In the first couple of minutes of leaping into The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, there was an immediate awareness of emotion which came racing through me. Since I watched the principal character, Chris, wake up on a crisp winter morning into a day filled with possibility and experience, surrounded by action figures, dinosaur toys, along with also superhero publications, I couldn’t help but think back to all those sorts of moments in my youth, waking up on Saturday mornings and ready to undertake the afternoon.
But as Captain Spirit went , so too did it remind me childhood isn’t always all fun and games, along with equal amounts of feelings came racing through me , but from more of a place of catharsis from youth ’s hardships.
More or less you can think about it a “presentation ” or “standalone experience,” as developer Dontnod Entertainment made apparent using its statement during E3 2018, which Captain Spirit will tie in the upcoming Life is Strange 2, that debuts its first episode in September. Despite its own smaller-scaled story compared to that which we’ve noticed from the series before, Captain Spirit‘s brief running time still manages to pack a fairly significant punch.
The title itself sets up the narrative of Chris Eriksen, a 10-year-old boy who lives in the mountainous outskirts of Portland, Oregon along with his father, Charles. The beginning of the episode shows us that a day in the life of their family as Chris wakes up on a snowy Saturday morning to explore and play. Over the span of the name ’s two hours, however, the player finds far more of the backstory and dynamics surrounding Chris and his connection to his dad, along with the tragic conditions that have fallen on them.
The story gradually reveals that Chris’ mother passed away a few years prior to the events of Captain Spirit, directing his dad to some downward spiral of alcoholism, financial conflicts, and an uneasy relationship with his son (primarily due to his alcoholic suits ).
While the story itself is very different from that which we encountered from Max and Chloe’s narrative in the very first season of Life is Strange (or its prequel, Before the Storm), Captain Spirit nevertheless feels much based on everything we’ve seen from the series as far as its themes and storytelling. Beneath the fantastical superhero sequences along with whimsical areas where Chris just has for a kid and utilize his exude creativity, there are broader issues and topics at play which get to the center of Captain Spirit‘s personalities, between its quest of a distressed father-son connection, the tragedies of losing a beloved one, and going even further by delving into depression and alcoholism.
I don’t necessarily want to go to a whole lot of detail about a number of the specific conditions or situations which appear at Captain Spirit, either to prevent spoilers and since some of these topics it covers may be tough for a while to read detailed about (such as child abuse). However, when in its most powerful, there were sections of the game that really caught me off-guard, emotionally. In a great deal of ways, Captain Spirit really feels just like Dontnod having heard from their strengths and flaws as it came into this storytelling and character growth of Life is Strange‘s first year, and it paid off well here with a few genuinely gut-wrenching and heartbreaking sequences that were hard to create choices , but I spent emotionally in the narrative.
Gameplay-wise, Captain Spirit plays much like the last Life is Strange titles as you guide Chris round the home to finish a list of various “Amazing Things to Do. ” Interspersed with more mundane tasks such as washing the dishes or doing laundry over the course of the incident, Chris should find and collect the components of his Captain Spirit costume, even fight enemies such as “The Snowmancer,” and explore his garden treehouse.
Whether it’s these more regular household tasks or the more fantastical regions of Chris’ creativity, Captain Spirit shines with its artwork that very effectively blend the realms of reality and dream that the name plays . What could come off as hokey or bothersome in the form of Chris’ various flights of fantasy are rather brought to reside convincingly and really, as he imagines the home ’s water heater become an ominous foe, or the very elaborate transformation arrangement of him turning to Captain Spirit.
Though part of this name ’s existence is to help build up buzz for the upcoming Life is Strange 2, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is over a worthwhile chapter in the series which has me looking forward to seeing what comes next. Since the end of the incident implies, Chris and his father will probably be making a return at Life is Strange 2 and also have some role to play in the series’ second season, so playing Captain Spirit not merely acts as a great introduction to such characters, but also gives an intriguing hint of everything ’s to come from the next season.
The only glaring weakness that I can find in it’s the simple fact that Captain Spirit is a fairly short experience that should require players just a couple of hours in the least. While this isn’t inevitably a massive detriment, Captain Spirit sets such an interesting premise and cast of characters that it’s a bit of a bummer it feels as though it ends just before it actually has a chance to start, coupled with a bit of a cliffhanger ending that I don’t know pays off quite and it had hoped.
Despite its brief running time, Captain Spirit still works amazingly well as a standalone story set at the Life is Strange world along with a preview of exactly what ’s to come for this series. Captain Spirit is equally heartbreaking and joyous, although it’s ’s a short encounter, it captures Life is Strange in its finest qualities by telling a story using relatable characters encountering ordinary, real-world problems in remarkable ways. I couldn’t help but see a whole lot of myself in Chris throughout Captain Spirit, also that I can’t wait to see what other amazing experiences he’s coming in the future.
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is available today as a free download for PS4, Xbox One, also PC.