Preview: Life is Strange - Before the Storm
Recently, Dontnod Entertainment announced they are currently working on a sequel to Life is Strange. At E3 2017, fans hoped to catch a glimpse at what Life is Strange 2 is about, and whether or not the game introduces new protagonists. However, what fans received was a look at a different title altogether, Life is Strange: Before the Storm.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm is not the sequel announced by Dontnod Entertainment. Instead, it’s a three-part standalone prequel developed by Deck Nine and published by Square Enix. In the game, you play as 16-year-old Chloe Price, the rebellious best friend of Max Caulfield from the first Life is Strange title.
Aside from viewing things from a new perspective, you also get to learn more about Rachel Amber and her relationship with Chloe prior to the events of Life is Strange. Another large deviation comes in the form of the voice actress who portrays Chloe.
Life is Strange 2: Before the Storm will not feature Chloe’s original voice actress, Ashly Burch. The reason for this stems from Burch’s participation in the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, which began back in October of last year. The strike aims to improve how voice actors are treated within the industry, and is currently the longest strike in the history of the Screen Actors Guild.
In terms of gameplay, it likely won’t come as a surprise that the time travel mechanic is excluded from Life is Strange: Before the Storm. After all, that was always a power that felt unique to Max Caulfield. While the varying outcomes feature remains similar thanks to the continued use of the butterfly effect, the way in which you create these outcomes has shifted to “backtalk” and general decision making.
Using backtalk, you’ll be able to use Chloe’s barbed tongue to either improve a situation, or stir up trouble. Meanwhile, you can alter future events through the choices you make. In the gameplay demo shown at E3 2017, we were able to see a few examples of this. Notably, the option to either steal money from a t-shirt vendor, or leave it behind.
In the demo video, we see the outcome of Chloe’s option to steal the money, as she’s able to repay Frank during their conversation later on in the video. Life is Strange: Before the Storm will have multiple different endings based on how you play the game.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm is set to release on August 31st. The base game is priced at $16.99 and is currently available for pre-order. A Deluxe Edition is also being offered at $24.99, and comes with a bonus episode entitled “Farewell.”
In this episode, players will be able to take on the role of Max Caulfield for “one last time.” This seems to indicate that Life is Strange 2 won’t focus on Max and Chloe, but will instead introduce brand new characters into the mix.
Despite the hints as to what Life is Strange might entail, all we can do right now is speculate. We’re certainly hoping the sequel includes Max and Chloe in some form, but we're keeping our minds open should Dontnod Entertainment take things in a different direction.
What do you think of Life is Strange: Before the Storm? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.