The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit - PC Review



Anything in the Life is Strange franchise has me hooked immediately. And the moment The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit launched, I began my journey. Right off the bat, I had a pretty good idea where this story would go...

Chris, or Captain Spirit, is a young boy who lives with his father – a man who drinks a lot. If that doesn't impress an image of where this story could lead, then I don't know what to say.

Story

The story is short. I finished it in a couple of hours.

Players are in the shoes of ten year old Chris, who dresses up as Captain Spirit to take out his mortal enemies.

This preview reminded me of the days when I was young. I would be daydreaming about awesome adventures similar to Chris, and I think that is how everyone must have felt. Anyways, it brought back fond memories of defeating bad guys at “Black Lotus command” and chasing after bad guys in hot wheel cars. When I looked at all the paraphernalia, it reminded me of childhood innocence. Chris reminded me of when life was simpler.


We learn that Charles, Chris' father, is an alcoholic. He shows signs of bullying and an almost abusive nature – clearly because of issues he's never dealt with. For example, there is evidence of being fired from his job, little food in the house, and the place felt hollow.

As the preview progresses, Charles becomes aggressive but quickly apologizes to his son for his outburst. He is highly irritable, as evidenced by the doorbell and the phone ringing. He doesn't want people nosing around the family's business. The father and son don't spend time together in any real way. It tells the dark tale of someone who struggles with depression and perhaps regret, and it's all viewed through a ten year old boys' eyes.

If that didn't set players on an interesting course, I was terrified of a brochure. It has a familiar name on the front. And it was at that moment that I was upset with the games' tie into its predecessor. (You may know what I'm talking about)

Anyways, the story relies on Chris completing his different missions which include: defeating the water beast, battling snowmancer, and obtaining a high score on the hawtdog man game. (A lovely tip of the hat to the other games.) In order to finish the episode, a player doesn't have to complete these awesome things, they just have to wake Charles up. That is where the story essentially ends, albeit with an unexpected twist.

Graphics and Visuals

In the Life is Strange franchise, Captain Spirit has the same graphics style and visuals as the rest. While this story is an introduction to Life is Strange 2, the overall look reminds players of the uniquely realistic animated style. Everything in the game helps to shape the overall story and creates enough appeal to buy the full episode in September.

Dontnod's artistic team took care to include character development and game themes through the use of objects found around the house.

What I mean is, players know that Charles is an avid sports fan. He does what he can to keep the family together, as indicated by various documents found in his room. We also know how much he is struggling and as a result, he lacks an emotional bond with Chris. Players also understand why Charles has become the person he is – regardless of the moral question it presents. However, much of the character and story indications come from common objects, not from the dialogue.


In terms of presenting game themes, Chris finds alcohol cans, letters addressed to the police, and a pink slip. We begin to understand why Charles has become this way when we find his wife's things. Yet Chris reflects innocently on the past, and about what his mother was like, with each object he finds. Clearly, Chris has adjusted differently to his new life and blissfully carries the naivete that children often do.

Graphically, there is one other thing that Captain Spirit introduces and that is Chris' 'superhero abilities'. What I mean is, in the base game, Max possessed the rewind time mechanic. In Before the Storm, Chloe had the 'talk back' power. In Captain Spirit, Chris uses imaginary superpowers.

When Captain Spirit takes on the bad guys, the players see objects the way he does. When the conflicts are over, the players see the real world again. In my opinion, one of the most creative uses of this was when I defeated the water monster. At first, I had no idea what happened, but when the imaginary beast faded, I found that the conflict was just a defective water heater. This is how most of Captain Spirit moves the narrative forward, by doing it with visual representations.

Overall, the graphics really tell the story. Players piece together the overarching issues without the need to have an info dump session. And as such, players get a glimpse into the new world of Life is Strange 2.

Final Thoughts

Because we are looking through the mind of a child, not only am I intrigued about where this story will take us, but I am equally fearful. I can only hope that Life is Strange 2 will deal with the issues presented in a mature fashion. Alcoholism and abuse are themes that many people don't take lightly. Not only do we not want these issues widely accepted, we don't want people to look like complete monsters either. If these themes are not dealt with appropriately, then fans will be upset.


By the time I saw the ending cliffhanger of this preview, I wanted more. I wanted to explore options and I hoped that Charles would recover from his alcoholic tendencies. I legitimately felt bad that Chris was so oblivious to his dad. Not only did that give me hope for September, it also solidified how disappointed I was.

Captain Spirit's main focus was on a naive childhood viewpoint, not on a mature child. This game showcased how little resources Chris has at his disposal. It bothers me because children today see countless advertisements for help groups. Chris obviously knows something is wrong but decides not to do anything. And other than talking to the neighbor, there aren't any options to call for help that I expected. Maybe that's just the adult in me talking or maybe it's because there are two phones and a laptop available...

Anyways, the few dialogue options given will carry over into Life is Strange 2, but it's hard to say how they will affect the story. Despite the fact that Dontnod is walking a fine line, I'm very interested to see where the narrative team takes Chris' adventures – for better or worse.

I give The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit a seven out of ten. For a preview of what's to come, this is not a bad start – relatively speaking. I am sure that Life is Strange 2 will be as memorable as the others in this franchise, and I look forward to episode 1's launch on September 27th. It, like the first game, will have five episodes as revealed in this short trailer,




What do you think? Did Captain Spirit live up to your expectations? Let us know in the comments below!

Until next time.

Game Information

Platform:
PC
Developer(s):
DONTNOD Entertainment
Publisher(s):
Square Enix
Genre(s):
Adventure
Mode(s):
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
NA

Source:
Free on Steam




Article by Susan N.
Share on Google Plus

No comments :

Post a Comment