The original Life is Strange was one of the surprise hits of 2015. Prior to the release of its first episode and its ten-minute demo, I had no interest in the game, and I doubt there was much from many other people. Yet the team at DONTNOD gifted us with an excellent episodic series, one that set a new standard for episodic video games that has yet to be matched by anyone else.
This time around, instead of playing Max Caulfield, we’re put in control of her best friend Chloe Price. The game’s set before Max’s return to Blackwell, and explores the relationship between Chloe and her friend Rachel Amber, whose name should ring a bell for anyone who played Life is Strange.
Before the Storm had a tough act to follow, and while it is an enjoyable experience, it doesn’t quite live up to the quality of Life is Strange.
I mentioned before that Before the Storm puts players in control of Chloe Price. While I do enjoy the character overall, I didn’t quite enjoy having to control her. Anyone who has played Life is Strange knows what Chloe is like, and what has happened to her. At times she can be very combative, and her interactions with others were generally negative experiences. This is the same with some character interactions in this game, and in some instances where I was hoping to elicit a sincere response, it felt like what I chose to say didn’t matter in the end.
I don’t think Deck Nine should have gone with a player like Chloe, whose character has long been established. Instead, I think it would’ve been a better, and much more interesting choice, if we had played as Rachel instead.
My problems with Chloe as the protagonist doesn’t necessarily mean the narrative was unenjoyable. It didn’t grab me as much as Life is Strange, but Before the Storm has an interesting story with a lot of twists and turns to keep players interested in what’s going to happen next.
Much like its predecessor, the game is rounded out with a great cast of supporting characters that are well written and established rather well, considering the shorter length of the prequel. As someone who thought of Warren as more of a creep in Life is Strange, I was surprised to see that somehow we got a character that was even worse (you’ll know him when you see him).
Fans of Life is Strange are bound to enjoy Before the Storm. I was lucky enough to grab this at a reduced price, as $38 AUD is far too expensive for the deluxe edition in my opinion. Nevertheless, whether you grab it on sale or consider the price worthwhile, Before the Storm provides an enjoyable experience that should tide people over until we get some news about the second season of Life is Strange.