Life is Strange: Before the Storm – Episode 3 – Hell is Empty Review (PS4)

Life is Strange: Before the Storm

I’ve been waiting for this episode for a while and I know it was released a while back, but I just recently got around to playing it because of well…REASONS! Anyway, I was pretty excited to get back into this game which has been kind of a conflict type game for me. I’ve enjoyed watching Chloe become the Chloe we all know and love in Life is Strange, but I’ve had my doubts about this Rachel Amber that she kind of worships. Anyway, this game comes to its conclusion in this episode and all is finally revealed.

Picking up right where episode 2 left off, episode 3 starts off with Rachel finding out that her mom is really not her mom. This woman she thought she seen her father cheating on with is her actual mom. Not to interrupt from the plot outline, but I want to add that I thought that this was going to be one of those stories where her dad wasn’t really her dad either. I thought maybe Frank was. Anyway, Rachel’s dad will tell the story of how he met Rachel’s mom but she wasn’t really “mom” material so he basically dumped her and went for his more conservative wife. The proper wife of a DA. This leads to Rachel having this breakdown and it’s basically up to Chloe to save the day. She’s tasked with finding Rachel’s mom which will get her and Rachel into a couple of life or death situations. You’ll also get one more episode to be a complete and utter douche to David as he moves in and basically starts his take over. All of this leads to a bitter sweet ending because if you played Life is Strange then you kind of know what happened to Rachel.

Major Kudos for the Music. I haven’t said it in my reviews for the previous episodes, but the music for this game is spot on and is just so fitting. Daughter did an amazing job with the soundtrack for this game and it’s really one of the highlights just like how the music from the previous game was such an amazing highlight to the game as well. It really sets the mood for the game and fits into the whole world perfectly. I can’t express how much this makes a difference not only in this episode, but throughout all three episodes.

I really enjoyed this episode. In the past two episodes, I felt like I had to play Chloe a certain way based on how she was represented in Life is Strange, but I threw all of those notions out the widow and played her how I wanted to play her. Turned out I enjoyed the episode a lot more and got a lot more out of it. I liked in this episode how Chloe finally got her first blue streak of hair before becoming the multi-colored hair girl that we all know and love in Life is Strange and she’s starting to become that character that we know. There are a lot of revelations in this episode and a lot of twists and turns and even though the episode was super long, it felt like I could have continued to play for at least a few more hours because I didn’t want it to end. By the end of the game, I’m still not really sure how to feel about Rachel Amber. This kind of hit home a little bit as I’m sure we’ve all dealt with a “Rachel” in our lives. She wears so many masks, but by the end of the game I still couldn’t tell if she was wearing one of those masks with Chloe of if that was the real Rachel Amber. I guess we’ll never really find out and you’ll have to come to your own judgement with that. I will say that I did enjoy the game’s ending which did this little fast forward type thing that ended with Chloe and Rachel being happy, but to the player it’s bittersweet because if you played Life is Strange you know of know that Chloe is headed for a major heart break.

That after the credits scene… I hate spoiling things for people in my reviews and I’m not going to do it here, but there is this scene after the credits that at first looks cute and innocent, but the last, I’m going to say, five seconds of that scene is so utterly disturbing that it just really hit this part of me. I don’t even know how to explain it. In all of my years of gaming I haven’t had this happen to me and it’s one of those things that will stick with me when I think of this game every single time. If you’ve played this game and you watched the game after the credits, let me know what you thought about that very final scene down in the comments section below.

The playability of this game was the same as it was throughout the whole game which was a little wonky. For a game where really all you have to do is walk around and look around, you would think that the motion would be a little more fluid but it really isn’t. Chloe just feels really clunky as you’re moving her around each level and at times it’s just awkward to play. While I didn’t have any problems with my main playthrough, I did have the game fully crash on me as I went back in collectible mode. Although I was happy it didn’t happen through my main playthrough, I was still kind of pissed that it happened through my collectible playthrough because it shouldn’t have happened.

For some reason I felt like the graphics for this episode improved. It thought this was a little weird because the graphics for the first two episodes were consistent, but this one was a little different. Everything seemed a little clearer and less cartoonish this time around and the graphics really worked for this episode. When the series continues, I really hope that they continue to improve the graphics along the way.

Finish this episode and tag your way through Arcadia Bay once more to get yourself 13 trophies. That’s 12 for playing this episode, tagging up the place, and playing the other episodes, and one platinum trophy for the game if you completed everything else in the other episodes. Most of the tagging is pretty cut and dry, but there are a few missable ones that if you aren’t observant enough, which I’m guilty of, or if you just don’t think sometimes, which I’m also guilty of, you’ll miss. At least with collectible mode it’ll take all of 10-15 minutes to go back and get them.

There’s absolutely no multiplayer for this game and it’s not needed so there are no complaints coming from this end. There also isn’t crowd play so you’ll have to make your own decisions which is just fine with me. Anyway, if you know me and are a frequent visitor to my blog you know my favorite way to game is single player which suits me just fine.

Overall I give this episode a 4.5 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ A nice yet bittersweet conclusion to the prequel of one of my all time favorite games.
+ A solid story line that wrapped mostly everything up nicely even though there might be some questions left hanging over for the player to continue to think about.
+ Some improved graphics that really brought the game to life as well as some amazing music that brought the story to life.

What’s Not So Great:
This episode was plagued with Chloe being extremely clunky with her movements and then there was the crash during collectible mode which didn’t help.
I just want to take one more opportunity to say how disturbing that final five seconds after the credits were and I really don’t think it helped the game all that much.

After playing all three episodes to completion I have to say that this was a pretty decent prequel to a really awesome game that I fell in love with from the first episode. I will say that I felt a little powerless playing because no matter what Chloe becomes the Chloe that you see in Life is Strange so while it was nice to be able to play her, it really didn’t impact what happens later on. Even if you play her as this super nice girl who just gets mixed in with the wrong crowd or person, try to have her get along with David, and do everything right, she still ends up where she is at the beginning of Life is Strange. It was a weird mix of enjoyable but also knowing that you can’t stop the train wreck that becomes her life. I’m really eager to see where the Farewell episode goes because I have some expectations for it, but I’m going to say that if you’re a Life is Strange fan then this is just a game that you have to play because it gives you this bittersweet back story on an iconic character. If you’re not a Life is Strange fan and have been debating if you should even play that game, I would say that this is a great jumping off platform before actually playing Life is Strange as you can go in with no expectations or preconceived notions about the characters.

SPOILERS! Below are my choices from the third episode.

Life is Strange: Before the StormLife is Strange: Before the Storm

TwitchTwitterYouTube

Advertisements

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s