A spoiler-filled look at Life is Strange: Before the Storm
This article comprises main plot spoilers for all episodes of each Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm.
The remaining shot of Life is Strange: Before the Storm is certainly one of Chloe Price and Rachel Amber laughing collectively. Sat atop Chloe’s truck in the junkyard that she dubs her “home away from home,” the pair admiring their new tattoos, there is a sense that they love and belief one another unconditionally.
“An earnest and beautiful journey” – here is our Life is Strange: Before the Storm PC evaluation.
In some ways, Before the Storm is perhaps certainly one of the finest love tales videogames have ever informed, a shining instance of how you can construct a relationship out of nothing, whereas sustaining an air of wondrous, determined realism.Then the credit roll. Once they’re completed, the grim actuality underlying the whole Life is Strange saga comes thundering house.
The sport really ends with a shot of Rachel’s telephone. The display screen reads, ‘Chloe calling – 17 missed calls’, and as the digital camera pans away, the unmistakable sound of a digital camera shutter clicking tells us the place we’re. The sport’s post-credits scene takes place in Nathan Prescott’s darkish room, moments earlier than he’ll unintentionally kill Rachel, after which bury her physique in the identical junkyard we noticed her celebrating in moments in the past.
This second is referenced again and again, however at no time is the connection extra keenly felt than in the Barn in direction of the climax of Before the Storm. In an try to delegitimise custody claims from Rachel’s estranged mom, a recovering drug addict, her father has the sport’s main antagonist forcefully inject her with what appears to be heroin. The second the syringe comes into shot, recollections of the deeply troubling scenes that Max is topic to at the fingers of Mark Jefferson come surging forth. In Life is Strange the syringe is an emblem of dying, decay, and violation – a most cancers consuming away at society, and a weapon that can finish Rachel’s life.
The relationship that builds between Chloe and Rachel in Before the Storm is merely pretty. In one scene, the pair drift aimlessly house collectively, genuinely dizzy with euphoria, seemingly drunk off each other. It is an exquisite second and certainly one of the highlights of the sport. But what looks like a singularly fantastic second between the two is underwritten by the undeniable fact that (in the event you performed the unique Life Is Strange, at least) we all know at some point, at least from Chloe’s perspective, Rachel will simply disappear. The recollections they construct collectively and the plans they make will all of a sudden be deserted.
It is an concept that performs all through the sport. From the second Chloe confesses to Rachel that their new relationship seems like greater than only a friendship, to her demand that Rachel by no means go away her, you might be continuously reminded that nonetheless fantastic Chloe and Rachel is perhaps, their story will finish with the former weeping over the physique of her finest buddy.
That second, at the finish of episode 4 of Life is Strange, lacks its full affect whenever you first expertise it. Max solely is aware of Rachel as the face on a lacking individuals poster, somebody who as soon as attended Blackwell Academy however whose disappearance has been swept away in a tide of highschool events and teenage hormones. We, as the participant, can barely perceive Rachel’s place in the story – at that point, Max, not Rachel, is Chloe’s finest buddy, and we don’t meet another characters who profess to have recognized her. Before the occasions of Before the Storm, Rachel is little greater than a fantasy, however when you meet her the impact she has on the story is monumental.
Therein lies the energy of Before the Storm. While, technically, it is a spin-off sequence, it is a vital a part of the primary story, as relationships and characters from Life is Strange are developed all through. David Madsen goes from pantomime villain to somebody unable to reconcile the effort he places into constructing bridges together with his step-daughter with the hatred he will get in return. Frank Bowers’ complicated relationship with Chloe makes extra sense as you realise the sacrifices he makes in his personal life to look out for her.
Even Nathan Prescott, unable to discover a single outlet for his feelings with out struggling abuse at the fingers of his classmates, turns into a considerably sympathetic character in Before the Storm. While it is not sufficient to let me forgive Nathan for what he does to Rachel, the prequel exhibits the offended, twisted man we see in Life is Strange was shaped by a peer group who refused to evaluate him individually from his emotionally abusive father.
Similarly, watching that junkyard scene play out after you could have seen Chloe and Rachel collectively offers it a wholly new that means. Before the Storm allows you to perceive Rachel by the eyes of somebody who liked her greater than she loves anybody else. After the prequel brings her to life, and also you expertise Rachel as greater than a mysterious face on a poster – as her personal unbelievable, loving, character – Before the Storm’s most lovely scenes, like that remaining shot in the junkyard, tackle an entire new, heartbreaking that means.