Wednesday, 04 July 2018 11:45

REVIEW: The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit (Xbox One)

Written by StacefaceMayhem
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Heart strings. I’m a sucker for games that pull at those muscles that keep that oh so, emotional organ suspended in my fragile body. It amazes me even now how some games can light a flame psychologically, making me feel human in a society where it is so easy to get lost in the junk of living day to day. The crazy thing about video games right; they can make us hide in an imaginative world but can also awaken us.

‘The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit’ is a FREE prequel to the well received, and deeply loved ‘Life is Strange’ franchise by DONTNOD entertainment. Acting as a teaser of sorts, to their ever-elusive Life is Strange 2, this short prologue, standalone episode introduces us into the house and mind of our hero the young boy, Chris and his emotionally broken father.

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While this story really hooks you in with the dull, melodramatic environment of a parent doing it tough and alone, the effects of depression, and the life of an imaginative but lonely little boy, you can’t help but feel this plays out as simply an introduction to the characters the whole way through.

In saying this, if you are familiar with Life Is Strange games much of the game plays through your decisions, interacts and dialogue choices. This time round, each interaction is quite mundane, and they seem like they mostly don’t have the consequential weight that the previous games had on decision making. Things such as taking out the trash or cooking your drunk father food is an emotional play. Do you tell your dad he is drunk, risking being verbal challenged, or do you ignore, and hurtfully brush aside the issue? These are the touching and oh do relatable situations this young boy must face.

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After much of the hardships in the plot is well established it is no wonder Chris’s own superpowers are introduced into the gameplay. Highlighted by their brightness, a stark variation to Chris’s gloomy surroundings, some of his interactions will trigger his own unique ability, much like Chloe’s attitude manipulation and Max’s time reversible before that, in the Life is Strange. While not an overwhelming cool feature, it seems very realistic in the way this child would escape his life into his own mind, with interactions with certain things sparking different hero like abilities. It’s so endearing watching Chris reach his hand out like a Jedi, wielding the fireplace to roar into life.

Despite it’s quite lacklustre gameplay, and incredibly short and not overly worked plot, what kept me captivated are these touches of realism. This game pulls on your own experiences and emotions. Playing as Chris reminded me of the innocence of say my nephew playing with his toys, throwing his voice as he makes up characters in their own little world. On the bleak contrast, sadly we all have seen someone go through the stages of destruction that Chris’s father, Charlie goes through.

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Once again, the soundtrack to this game is the typical indie music we came to endear and love in Life Is Strange, and I didn’t expect anything else. The few tracks that are present in this very short game, are ingeniously eclectic of the moods they are presenting and showcase unique and alternative artists. An example of this is when you can sit as Chris on your Dad’s bed listening to his Mum’s old records; I found myself drifting off in thought listening to them myself, just pondering what this child must also be feeling in this moment.

Overall, I would have liked to have seen more from ‘The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit’ the few average tasks needed to be complete don’t necessarily drive the plot and are easy to complete in a very quick amount of time. I was left wanting more information, proving this standalone could actually hold its own in this world, not a feat many spin off games can attest too. With developers promising we would see more of Chris in ‘Life is Strange 2’, I can’t wait to see what DONTNOD and Square Enix have in store for us and how this tale will continue.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 3.5 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE, Wii U
  • Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
  • Publisher: Square Enix Co., Ltd.
  • Genre: Adventure