Ladies, gentlemen, and those in flux, I just finished Life is Strange 2 Episode 4: “Faith” and it was a doozy.
At the beginning of this sequel in the anthology game series, I thought one thing and hoped another. First, I thought that this series would be primarily focused on brotherhood and the concept of raising your little brother into a hero or a villain. I then hoped that the second game would follow its predecessor in championing LGBTQ characters and giving gaymers the option of a bisexual main character.
On the first front, I was pleasantly surprised with a slight change. On the second front, I was pleasantly surprised with what I wanted.
As explained when the previous episode came out and the main character Sean Diaz was given the option of a gay romance, the Life is Strange game series champions bisexual characters and LGBTQ life over all. And this latest episode does even more to prove that.
Warning: From this point on, there are spoilers for Life is Strange 2 Episode 4: “Faith.”
First, Sean Diaz came through this episode as the hero and main draw for Life is Strange 2. While I initially thought that the premise of the game was brotherhood and making sure to raise your brother right, the real focus ended up being the triumphs and failures of a teen thrust into terrible situations.
Due to the large lack of little brother Daniel in this episode, the game had the time to really spotlight how great of a character Sean is. He is a growing man dealing with being homeless, being without family, and being the target of violence in an increasingly racist country. All of this helps to make Sean a compelling and heartbreakingly passionate main character to watch, follow, and play as.
But on top of that, the game stayed committed to giving players the option of portraying Sean as bisexual. One dream sequence in the episode sees Sean imagining a road trip with his deceased father. In this much needed restful moment, Sean imagines his father bringing up a former crush with a girl. Being totally committed to playing Sean as bisexual, I decided to admit having past feelings for the girl.
But then, I was happy to see a dialogue option to confess to kissing a boy. What followed was a short but sweet scene when the father expressed his surprise but overall acceptance and love of Sean. A “as long as you’re happy” never felt so sweet. And the following, “Does she know about the boy?” was bursting with bi exposure and acceptance.
And in that scene, I was reminded of Dontnod and Life is Strange 2’s commitment to bisexual leads, LGBTQ players looking for same-sex romance and a normalized LGBTQ existence, and LGBTQ stories overall.
But the real surprise was the reveal that Jacob is gay.
Episode 3 of the game had introduced the quiet but kind Jacob as a boy escaping a religious cult. While the prior episode simply left it as Jacob deciding to get away, the newest episode revealed more going on there. It appears that the friend was actually cast out after first being forced through conversion therapy. But while the two teens were looking through files and memories of Jacob’s past, the Christian boy shared that he’d always “liked boys more than girls.”
This was a surprise character reveal and development that left me touched and pleasantly surprised. Certainly, the story of religious intolerance of LGBTQ people and conversion therapy is a topical one. And with this episode being highly political and critical of religious extremism, its addition is appreciated.
And again, the addition of another LGBTQ character after the surplus of characters in the last episode shows just how much Life is Strange is supportive of queer perspectives.
Life is Strange 2 & LGBTQ Characters
With one episode left in Life is Strange 2, we can rest easy knowing that the game gave us everything we could have wanted in terms of LGBTQ representation. Players were given the option of a bisexual main character, but also a strongly compelling character to boot. Then, he is surrounded by several dynamic and heartbreaking LGBTQ characters throughout the past two episodes.
As a gay gamer, I couldn’t ask for more.