Life is Strange: Before the Storm ditches the time powers for pure story, but remains as quietly affecting as ever
By David Houghton on 6/21/2017 (gamesradar.com )
There’s something fittingly familiar and jarring about going back to the world of Life is Strange for its upcoming prequel, Before the Storm. The iconography is immediately familiar – the leaves, mountains, and slightly worn, small-town Oregon aesthetic make for an instantly comfortable return to the series – but being set three years earlier than the original game, with a Max-free Chloe as the lead character, and any hint of magical powers eschewed in favour of pure storytelling, it’s a game that maintains a familiar look while feeling decidedly unknown.
It’s fitting, of course, because that clash between the familiar and the unsettling is the core of Life is Strange, such is the troubled, disconnected nature of its adolescent protagonists, struggling to find a place in the picturesque environs that had previously been home. It’s also fitting that we have a new lead in Chloe, just as we have a new developer in Deck Nine Games. With new voices leading proceedings, and different conceits driving the plot and character motivations – in this case the recent death of Chloe’s dad – this is a game with its roots very much planted in the values and concerns of what has gone before (or rather, what is yet to happen), but which feels freer to be its own tale than is usually the case for prequels.