For starters, “Rules” is a much more low-key entry in comparison to “Roads”. This is smart in the long run; a story where the two brothers, Sean and Daniel, battle one problem after another on the road might get tiring after a while. With this in mind, Life is Strange 2: Episode 2 – Rules allows some time to process the events of the first episode before getting into the new stuff.
The adventure picks up a few weeks after we last saw Daniel and Sean in the motel, as the two have settled into an abandoned cabin to escape the treacherous winter conditions. They aren’t exactly living the highest quality of life eating ravioli from a can and sleeping in a rundown, drafty hut, but they have what they need. That is, until another tragedy forces them to move on yet again.
This takes players to the location that they will spend the majority of this edition of Life is Strange 2. As early spoilers indicated, Captain Spirit does indeed make his return here, so fans who played that free one-off from last summer will be happy to see their time investment rewarded here.
Without spoiling what brings the boys to this residential street, they do find themselves in a more comfortable and safe atmosphere for most of “Rules”. But, of course, there are many complications along the way. First off, their relationship with their would-be saviors is a bit strained, due to issues from their past. Second, the rules imparted by Sean over his younger brother Daniel, and from their new caretakers onto both boys, cause friction as Life is Strange 2 trundles along the tracks.
Trains, rules, suspicion, rebellion, and prejudice all emerge as themes during “Rules”. As the episode carries on through its veneer of domestic bliss, it becomes clear that Sean and Daniel will not be able to stay in their safe haven for long. After all, it would be a pretty boring game if they did.
With that in mind, the inevitable plot developments which carry them off on their way are not only predictable, but even obvious depending on how thoroughly you interact with a certain busker at the tree market. Either way, with the promotional material available, most of it showing Sean and Daniel walking from left to right, it’s doubtful anyone would expect the boys of Life is Strange 2 to settle down in only the second episode.
So yes, as Sean and Daniel Diaz follow the roads and rails to their destiny, whether that be in Mexico or somewhere else entirely, Life is Strange 2: Episode 2 — Rules ends much as it began: with the boys on the run.
While it may lack the narrative pizzazz and the flashy new features that dazzled players of “Roads”, “Rules” moves things along at a brisk pace, never dragging its feet too much along the way. Few players are likely to remember this as the best part of this new journey. However, like every winter, it has enough warm memories to make the trek worth your while.