Review Before The Storm - Ep.1 Review

Gr1zzy Oct 18, 2017

  1. Gr

    Gr1zzy Guest

    Before The Storm: Ep. 1 Review - Ep. 2 out tomorrow!
    Video games deserve a fair shot before being judged. Like books, they aren't something you should judge solely by their cover, or their trailer, artwork on the Steam store, or even just the first 10 minutes of gameplay. But that's exactly what I did when I first played Episode 1 of Life is Strange over two years ago. I had heard great things about the game from many different sources, but I went into it wondering: what do so many different people love about navigating through senior year of high school as an art school hipster with magic powers? And I played the game for literally 10 minutes, had my “concerns” realized by the first scene which takes place in a high school photography class, and then put the game down for months.



    But boy am I glad I picked it back up again. By episode 3 of 5 I had had one of the most moving gaming experiences of my life, just like so many other people who gave the game a fair chance. One of the answers to why anyone would want to play Life is Strange is: “the story.” And a good video game storyline, just like a book, takes time to develop.

    I see now that the initial first decision that turned me off is really one of the many things that makes this game so great. And those decisions quickly get much larger in Life is Strange. Much like the first cutscene in the game, the protagonist Max is soon caught up in a literal and figurative maelstrom of broken pasts and future doom that ticks ever nearer as she (you the player) try to do the best you can. In Before the Storm, the same weight and depth of story is achieved, but refreshingly, it’s through an exploration of the small things.


    I was hopeful when I started playing Before the Storm Episode 1, but also nervous because of a technical change, and I really wanted it to live up to its predecessor (unlike so many lame follow-ups these days).

    In Before the Storm, a prequel to the original Life is Strange, you play as Chloe, Max’s best friend in the first game - but during a time they’re separated from each other. Instead, one of your companions in Before the Storm is Rachel Amber, a character you learn a lot about in Life is Strange...but in a very different way: she is missing at the beginning of that game.

    Much like Life is Strange, Before the Storm starts in a setting you don’t fully fit into. It’s not simply the people, or the place, or the situation that make it wrong, it’s you, your self. As the episode unfolds, you are asked to make decisions/observations/comments that shape the course of the game and also force you to look at and define who you are. And the person you are at the beginning of this episode is obviously not someone you want to be. In fact it’s a little hard to bear sometimes just how much of an edge-lord crying-for-help Chloe is sometimes, just like the pink anarchy symbol in the game’s title. But that’s the point! Chloe’s life is a trainwreck you can't look away from because you can see some light at the end of the tunnel.


    Certain things about this game will hit home for some more than others, which I guess you could say is true for all games or anything subjective. But not all games allow for this amount of personal depth and empathy. It's an objectively solid game at it's core, but it will appeal especially to the rebel, the angst ridden, the misunderstood diamonds the rough who just want to be happy but go about it it all the wrong ways - and I think that applies to more people than you might realize. And for those people this game will be an especially satisfying bittersweet alternate reality, a nostalgic punk rock loss of innocence and discovery of self - but for everyone it will be meaningful.

    So with Episode 1 out and Episode 2 available on October 19th (for PS4, Xbox One, and PC) I’d recommend you give Before the Storm a fair shot. But before you do, go ahead and binge all 5 episodes of Life is Strange (Episode 1 is free on Steam!). Just make sure you're prepared for this moral dilemma:


    Grizzy - Creator In Chief

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  2. KingZeus 2

    KingZeus 2 Newbie

    Oct 25, 2017
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    Loved the first game as well. I don't remember if it was revealed what happened to Rachel, so I am excited to play this.
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