Reviews - Updated on April 13, 2022

Fans of Life is Strange immediately dubbed Before the Storm the prequel that no one asked for. And their skepticism was quite understandable – a completely different studio was engaged in the development, the French from Dontnod had nothing to do with the project, and we know the ending very well. About what Chloe will become and what will happen to Rachel, we were told for five episodes two years ago.Life is Strange: Before the Storm обзор игры

Talking about Chloe’s future stepfather is not to her liking.

Homecoming

In the end, it turned out that the fears were completely unfounded. Although many expected a kind of “fan fiction” from Deck Nine with a stupid story sucked from the finger, the authors managed to surprise and offered a worthy plot that does not seem superfluous. It’s hard to say whether to play Before the Storm before or after the original, but it’s worth getting acquainted with it anyway.

The game takes place three years before the first Life is Strange. Chloe hasn’t dyed her hair blue yet, but she still prefers fun to studying, going to rock concerts, drinking beer, smoking, and arguing with her mother. After the death of her husband, she found herself a new boyfriend and is trying to improve his relationship with her daughter, but nothing works – Chloe is not at all interested in this man. And her best friend Max, as we know, never answered her letters. Life is no longer strange, as the title of the game says, but gray and dull.

Rachel saves the situation, with whom the heroine meets at the beginning of the passage. The most popular and beautiful girl in school suddenly pays attention to Chloe, takes a selfie with her and, not without pleasure, makes contact, which the other guys inevitably notice. Life has sparkled with completely new colors, and the writers do a great job conveying the transformation of lonely Chloe, who was dumped by her friend and who is looking for a way to forget about her problems in rebellion, into a happy teenager.

Ashly Burch did not voice Chloe – due to the actors’ strike, she was unable to give the heroine her voice again. But she wrote all the lines for the character, so there will be a lot of sarcastic jokes and sarcastic attacks towards ill-wishers. At the same time, if in the original Chloe annoyed you (yes, such people exist!), It is likely that here the attitude towards her will be completely different. Players will learn more interesting details about her past, and in general they will see her from the other side – not only ready to “light up” and have fun, but also able to mope and sometimes rejoice even in small things.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm обзор игры

The virtual operator sometimes gives out very nice shots.

And because of this, you understand that the decision to do a prequel was not such a stupid idea. The authors allow you to experience the most interesting episodes from Chloe’s life, and do it at the same high level of quality as Dontnod. Even the script this time isn’t chock-full of weird dialogue that made me a little uncomfortable in the original. Teenagers here most often speak the way children of their age communicate, and there is no feeling that adult guys were trying to come up with some kind of “teenager language” with an idiotic vocabulary.

Therefore, you really begin to believe in the “chemistry” that arises between Chloe and Rachel. And if we already know a lot about the first heroine, then the second one remains a mysterious person, who, judging by the finale, will surprise us with something more than once. In the original Life is Strange, we only saw her in photographs. And even after spending a few hours in Rachel’s company, it seems that all the surprises are just ahead.

Another vision

We can say that because of so much attention to the two central characters, the secondary characters have gone very far into the background. Headmaster, Nathan Prescott, Victoria Chase – they meet on the way, but disappear almost immediately. Given that there are only two episodes ahead (except for the bonus one), we are unlikely to see any of them again. Yes, this is not really necessary – other developers have their own approach, and they prefer to completely devote the plot to the relationship of girlfriends. While it works perfectly, so there is no reason to be indignant.Life is Strange: Before the Storm обзор игры

It almost turned out to chat, just a little more!

But some side entertainments still come across. For example, before approaching the school, you can chat with other guys and stumble upon a couple of interesting episodes. These are very easy to miss, but they turn out to be some of the best moments in all of Life is Strange. So be sure to talk to everyone, including the guard and the couple at the table – get a lot of positive emotions by taking part in a great mini-game.

There are mini-games as you progress – instead of rewinding time, which Max used every now and then, the main character of Before the Storm prefers to solve problems with impudence. At the very beginning, for example, she needs to go to the concert of her favorite rock band, but the security guard does not let her. She manages to earn entrance to the stage by talking – in response to the replica of the bouncer, she uses a phrase that will be either a caustic remark or a sarcastic joke. There are three answers to choose from, and time is very limited, but most often it is not difficult to guess the correct option – it either contains one of the words that the interlocutor mentioned a couple of seconds ago, or just sounds funny.

Some of these people turn out to be difficult opponents in verbal duels – if Chloe has to say the right phrases three times, then they only need to hear nonsense from her once to lose interest in the dialogue. In story conversations, this situation almost never occurs, so the player has a better chance of winning, but secondary chatter is very easy to fail. Some clues lie on the surface – you just need to study the objects placed on the location. And then the appropriate answers will be underlined, which will slightly simplify the task. But this trick occurs only two or three times in the entire passage.

Otherwise, Before the Storm differs little from the original. Still the same cozy town of Arcadia Bay, which you return with pleasure after a long break. The same large number of interactive objects, although many of them are only decoration and are only suitable for Chloe’s funny comments. And the same painful dilemmas that you sometimes think about for several minutes, then comparing your results with other users.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm обзор игры

Collectible objects here are graffiti, which also offer a choice when drawing.

***

They promise to release new episodes approximately every nine weeks, so I don’t want to overpraise Before the Storm in advance. The episode turned out beautiful and almost devoid of flaws, but we all remember the terrible ending of the original Life is Strange. Therefore, if the second and third episodes turn out to be just as high-quality and exciting, you can mentally replace “commendable” with a higher rating and expect a full-fledged continuation of the series from Dontnod. In the meantime, it remains only to discuss theories and conjectures with the community and hope that the Deck Nine team will not delay the development.

Pros: although the ending is known, it’s interesting to follow the story, and the next episodes can’t wait to go through; good jokes and nice dialogues; the “talking” mechanic is working well so far and fits the main character perfectly; excellently recreated atmosphere and likable characters; quality soundtrack.

Cons: a little stringy intro; secondary characters are not given as much attention as in the original.

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