Life Is Strange: Before the Storm (2017 / 2018)
Life Is Strange: Before the Storm is a prequel to episodic graphic adventure video game Life is Strange which was released to critical acclaim three years earlier. This prequel focuses on two side characters from the original video game and takes place about three and a half years before the sinister events of Life Is Strange. It tells the story of Max's childhood friend Chloe who is acting tough, hanging around with shady people and listening to loud music in order to hide her loneliness, her lack of self-confidence and her pain regarding her father's death two years earlier. The broken teenager meets Rachel who seems to be quite the opposite: everybody seems to like her, she comes from an intact and wealthy family and she succeeds particularly well at school. Rachel however feels attracted to Chloe's craziness, honesty and spontaneity. The game revolves around the fact that appearances are not what it seems as Rachel's father has more than one sinister thing to hide from his daughter.
If you liked the dream-like atmosphere of the original game with its unique characters, intense storytelling and floating soundtrack, you will also like this sequel. It's particularly interesting to explore some characters from the first game further and to understand how they became the way they are. The two lead characters are intriguing teenage girls with bright and dark sides. As someone who grew up with perfect parents, succeeded well at school and appreciated most of his teenage years, I have always been intrigued by people who have experienced life differently. The characters in this game are authentic, deep and unique and all these elements will make you care about them and their fates.
There is only two minor reasons why I preferred the original game over the sequel. First of all, the original game has five episode while this one only has three. Secondly, the first game revolved around a truly sinister secret involving murder while this sequel is rather a family drama. On the other side, it was the right choice to tell a different story here to distinguish this game from the first one.
To keep it short, if you like authentic characters, dramatic storytelling and ominous atmosphere, you will like this game as well as the original Life Is Strange.
This game's limited edition includes some truly nice gimmicks such as a beautiful art book as well as the game's creative soundtrack on CD.
Challenge level: 7/10
Game flow: 7/10
Long-term fun factor: 8/10
Total score: 78 /100