Developer: Deck Nine
Release Date: 08/31/2017
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Life is Strange is one of my favorite games of all time, and one of my top adventure games. The atmosphere, music, characters, writing, and story all made me feel nostalgic to be a rebellious teenager again and it seriously sparked my imagination long after I finished playing it. Before the Storm pulls us back to Arcadia Bay as Chloe Price and helps us see who Chloe really was before the events of the first game.
We also get to see who Rachel Amber really was to Chloe as this was a huge mystery in the first game that wasn’t fully explored. Rachel helped shape who Chloe was in the first game and she had a huge impact in her life, albeit a short-lived one. We also get to see the forming of the people around Chloe in the first game such as her parents and some schoolmates. Before the Storm still captures that teenage nostalgia of being free and not having to worry about the stresses of adult life such as bills, cars, a job, and food. All we had to worry about was our feelings and friendships and it is probably the most cherished part of our lives.
What the game fails to capture, however, is the great pace and actual gameplay of the first game. Before the Storm is very slow to start and to pick up and was almost boring for the first hour, and without the gameplay quirks of the first game, all you have is an adventure game with very little decisions to make. Most of BtS is just watching events unfold and clicking on objects. So gameplay takes a backseat and the story kind of did too. The characters are still as strong as ever, but there’s just not much to build here as Chloe’s life before the first game was fairly generic and not much different from most teen’s troubles.
Each episode did tend to leave a cliffhanger somehow and I wanted to know what was going to happen next, but there was a lot of filler content and most of the actual events that involve the first game are far and few between. If you never played the first game this would actually be quite a boring and generic adventure game with no meaning. I could have easily settled as this game just being a one hour animated movie to fill us in on Chloe’s earlier years.
At least the visuals were slightly upgraded with some better lighting, but overall it’s a seriously dated game that all adventure games have seemingly been doing. I can only recommend this game to anyone who finished the first game but don’t expect a tear-jerking and emotional roller coaster like it provided. You’ll sit through a few heartfelt moments, some laughs, and that’s about it.