Platform reviewed on: Xbox one
Also available on: PC, Playstation 4.
This is the sequel of the critically acclaimed indie game Life is Strange. The original game is for me by far the best adventure game i have ever played (you can find out more about it in our detailed review here). It personally made me a huge impression and i highly recommend it, especially to fans of the genre.
This game is a prequel and takes place two years before the events of the first one, explaining in a very good fashion how the relationships of the main protagonists were eventually forged. You step in the shoes of Chloe Price, a 16 year old troubled teenager with a rebellious attitude who struggles to find her identity in a social environment of drug dealers, schoolmates and a shattered family. Her ”partner in crime” this time is not Max (the protagonist of the original game) but Rachel, Blackwell Academy’s young starlet who is the exact opposite of Chloe. She is Mrs Perfect; a bright and beautiful young student with a healthy and wealthy family.
Like the first one before it, the plot here is outstanding. The main characters are very well developed and a lot of questions you might have had from the first game are answered. In the 3 episodes that this one has, the developers shed light on the mysterious Rachel and to all the events that led to her disappearance. As you might have guessed, there are a lot of twists here as well and some of them are even more shocking than those of the first game.
However, despite all this, i have a big issue about Before the Storm; Since i played (and loved) the original, I already know what is the ultimate conclusion of most of these characters from the first game. For that reason, I would rather prefer this one to have been published prior to the first.
The graphics still have the cartoonish feel of the first game, however i felt that this time they are better and more detailed. I was playing the game and i thought i was seeing the latest movie from Pixar. Characters are designed beautifully and have a pretty good animation. I would like the lip syncing to be a bit better but to tell you the truth i was not bothered at all. The environments, while extremely detailed, lively and brimming with colors are mostly recycled from the first game (like Blackwell Academy and Chloe’s house) with a few new additions, like an exceptional train ride and a park set on a small hill.
Never before have i seen such an excellent soundtrack. It combines a number of original songs from different genres like country, rock, pop etc thus creating a magnificent atmosphere. I caught myself relaxing on my gaming chair while simultaneously listening to the outstanding songs of Life is Strange 2. There is an option (Mixtape mode) to create your own playlist and listen to it while inside Chloe’s room. Voice acting is spot on, for both main protagonists and supporting cast alike. Interactions with the several characters you encounter feel unique, due to the fact that all of the cast must have really enjoyed participating in the making of the game. Furthermore, sound effects like flocks of birds singing while flying above you, squirrels eating their nuts and other environmental further help creating immersion.
Unfortunately, i think that in this sector, Before the Storm is worse than the original. While your character and the camera controls just fine, here we are introduced to a new mechanic: Chloe unfortunately cannot reverse time as her counterpart could in the first one. Instead, she has the ”ability” to backtalk. When having conversations with some of the game’s characters, Chloe can use her intimidation skills in order to succumb them to her will. It is a kind of a mini game where you have to pick the right answer to what the other person is saying. This creates some tense moments, since there is a small time window to decide which answer could be the right one. I liked it at first but i personally thought that Max’s ability was a lot more interesting than Chloe’s. Also, here, instead of taking photos as a form of collectibles, Chloe can use her permanent marker to draw graffiti on certain spots, which is a really nice addition.
Value for Money:…..8
I bought the Deluxe Edition of this game on Christmas and i paid about 20 Euros. The deluxe edition features some more costumes, the Mixtape mode and access to one more episode that will be released in due time. The game is a bit shorter than the first one, lasting about 10 hours. I really enjoyed playing it and i had a very good time, i just hoped that i had not played the first one first, because i already knew what happened to a lot of the characters involved.
SCORE:……..8.4, Very Good.