A few weeks after the reveal that there was a Life is Strange 2 in the works, that wouldn’t center around Max for understandable reasons, Life is Strange: Before the Strom was revealed at E3. To tell you the truth it was the highlight of my E3 and as soon as I was able to pre-order it I did so. I eagerly awaited the release of this game so much that I was totally into the whole countdown thing and then when I was finally able to play it, I played through the whole first episode without stopping.
In episode one, and throughout the whole three episodes, you’ll get to play as Chloe Price. Everyone who played Life is Strange already knows Chloe and knows what she’s been through, but this will take place three years before the arrival of Max. After not only losing her father, but also her best friend, she’s having trouble coping as a teenager and goes from being that normal teenager to one of the most angsty and rebellious teenagers around the town of Arcadia Bay. She’ll disobey her mother, hate her mother’s new boyfriend David, get into as much trouble as possible in school, and most importantly meet Rachel Amber. Episode one sets all of this up for the rest of the season. It shows how Chloe is making the transition into the person that we see her as in Life is Strange, minus the blue hair. While you don’t have the power to rewind time, I’m pretty sure your whit and sarcasm that can be used throughout the game will come back and bite you in the ass.
I really enjoyed this episode, I had one minor problem that I’ll address later, because it was nice and familiar to go back to a place before there was this huge storm threating it and there was a girl there who was able to rewind time. What was everything like before the arrival of Max and what was Chloe like before seeing her best friend again? This was all a very interesting dynamic to see in this first episode and I enjoyed the first real meeting between Chloe and Rachel Amber. This episode basically served as an introduction and I was completely fine with that because I liked exploring Chloe’s home life and interacting with familiar characters like Joyce and David while also exploring her school life and interacting with more familiar characters like Nathan Prescott and Victoria Chase. It was an interesting dynamic to see if they were the same people three years before the first game. Even though this episode was super long, I never found myself bored and was actually disappointed when it ended because I could have kept playing.
The Minor Problem I Mentioned The one and only problem I had with this game, which is pretty awesome, isn’t the fact that the same voice actress doesn’t play Chloe. I tried not to get involved with the whole voice actor strike drama, but the fact that I felt like I had to play Chloe a certain way. Chloe isn’t a blank slate like Max was. You could play Max to be any way you want her to be, but Chloe is different. She’s an already developed character and although you were given choices, I felt like I had to make what would be considered the wrong choices because I felt like that’s what made Chloe into what we see in Life is Strange. Make Sense? Anyway, if anyone else had this same problem, let me know in the comments section.
If you’ve played Life is Strange, then the playability for this game is basically the same. You’ll make your way through different scenarios and basically make decisions that will eventually come back and effect the episodes later on in the game. There were a few problems with the looking around portion of the game and trying to focus on an object or a person to either look at them or interact, but that was pretty minor. Other than that the game played bug and glitch free.
The graphics for this game were pretty simple and mimicked the graphics for the first game. They were really nothing to write home about and were just there. They didn’t feel special in anyway, but the main point is that they fit the game and the feel of the game so they worked.
Finish this game and graffiti your way through town in order to get the first 11 trophies for this game. By the end of the game if you do this for every single episode you’ll be able to get yourself a new Life is Strange platinum trophy. The trophies really aren’t hard to get and if you set out and explore you should be able to get all of them, I personally missed three, but if you don’t’ get all of them you can easily go back in collectible mode to clean up.
There is no multiplayer for this game, or even crowd play, which is all good to me. For a moment though, I did wonder about is this game would have multiplayer. What if someone else was controlling Rachel Amber. It would change the game completely and would be an interesting dynamic, but that being said it’s not like I would want to see that feature, just something that popped into my brain.
Overall I give this epiosde a 4.5 out of 5.
+ Great introduction into Chloe three years before the arrival of Max.
+ An inside look into what Chloe and Rachel Amber’s first meeting was like and the relationship between the two girls that evolve from there.
+ As always a strong shout out to the soundtrack for this episode which was just amazing as the original Life is Strange soundtrack.
What’s Not So Great:
– A few missteps when it came to focusing on an object and trying to interact with it.
– Since Chloe is an already developed character, if felt like she had to be played a certain way and wasn’t a blank slate.
Overall I really enjoyed this episode and am looking forward to the episodes to come especially the farewell episode because of course I had to get the deluxe edition. I would say that so far, if you’re a fan of Life is Strange that you’ll want to play this game if only to get one more chance to see and actually play as Chloe before Life is Strange 2 comes out. I’m not too sure about the release schedule for this game so if you’re good with waiting and seeing when the next episode comes out go ahead and pick this game up now and playthrough the first episode because you won’t regret it. If you’re the type that wants to play all of the game when it’s all released then you’ll want to wait until everything is released.
SPOILERS! Below are my choices from the first episode.