Although it was announced less than a month ago at E3 Expo 2018, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is already making its way to consoles and PC.  This surprise release acts as a prelude for Life is Strange 2, which was announced for a September 2018 release. What connections it has to that game are not immediately obvious and you would be forgiven for not realizing they are connected at all until the end credits.  Dontnod Entertainment has said choices from this game will carry over into Life is Strange 2, although which choices specifically is up in the air.  With all that in mind, it is best to approach The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit as its own game for the time being.  That turns out to be a good thing for both veteran Life is Strange fans and newcomers to the story.

captain spirit review

The story of The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit revolves around a day in the life of young Chris.  A few years ago Chris lost his mother in a mysterious car accident, and his father has been in a downward spiral ever since.  As you might expect from a setup like that this is not precisely a happy game, but at the same time Chris’ vivid imagination injects color and humor into the world.  I won’t go into details since you really should experience this as fresh as possible, but suffice to say it finds a good balance between Chris’ adventures as Captain Spirit and the subtle depression that has settled over his household.  A game like this is made or broken on the strength of its story, and although it is largely predictable this game holds its own.

Like Life is Strange before it, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a game concerned with storytelling first, and gameplay second.  Even by the standards of the genre, this is a slow paced game, and there is never a threat of losing.  The only thing you can fail at is to not complete all eight tasks the game lays out for you, but there is no punishment for not completing them (though there will possibly be consequences in Life is Strange 2).  The gameplay, such as it is, is primarily built around examining the entire house and yard looking to trigger whatever you need to continue the story forward.  This is easier said than done in some cases as the game will quickly stop holding your hand.  You will still get markers identifying what you can interact with, but the game will never explicitly say “you must do this to proceed”, and you can miss objectives because of it (I was unable to finish one of the objectives in my first playthrough).

Captain Spirit Review Final Thoughts:

As a game that is completely free, it is easy to recommend this to anyone, regardless of whether they have played Life is Strange or not.  Fans of the original should not even hesitate to get it and play through its two-hour story, and I would also say anyone who has never tried this kind of game before will find this to be a good way to gauge their interest.  The only gamers who should pass on this are those who have played other games in this genre, and who have decided it is not for them.  Either way, you don’t risk much by trying the game, and even though it is free it has the polish of a full release.  There are much worse ways of spending two hours of your day, and you may just find yourself drawn into Chris’ strange life.

Related: http://coin-op.tv/captain-spirit-preview/

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit on Xbox One

8.5

Captain Spirit Review Score

8.5/10

PROS:

  • Engaging story with an interesting protagonist.
  • Good lead-in to Life is Strange series.
  • Free to own

CONS:

  • Animation is still stiff and lip syncing is off.
  • Some of the puzzles are frustrating.
  • Ending is abrupt.