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The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit

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The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit.jpg
Developer(s)Dontnod Entertainment
Publisher(s)Square Enix
Director(s)
  • Raoul Barbet
  • Michel Koch
Producer(s)Luc Baghadoust
Designer(s)Kevin Poupard
Programmer(s)Nicolas Sérouart
Artist(s)Michel Koch
Writer(s)
  • Christian Divine
  • Jean-Luc Cano
EngineUnreal Engine 4
Platform(s)
Release
  • NA/EU: 25 June 2018
  • AU: 26 June 2018
Genre(s)Graphic adventure
Mode(s)Single-player

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a free graphic adventure game developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Square Enix. It was released on 25 June 2018 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One as a demo for the upcoming Life Is Strange 2. The plot follows Chris Eriksen, a young boy who creates the superhero alter ego Captain Spirit to deal with the loss of his mother. The game received generally favourable reviews, praising the narrative, main character, and script, but criticising the game mechanics and aspects of the writing.

Gameplay[edit]

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a graphic adventure set in the same universe as the Life Is Strange series, three years after the events of the original. The player assumes the role of a young boy named Chris Eriksen.[1][2][3][4] It takes place in Beaver Creek, Oregon, where Chris lives with his father, Charles, who is struggling with the death of Chris' mother.[2][5] One Saturday morning, Chris creates the superhero alter ego Captain Spirit and projects his imagination onto reality.[4] His costume is customisable, while the environment can be interacted with and contains quests like treasure hunting and exploring an imagined planet.[2] Dialogue trees are used to respond to non-player characters.[5] The choices that the player makes in The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit will have consequences in Life Is Strange 2,[6] in which Chris also makes an appearance.[7]

Development and release[edit]

According to developer Dontnod Entertainment, the game fulfilled their wish to expand the Life Is Strange universe, which arose during the production of Life Is Strange 2,[1] for which it serves as a demo.[8][9] Co-directors Raoul Barbet and Michel Koch collaborated with writers Christian Divine and Jean-Luc Cano to create the story and characters.[2][10] They researched the location with reference to what the protagonist's father could bear the expense of, including the nature of his work.[10] Dontnod used the game to experiment with mechanics from Life Is Strange;[11] dialogue trees were improved to allow responses while moving.[5] Using the Unreal Engine 4,[6] Dontnod developed a new facial and physics animation system[12] and designed original assets.[11] It was influenced by the Japanese anime series Sailor Moon and Saint Seiya, according to Barbet.[13] Sufjan Stevens' "Death with Dignity" was featured to represent the theme of loss.[2] The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit was revealed at Microsoft's Electronic Entertainment Expo press conference on 10 June 2018. It was initially announced to be released for free on 26 June,[1][3][14] but later stated to release earlier; on 25 June in North America and Europe, and in Australia the following day.[15]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(PC) 80/100[16]
(PS4) 76/100[17]
(XONE) 77/100[18]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid7/10[19]
Game Informer8.5/10[20]
Game Revolution3/5 stars[21]
GameSpot8/10[22]
GamesRadar+4.5/5 stars[23]
IGN7/10[24]
VideoGamer.com6/10[25]

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit received generally favourable reviews, according to Metacritic.[16][17][18] Destructoid's Brett Makedonski was most struck by the game's narrative, which also left him wanting more.[19] Joe Juba of Game Informer took the same view and appreciated the parable between Chris' imagination and its real life counterpart. Its explicit connections to Life Is Strange 2 held excitement for him as well.[20] Michael Leri, writing for Game Revolution, enjoyed playing as Captain Spirit, noting that the character's function to contrast the mundane "livens up interactions".[21] James O'Connor at GameSpot thought that Chris succeeded "as a sympathetic figure", while also praising the cutscenes for being visually inventive. He saw the script as "tight" and called the storytelling "smart".[22] GamesRadar+'s Andy Hartup commended that it is free-to-play, agreed with O'Connor about the script's succinctness, and said it contained charm and "genuine human drama".[23] Writing for IGN, Louisa Blatt found the father-son dynamic to be emotionally satisfying, never once growing bored with the story. She also declared the setting "the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen in a Life is Strange game".[24] Adam Cook of VideoGamer.com wrote in his verdict, "As a teaser for Life is Strange 2, Captain Spirit does its job", citing its length as what it did well.[25]

