Life Is Strange: Before the Storm
Release Date: August 31, 2017
Developer: Deck Nine
Platforms: (PS4 [reviewed], Windows, Xbox One)
Price: $6 per episode or $17 for the whole season.
Life is Strange was released in 2015 and was met with fantastic response. Before the Storm is a prequel and stars the angsty teen Chloe Price. The characters and story should grab most gamers attention. The bigger question is will gamers enjoy this as much as the first game in the series?
I had a passing interest in the first game Life is Strange when it was free as part of PS Plus, but so far I haven’t gotten around to playing it. There is nothing wrong with starting with the prequel. Gamers are introduced to Chloe Price, whom we quickly learn is friends with Max from the original Life is Strange. Players quickly learn a few things important things about Chloe. She doesn't like where she lives, hates school, enjoys punk music, has a rocky relationship with her mom, and doesn't have much in the way of friends. She is also very sarcastic and tends to ignore most people representing authority. All of this plays into shaping the game and players’ interactions with the world.
Gamers are plunged right into the thick of Chloe’s actions. In the first few minutes the game sets up players trying to get Chloe into a rock show and dealing with a few people that may have consequences in the game later. This element felt familiar as Telltale games likes to do this in their adventure games. The idea that choices players make carry over to other parts of the game whether these decisions are good or bad. Chloe’s dialogue options are never dull and serve to flesh out her character. She can interact with objects in the environment mostly to observe them with the occasional interaction which moves the story along.
The most interesting element of the game is back talking. This allows players to proceed through certain areas by dealing with less than agreeable NPCs. Chloe wears her opponents down with snarky comebacks. These comebacks are on a timer and there are usually a few different ways to get results.
The dialogue and character interactions were great. I also thought the music suited the game well. The controls were fine, Chloe is easy to maneuver. I would recommend taking the time to explore every little bit. But playing as a teenager and dealing with the dialogue can be a little frustrating. Gamers will soon discover Chloe really doesn't like a lot of things or people but this can grow old.
I wish I had played the first game before tackling this one. I am intrigued so far and I want to see what the next two episodes bring. I can recommend this game to anyone looking for a modern adventure game or wanting to play something a little different.
Thanks to the publisher for letting us review it
Different take on an adventure game
Soundtrack is great
Character are complex and intriguing
Stars teenagers who have angst
Game has a slower pace