Life Is Strange: Before the Storm E3 demo has us weeping for Chloe

Life Is Strange: Before the Storm
Square Enix revealed a prequel to Life Is Strange during E3 2017. Life Is Strange: Before the Storm is a 3-part standalone game that takes place three years before the events of the first game. It follows the rebellious Chloe as she navigates the small town of Arcadia Bay while meeting with Rachel for the first time.

Life Is Strange is a game that is near and dear to a lot of fans, including a few here at Nerd Reactor. Fans have fallen for characters like Chloe and Max. There are the typical teenage angst and high school drama, but the game adds a twist with manipulating time. Somehow Max is able to rewind time and change her actions. Did she say something to piss off a fellow classmate? Easy, just go back in time and change her answer. The game gets darker as the episodes go on, and characters that players care about have to face tough decisions and sad events.

With time travel being a major element in the first game, don’t expect it to return in Life Is Strange: Before the Storm. Therefore, it will focus on Chloe’s life and her relationship with Rachel. Dontnod Entertainment, the developer for the first game, is busy with Vampyr and the second season of Life Is Strange. As a result, Deck Nine is taking the reigns.

During E3 2017, I had the chance to check out a hands-off demo of Life Is Strange: Before the Storm at the Square Enix booth. Fans will feel right at home with controlling a familiar character, Chloe. However, Ashly Burch wasn’t able to reprise her role due to the voice actor union strike. But after experiencing the demo, I was able to forget about that and engage myself in the story. (There are those who will notice the difference though.)

The demo starts with players controlling Chloe at a local rock concert. They can interact with objects and people, often times allowing her to make the usual snarky and sarcastic comments that she’s known for. One of the first characters that she meets is a familiar character, drug dealer Frank Bowers. In this game, he is less irritable and more helpful. (You can thank Rachel for that.)

As Chloe tries to get closer to the main stage, two jerks start to harass her. We had the chance to vote for a response, either backing off or escalating the confrontation. I yelled out to the developers to escalate the situation. That didn’t work out too well in Chloe’s favor since she is now a target of physical attack. Luckily, Rachel makes her introduction and helps Chloe out of the circumstance. Together they run off, with Bowers stopping the two bullies from harming the two girls.

The demo then jumps to Chloe getting to spend some time and learning more about Rachel. It’s a sweet moment as the two form a stronger friendship.

One of the key settings shown is the American Rust Junkyard. And fans will recognize it as a place where Chloe and Rachel spent a lot of time together. Fans may be surprised to hear that Rachel initially isn’t a fan of the junkyard. (The thought of Rachel and the junkyard, however, is making me sad.) Their newfound relationship is put to the test when Chloe reads Rachel wrong, causing the latter to be very upset. This then led to players having an option of trying to reason with Rachel. We opted for Chloe to open up about her feelings, but Rachel left anyway. It is a sad moment and reminds me of why the Life Is Strange games are so compelling and emotional.

One of the Nerd Reactor team members was disappointed about the lack of time travel. I don’t blame him since the first game’s time travel mechanic is really mindblowing. I, however, wouldn’t want Chloe’s prequel story to include time travel since it wouldn’t make sense for the plot. And if you’re okay with that, then you’re in for a treat. The demo is definitely one of the highlights at E3 2017. These are definitely a taste of things to come with relatable characters and a story that looks to be emotional.

Life Is Strange: Before the Storm will be available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on August 31, 2017.

Check out our E3 2017 coverage here.

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John 'Spartan' Nguyen
John 'Spartan' Nguyen 9008 posts

Assassin, scoundrel, editor-in-chief.