcome.

If you managed to save Kate Marsh at the end of Episode 2, Max will go to the hospital to pay her a visit. It’s nice to see she hasn’t been abandoned by the story, it also riles you up enough to want to get proof that Nathan drugged her at the Vortex Party. Eventually, Max and Chloe go to the latest party at Blackwell to try and confront him and even warn his potential next victim before leaving in a rush against time.
There’s a major plot twist that follows that I will not be so cruel to divulge, but I have seen it posted on other sites…so be careful not to accidentally spoil it for yourself. It sets things up for a very interesting climax to the series, although I do hope we get a second season down the line. The strange occurrences like beached whales, solar eclipses take a back seat to character development this time around, although we do see at least one before the episode is out.

The Verdict

Dark Room is bone-chillingly good and creepy, I wasn’t expecting the story to head in this direction and that’s what makes Life is Strange so great. It throws you and even if you do see some of the twists coming, you sure as hell won’t see all of them before they happen. Let’s hope Episode 5 ties things up nicely as it is set up for a thrilling conclusion that I cannot wait to play.

Overall Score: 9.0