Life is strange episode 4: Dark room continues where episode 3 left off, in an alternate timeline where chloe’s father is still alive and the consequences on reality that have occurred as a result of this single change.
Things in the new timeline are very different, effecting not only those around us but also max herself with her now being part of the vortex club and close friends with both nathan prescott and victoria chase. Although the game sends alternate texts on max’s phone (contradicting the fact that things held in max’s possession during time travel do not alter) we never get to explore what we could find out in our newly altered position instead spending the entire day with chloe and her unfortunate situation resulting from a car crash she never had when her father died in a car accident himself originally. This whole situation is creating heavy financial burden on her parents and a situation she wishes to leave in this timeline. A problem I had here, other than being forced to make a hefty decision which would have no consequence on our main timeline was the fact that after you have made the decision to either end her life or not you have such a long wait before you’re able to continue possibly forcing you to alter your decision feeling like the game pushed you one way or another, this has been fixed so the wait isn’t so ridiculously long now but at the time caused problems as I wanted a different decision to I ended up taking.
The rest of the episode revolves around obtaining evidence and finally chasing down whoever is responsible for rachel amber’s disappearance with far more vigor than has ever been placed into investigating before, which is unusual considering the timeline for the natural disaster being mere days away all effort goes into this rather than finding out what will cause the natural disasters being given via premonitions by max. Whether you’ve saved kate or not has little effect at this point in time, with her simply providing a text location for nathan’s room which you could find naturally and a minor visit where she appears happy and well now things have passed on a little.
Around the story you find a lot of clues which all seem heavily forced towards pointing at the prescott’s regardless of what evidence you’ve uncovered from previous episodes, what you’ve personally noticed, and who you blamed to the principal all have little effect when it comes to deciphering the information you gather. Although there are hints towards other people in all of the evidence factors you are forced to choose those which implicate nathan in order to progress, where I would have chased jefferson based on how he pushed kate onto the roof with his conversation just prior, and the dodgy phone-call he received just afterwards with a third party which wasn’t nathan who was in class talking to victoria at the time, and the fact that all of the facts we had gathered pointed to tw1np3aks car rather than nathan’s sex offender car that although it looks the same was not the car responsible with some noticeable differences.
Of course I’m not stating nathan had no involvement as he was being initiated into the ways by jefforson, but there are also severe disconsistencies with the fact that chloe woke up in nathan’s room after her attack and not in the dark room where evidently kate and rachel were taken, and how the farm bunker has nathan driving there but also how the paperwork scattered everywhere has bills from the prescotts but also letters to the prescotts in a contradicting manner scattered everywhere carelessly as though planted for evidence.
Another major inconsistency and problem is that in the photo with nathan and rachel either both are dead, or unconscious from drugs and it is not questioned who would be taking the photo so perfectly staged and arranged, yet after this nathan is seen in a photo burying her dead body, again by a third party. Nathan has disappeared by this point, likely after the confrontation with warren running to jefferson in a rage demanding something be done and possibly being taken care of or locked up in the dark room at the very least, yet we continue to receive text messages at least possibly from jefforson using his phone, but still making the timeline obscurities unusual.
On to the overarching factor of the coming apocalypse and how we awoke on the path to the lighthouse in the very first episode, previously it has been noted that this could all be part of a dream state while unconscious in the tornado itself but with the ending of this episode getting drugged by jefferson, far from being a first aider calling for max to “stay with me” while in the rewind it could actually be that the entire time we have been locked in the basement or unconscious on the path to the lighthouse dumped by jefferson after being used and abused. So there are alternatives for what is possibly going on and how we will see the ending pan out, but still fits the theme of reliving the events up to this moment in a way max’s brain can comprehend, inventing the time travel ability to explain being in the past up to this traumatic event rather than simply daydreaming the entire thing as we regain consciousness.
I look forward to seeing how episode 5 polarized turns out, and whether or not we will retain our rewind time travel abilities or if these will be gone, explained as being under the influence of drugs as opposed to the entire thing being made up in our heads, and whether everything we’ve done to this point truly has an influence as although some factors changed overall the whole point of trying to have things have a real meaning seems to have been missed overall. And will we ever find this missing laptop with cat pictures?
Get life is strange now and prepare for the finale and the end of the world