Xbox One Review: Life is Strange – Episode 5: Polarized

Can Max save herself, Arcadia Bay and Chloe?

Spoilers for previous episodes are mentioned in this review, so if you aren’t caught up then please do not read on!


Well, who saw that coming? It turned out that even though Nathan Prescott was involved with the Rachel Amber murder, it transpired that it was actually Max’s teacher Mr Jefferson who has been calling the shots, literally. He’s got some twisted obsession with taking photos before and after “corruption”. Jefferson even shot Chloe dead as they drew closer to the truth, but this is Life is Strange after all…Death doesn’t mean anything in this universe, providing Max can rewind time that is…

To cut a story short, Max is able to focus on a photo set before being drugged and is able to change the future, but at a cost. It seems when she fixes one problem, she actually ends up creating a whole new one and eventually even the walls of reality begin to break down. We go through multiple alternate realities, each with difficult choices to make and the realisation begins to set in that things will keep messing up, or is there another way out? You know I can’t go on telling you what, but I will say you will be given a heartbreaking decision, one that I hope will shape the direction of a potential second season.
It’s great to see so many different potential futures, to see what could have been. What’s amazing is that this whole series takes place in just one week, that’s right. One week. That’s if you don’t count Max rewinding till she was a kid to stop Chloe’s Dad dying, then reversing that after she ended up paralyzed instead. What’s also great is that your choices will be reflected in some way in this episode, making your decisions all the more gut-wrenching if you chose something immoral.

I really hope Life is Strange gets a second season, it has no doubt been a huge success for both Square-Enix and developer DONTNOD who have more than proven themselves to do so. It’d be a shame not to see Max again, or the future you decided.

The Verdict

As a whole season, Life is Strange has been phenomenal and crazy, but truly groundbreaking in it’s story-telling and choices. The 4th wall breaks down and you won’t even be surprised, that’s just how crazy Life is Strange is. The friendship between Max and Chloe is unlike any other I’ve come across and it is tested throughout this finale from start to finish, which sums up the series really. It’s a question of just how much can a friendship endure to survive and if you are willing to do whatever it takes to make it do so. Without a doubt a contender for Game of the Year.

Score: 9.0