Conversely, Makedonski disliked that it ended on a "gratuitous" cliffhanger.[19] Juba thought the weakest segments were the ones using traditional adventure game mechanics.[20] Leri disparaged the writing for its "extreme" tonal shifts and "mediocre" dialogue.[21] O'Connor criticised the characters for being clichéd.[22] Hartup accused the game of being too short.[23] Blatt was usually annoyed with the primary mechanic and wrote that the quests fell short of challenging her.[24] Cook questioned the subtlety of the writing.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Farokhmanesh, Megan (10 June 2018). "New Life is Strange game, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, coming June 26th". The Verge. Archived from the original on 10 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Wilson, Aoife (10 June 2018). "25 minutes with Life is Strange 2's brilliantly unexpected free prequel". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b Kuchera, Ben (10 June 2018). "The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a '100 percent free' game in the Life is Strange universe". Polygon. Archived from the original on 10 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b Dontnod Entertainment (25 June 2018). The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One. Square Enix.
  5. ^ a b c Futter, Michael (13 June 2018). "'The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit' Sets Stage for 'Life is Strange 2'". Variety. Archived from the original on 14 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b Stevens, Colin (11 June 2018). "Choices Made in Captain Spirit Will Affect Life Is Strange 2". IGN. Archived from the original on 11 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Life Is Strange 2 starts this September – will be five episodes long". Metro. 22 June 2018. Archived from the original on 30 June 2018.
  8. ^ Warr, Philippa (28 June 2018). "The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a hit and miss teaser for Life is Strange 2". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 4 July 2018.
  9. ^ "The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit". PlayStation. Archived from the original on 4 July 2018.
  10. ^ a b "The Awesome Adventures Of Captain Spirit preview and interview – Life is Strange too". Metro. 19 June 2018. Archived from the original on 23 June 2018.
  11. ^ a b Francis, Bryant (14 June 2018). "How Captain Spirit is helping Dontnod prep for Life is Strange 2". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018.
  12. ^ Vincent, Brittany (14 June 2018). "E3 2018: Dontnod Entertainment's Michel Koch Talks The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit". Shacknews. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018.
  13. ^ Frank, Allegra (19 June 2018). "Life Is Strange spinoff draws inspiration from a classic anime". Polygon. Archived from the original on 19 June 2018.
  14. ^ Summers, Nick (10 June 2018). "'Life is Strange' returns with 'The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit'". Engadget. Archived from the original on 10 June 2018.
  15. ^ Dale, Laura Kate (22 June 2018). "The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is Releasing a Day Early". Kotaku UK. Archived from the original on 30 June 2018.
  16. ^ a b "The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit Critic Reviews for PC". Metacritic.
  17. ^ a b "The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit Critic Reviews for PlayStation 4". Metacritic.
  18. ^ a b "The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit Critic Reviews for Xbox One". Metacritic.
  19. ^ a b c Makedonski, Brett (25 June 2018). "Review: The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit". Destructoid. Archived from the original on 30 June 2018.
  20. ^ a b c Juba, Joe (25 June 2018). "The Awesome Adventures Of Captain Spirit". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 25 June 2018.
  21. ^ a b c Leri, Michael (25 June 2018). "The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit Review – More Like "Relatively Decent Adventures"". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on 30 June 2018.
  22. ^ a b c O'Connor, James (25 June 2018). "Life keeps getting stranger". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 30 June 2018.
  23. ^ a b c Hartup, Andy (25 June 2018). "The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit review: "Completely free to download, and a wonderful couple of hours of gaming"". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on 30 June 2018.
  24. ^ a b c Blatt, Louisa (26 June 2018). "The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 30 June 2018.
  25. ^ a b c Cook, Adam (25 June 2018). "The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit review". VideoGamer.com. Archived from the original on 30 June 2018.