Review: The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit (2018)

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit perfectly captures the imagination of a 10 year old while introducing us to Life Is Strange 2.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is our first glimpse into the upcoming Life is Strange 2. The free 2-hour adventure game, developed by Dontnod Entertainment is set in the Life Is Strange universe around three years after the events of Life Is Strange (2015), and shows us a day in the life of 10-year-old Chris and his imaginary alter-ego, Captain Spirit.

Chris lives with his father in a small run-down house on the outskirts of a town called Beaver Creek. His mother passed away a few years earlier and he and his father are still coming to terms with her death. Chris’ father, Charles was a basketball star whose life has been taking a downward spiral since the death of his wife. He now drinks heavily and often takes out his resentment at his life on his son.

The emotional father-son dynamic is a huge part of the story. The game goes into incredible detail surrounding the family’s past and as you begin to uncover these things, the dynamic between the two becomes incredibly heart-breaking and, at times, difficult to watch.

The whole game takes place in one location with the environment doing a great job at adding to the emotional turmoil that the family is feeling. As with Life Is Strange (2015) and its prequel Life Is Strange: Before the Storm (2017), Captain Spirit’s story is revealed through exploration and as you explore the house you will uncover unfortunate truths to the family and information surrounding the death of Chris’s mother. You will find items belonging to her: perfume, records, drawings, and letters, as well as learning of Charles’ hardships and how poorly he is dealing with the situation. These little touches perfectly match the family’s grief and give you a real look into the lives of these characters, giving the game an in-depth feeling.

The story itself takes place on a Saturday morning with an excited Chris beginning his day by having Captain Spirit save his lego men from the dangers of an alien planet. Captain Spirit is the superhero that has spawned from the imagination of Chris and is who he must become in order to complete his list of “awesome things to do”. Completing this list takes Chris all around the house taking you back to your childhood days of finding entertainment in the simplest of things. After finding household items to make his superhero costume, Captain Spirit must take on tasks such as finding hidden treasure, assembling his superhero team, tracking down his nemesis Mantroid, and defeating “the water eater”, commonly known as turning on the water heater.

In typical Life is Strange fashion, in order to move the story forward you must explore and interact with the environment around you. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit can easily be completed within an hour if you simply ignore all the optional interaction opportunities, but by digging into the lives of Chris and his father you can easily get the full 2 hour plus experience where everything has a purpose and offers plenty of replay value.

When Captain Spirit was revealed at E3, we were told that it would serve as a look into the upcoming game in the Life Is Strange series. It contains lots of clues as to what the new Life Is Strange story will potentially be as well as how Chris’ story fits into that. There is of course Easter eggs to the previous games that will please many fans.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit shows the troubled childhood of a 10-year-old that tackles tough issues that some kids are unfortunately going though. The game stays true to the Life Is Strange universe which encourages exploration that makes each play through unique. We’ll meet Chris again in Life Is Strange 2 and whilst it isn’t clear what Dontnod Entertainment is building up to, it will no doubt bring everything together and answer all questions surrounding the Life Is Strange mysteries.

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