Reviews Sebastian Kasparek
Review: Life is Strange: Before the Storm - Episode 1 (PS4)
Life is Strange: Before the Storm in the game database
Review: Life is Strange: Before the Storm - Episode 1 (PS4)

First episode of Life is Strange: Before the Storm debuts on PS Store, so it’s time to see if Chloe Price can handle high expectations left by the original story.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm once again takes us to the small town of Arcadia Bay, telling a story set before the events of the predecessor. The first episode is not long, taking around 2 hours to finish. During that time the developer doesn’t waste our time with introducing the main protagonist named Chloe to the player, assuming we already know her. Instead, we are shown Chloe trying to deal with death of her father. Two years passed since this tragic event and our grieving main character still cannot accept her loss. Even more, her best and only friend left her in the worst moment of her life. All of this, with her rebellious nature, makes her more and more shut out from the world and the people around her, intentionally choosing the life of an outcast. At least that’s the lie she tells herself, what she realizes only after she meets fun and outgoing Rachel, who Chloe makes a strong bond with.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm’s first episode introduces a few changes in the gameplay. Forget about going back in time or paranormal events with the apocalypse approaching. In turn, we’ve got more down-to-earth story about lost teenagers and their growing relationship with a hint of stronger feelings. A story about a loss and inability to blend in – at least that’s how the whole thing starts. The dialogue system is now little more complex due to a new option called Backtalk – which is classic teenager mouthing off, serving as a risk/reward mechanics during conversations. That’s all, really. Game’s makers are holding to the predecessor’s formula, although I got an impression there is even less pure gameplay that before. The relationship itself is growing unnaturally fast, but because of that, we follow the story in one breath, without even a hint of boredom.

The game can also take pride in soundtrack as amazing as in the previous one. Licensed tracks are perfectly matched and build the same captivating atmosphere as before. The game’s art style also did not change, even though the title uses whole different game engine now. There is no point in looking for any more visible changes in graphics. Maybe characters’ models are a little bit smoother and textures are sharper – but it’s just cosmetics. We still are watching everything in pastel shades, which makes really enjoyable artistic design and great feeling of the life in a small city. Face animations are pretty bad, though. While Chloe’s facial expressions can show any emotion, the rest of the characters are not that lucky. During an argument in a car, David is shouting but his face is completely calm, expressing absolutely nothing. In story-driven game like this it’s ridiculous.

LiS: Before the Storm does not leave a good first impression. Whole thing is too soppy and straightforward. There was also a scene making me decide on something I did not care for nor it concerned me – and no reaction resulted in trying to make me feel guilty. Beside that, the story is exciting and it was time well spent, but it can be seen as a Lifetime TV movie. Of course it’s just the beginning, yet we have to remember there will be less episodes this time. The girls forming strong bond shows the developer wants to squeeze as much as he possibly can in the terms on the relationship, but because of this, there was no room for chemistry between the characters nor time to move the plot anywhere. Chloe’s story is somewhat good, but it probably isn’t going to reach the level of the original Life is Strange. Nevertheless, there is a chance it’ll surprise us all and become something more.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Out rating: 7.0/10
Sebastian Kasparek
The new Life is Strange story is not as charming and exciting as the original one, but it makes a nice comeback to familiar world and atmosphere.
  • Pros
  • Great atmosphere and soundtrack
  • Interesting beginning of a new story
  • Cons
  • Facial expressions of some characters
  • Next to none gameplay
  • Relationship between the girls is growing too fast
Deck Nine Games Life is Strange: Before the Storm playstation 4 review square enix

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