They typically say you should give a show three episodes before you decide to continue or give up. Given Life is Strange 2 has been mixed thus far, Wastelands is essentially do or die. With the last episode ending with a rather startling cliffhanger, it’s almost disappointing Wastelands picks up sometime after.
By now the brothers are with Cassidy and her crew, trying to make the most of life. This starts off rather slow and starts to move away from the supernatural side and to more familiar territory for Dontnod.
With so many things hitting Sean at once, it’s understandable he wants some sense of normalcy and is planning for an uncertain future. There are more hints of romance with Cassidy, along with some frustration from Daniel and questionable storylines with shady characters like Finn. A big part of this episode is less about creating a path to the future, but rather, reconceptualizing past events.
It’s clear Daniel wants to be closer to Sean and just wants to be included. This much is highlighted in some of the branching paths, such as Daniel either waiting for or ditching you in the morning, his attitude in helping Sean carry out his task or just deciding to spend time or ditch him towards the end. However, the finer points can only carry the episode so far.
Most of this episode is really set up to Daniel learning a fairly obvious lesson. If you’re talked to enough people, then you surely know there are some people who will take advantage of you. This has been part of Sean’s fear in regards to Daniel’s power and something that comes to pass with Finn.
Similar to how the dog storyline went, this is some fairly obvious plotting on Dontnods part. From the second Sean is told anything Daniel does will result in him paying the price, it’s all a big waiting game for that to occur. And, after it does, it creates a situation where he basically wants to make up for it, leading to him going along with the idea of using his power to steal.
There are no real heroes or villains in Life is Strange 2 -Episode 3: Wastelands, just a long journey to yet another cliffhanger. This road seems to lead to an interesting new story and possibly direction, though this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve been misdirected.
Life is Strange: Episode 3: Wastelands is going to ultimately appeal to long standing fans. Instead of worrying about narrative or pushing the brothers closer to Mexico, it’s more about the characters and their lives. This allows some of the characters, namely Daniel, get a moment to explain their feelings though it doesn’t do much for the overall experience. Given the path thus far, I don’t know if it will be satisfying or if they’ll make the most of the supernatural elements but at least the characters are strong enough to endure the storm.