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Life is Strange: Before the Storm Review

"Episode 1: Awake"

Campaign (Spoiler Free)

The first season of Life is Strange was absolutely fantastic and while I was initially hesitant towards seeing a prequel, I've definitely seen the case for it after this first episode. There's obviously a story to tell and the team behind this mini series that follows the events prior to Max showing up at Arcadia Bay is worth your time. Things are different as we see a younger Chloe Price that's not sure what she's doing in life and basically spiraling out of control. You get a good sense of this from her general no care attitude and terrifying written works. The story starts out with Chloe trying to get into a fancy hidden concert and then running into a popular girl named Rachel.

The two become somewhat close and this series works on diving into the relationship these two share. It's a sorrowing one, but also perhaps mysterious as some unexplained aspects come into play. It's very interesting from a standpoint of those that played the first season and even the ones that haven't. This is a very sad first episode that sets up the next two episodes while creating some questions. It felt well developed with side activities while at times somewhat being all over the place.

Gameplay

The Life is Strange series is a third person cinematic focused story where players have some input. The world looks charming with a unique art style, but I did feel it looked a tad dated at this point. The best part of the series is however in the way you interact with the world and its strong cast. Chloe does sound different here due to a different voice actor, but she gets the spirit right. There are tons of things to interact with such as graffiti taking the place of photos for collectibles and a back talk mechanic. The idea of that works well for Chloe as a character, but I didn't feel that it fit in very well with the gameplay.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm Episode 1: Awake Screenshot

The Conclusion

Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a great start for the series and I'm very, very curious where it will go from here. I know what happens after, but the journey to get there is going to be more intriguing than I had imagined. I love the look and feel of the game, but feel some of the new aspects were a tad too different. That being said, the care and depth of content is perfect. An example being the epic board based game you can play near the start and the way everything feels real. The characters are emotional and it's a truly sad story. The narrative here might have been a bit all over the place here, but it worked for what the game is trying to convey as Chloe is very volatile within it.


Review Done on Life is Strange: Before the Storm for Xbox One
Review Code Provided by Square Enix


Rating Overall: 8.0

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner
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