Life is Strange: Before the Storm Xbox One X Review

Life is Strange: Before the Storm is an outstanding tale of a teenage girl finding hope in a world she believed had no more to give.

By Grayshadow, Posted 21 Dec 2017

I was never a fan of Chloe from Life is Strange but Before the Storm changed all that. My negative criticisms surrounding Chloe quickly dissolved after the first episode of Before the Storm as I witnessed this damaged girl find new life in the form of a new friend. Before the Storm takes place before the events of the original game, exploring the relationship between Chloe Price and the mysterious Rachel Amber who was a major figure in Life is Strange. Giving players not only context into the strength of their relationship but how a teenager's life can spiral out of control.

Life is Strange,Before the Storm,NoobFeed,Deck Nine,Square Enix,

Before the Storm doesn't feature any special time powers, instead Chloe is an ordinary girl with teenage problems. Her dad died years ago and her best friend Max moved away. Feeling abandoned Chloe has distanced herself from everyone and lashes out frequently. She eventually meets the popular Rachel Amber who changes Chloe's life, allowing her to open up once again.

Thus begins a journey that tackles themes of trust, betrayal, truth, and love. Rachel and Chloe's relationship grows and develops based on the player's actions. This includes other supporting characters, some new and others familiar. Those who played the original Life is Strange will gain more context into a lot of characters such as how Joyce's dealt with Chloe's growing issues and Nathan Prescott's demanding father. While the supporting cast does provide the story with more depth it's the relationship between Rachel and Chloe that take center stage.

The writers for Before the Storm capture the romance and relationship between Chloe and Rachel with strong writing, memorable moments, and great music. Seeing the 2 deal with each other's personal dilemmas but find comfort in the presence of one another demonstrate pure examples of teenage love. The 2 are fueled by emotional responses that usually overshadow any logic such as leaving without a plan and making up names for the people they hate. Thanks to fantastic animation and choreography these scenes come alive and amplify the already powerful narrative.  

Life is Strange,Before the Storm,NoobFeed,Deck Nine,Square Enix,

While the 2 take the time to discuss comedic things and graffiti walls the game does tackle a lot of tough issues. Without spoiling much Rachel stumble upon something that completely destroys her world. This leads to a series of tense conversations and moments that had me on the edge. Each episode provided another painful moment to uncover and challenge to overcome as Chloe went above and beyond to not only help Rachel but find out how far she was willing to go for her. Chloe also must deal with her own problems that begin to weigh her down, succumbing to periods of rage, uncertainty, and grief.

Like the previous game Before the Storm's gameplay focuses on decision making. The player has up to 4 choices, 2 in profound decisions, to choose from. Base on your answers characters will act different and alter the story. Replacing the time powers is the Backtalk mechanic. When available Chloe argues with the other person over a sensitive subject. If successful the character gives up the delicate information but if defeated Chloe finds herself out of luck.

You won't be making dialogue choices and hard decisions throughout the game. Chloe can optionally tag walls for achievements, explore the limited environment for context about the world, and solve basic puzzles. These serve as minor distractions from the overall game but nothing that feels out of place. Even the puzzles, while simple, serve as a stepping stone for the narrative to continue.  

Life is Strange,Before the Storm,NoobFeed,Deck Nine,Square Enix,

Life is Strange: Before the Storm is an exciting and rewarding tale full of drama and tough decisions. Those who played the original game will definitely find more to value here than newcomers because of prior knowledge of Chloe and most of the characters. Regardless. Life is Strange: Before the Storm is an outstanding tale of a teenage girl finding hope in a world she believed had no more to give.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Developer(s): Deck Nine Games
Genres: Adventure game
Themes: Adventure game
Release Date: 2017-08-31

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