Life is Strange 2
|Video Game Fandom|
|Name:||Life is Strange 2|
|Release date:||Episode 1: 27 September 2018
Episode 5: 3 December 2019
|External links:||Life is Strange 2 official website|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Life is Strange 2 is a roadtrip-style game focusing on protagonist Sean Diaz and his younger brother Daniel Diaz. After their father is killed by a police officer, who also dies due to Daniel's then-unknown telekinetic powers, the two boys end up on the run towards their father's hometown of Puerto Lobos, Mexico.
- Racism in America
- Queer Experiences
Popular Minor Characters
Sean Diaz/Finnegan McNamara (also known as Fean or Sinn) is the dominant pairing. The other romance that can become canonical (depending on player choice) is Sean Diaz/Cassidy, which is much less popular. Some fans, wanting a gay pairing but not liking Finn due to proposing to use Daniel's powers in the heist, ship Sean Diaz/Jacob Hackerman, though this can also be problematic since Jacob took Daniel to an abusive cult. Some shippers also ship Sean Diaz/Lyla Park, liking the dynamic that the two friends had in the first episode, while others prefer seeing a completely platonic male-female friendship.
There are also a couple ships involving Daniel that are popular. Daniel Diaz/Chris Eriksen is a popular pairing in the fandom, though some people disagree with it due to their young ages. Some people ship Daniel Diaz/Sean Diaz (also known as Diazcest), though others take issue with it due to being sibling incest and the ages of the characters.
Intersection with Life is Strange
Upon the announcement that Life is Strange 2 would be an anthology sequel, focusing on a completely separate cast of characters from Life is Strange while set in the same universe, many fans of the first game were disappointed, while others welcomed the change. Still other fans suggested that LIS2 should have been given a different name, completely separating it from the previous game.
Due to the fact that the second game is not a direct continuation of the first, and that the second game does not rely on the first in order to be played, there is less overlap than expected between fans of each. The two are often considered separate fandoms on sites such as AO3. The two side games in the series, Life is Strange: Before the Storm and The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, are considered synonymous with the fandoms of the first and second main games, respectively. Even so, many fanworks are crossovers between the two games, and may involve the main characters of both interacting with each other.
Tagging for the second game on social media sites can be frustrating for many fans. Before the announcement of LIS2, Life is Strange: Before the storm was often considered the second Life is Strange game, leading to it being tagged as such. Some fans of the first game will sometimes tag their content with the LIS2 tag, even when it has nothing to do with the second game. It is also common to see cameos from the first game that are present in the second posted many times in the tag, which some fans find annoying, though it is technically on-topic.
Politics & Racism
One of the biggest points of discourse in the fandom is how "political" the game is (though one of the game's characters, Brody, says that "everything is political"). This is usually discussed in the context of the overt racism displayed from multiple characters in the game, which includes use of slurs, anti-immigrant rhetoric reminiscent of Donald Trump, verbal and physical humiliation, police brutality, and kidnapping. Some fans have suggested that the latter example doesn't really happen, and have suggested that its inclusion in the first episode may have deterred some people from buying or playing the rest of the game, while others have said that this scenario is realistic. It is important to note the perspective of the player -- a player's race, ethnicity, nationality, and immigration status may all come into play when discussing whether or not such a situation is "realistic".
Some fans, while okay with the depiction of racism in video games, wish that it had been approached differently. Some fans wish that the focus had been more on subtle racism that people may notice on a day-to-day basis, though others suggest that these may have gone largely unnoticed by players, pointing to the racism exhibited by Sean and Daniel's grandparents and players' lack of reaction to it as an example. Others wished that sentiments specifically relating to Donald Trump had been kept out of the game, as it may isolate players by calling their politics into question and creates "unneeded drama" in the game. Other fans have pointed out that this was likely the intention of the developers.
The political nature of the game has been compared to other video games' content in multiple discussions. While the original Life is Strange discussed topics such as gun violence and rape, these topics were not central to the game's plot and sometimes the topic of missable conversations, likely making them seem "less political" to the player. LIS2 is also often compared to Detroit: Become Human, which was originally released a few months before the first episode of LIS2 and contains core themes of racism against fictional androids that is derived from real racism and anti-immigrant sentiment. However, the themes in this game were very well-received by its fandom when compared to those who played LIS2, especially by prominent let's players, such as Jacksepticeye.
It is of note that the argument of themes being "too political" is generally not used in the discussions of homophobia and child abuse present in the game, though these themes are presented in a similarly blatant manner.
Due to the choice-based nature of the game, let's plays are popular in order to see alternative scenes, especially when they involve minor choices early in the game that may have far-reaching consequences.
- Jesse Cox's Let's Play (full playlist)
- Geek Remix's playthrough's first episode
- Jacksepticeye's playthrough's first episode
- If I Lay Here by owlmug
Archives & Fannish Links
- Life is Strange 2 works at AO3
- Life is Strange 2 wiki
- Life is Strange Reddit (includes Life is Strange 2)
- Life is Strange 2 Reddit
- Life is Strange 2 and lis2 tags on Tumblr
Notes & References
- Life is Strange: Before the Storm is actually the prequel to Life is Strange.
- Brody to Sean, Life is Strange 2 Episode 1
- (archive link, does not contain content under spoiler blocks)
- It is possible that some players may have thought that rape was a central topic to the first Life is Strange before the full game released, as descriptions of events given by some of the characters were similar to descriptions given by real-life rape victims/survivors. However, this was proved incorrect in the final episode of the game.