When Life is Strange Before the Storm was first announced I was not entirely sold on the idea of a prequel to the 2015 surprise hit. We already know a good chunk of Chloe‘s story, and prequels have a tendency to live in the shadow of their originators. As we have seen in the first two episodes of the prequel there was more room to tell a moving and emotional story with Chloe and Rachel than originally expected. Life is Strange Before the Storm Episode 3 has come along now to seal things up, and despite knowing where some of the pieces had to fall for the original Life is Strange, this ended up being a roller-coaster of an adventure.
The shorter, three-episode format means there is a rushed feeling to this series. The breakneck pace of the story feels a little awkward compared to the efforts of rival storytellers Telltale Games, or even to the original Life is Strange. It does not damage the game experience, but it would have been nice to let the story breathe a little as it comes to a close. This is most apparent with the story surrounding Chloe’s strained relationship with her mom being resolved almost as if by magic. That said, the game still has a depth to it and will force you to make some extremely difficult choices. A running theme of the episode is whether you should spare someone’s feelings with a lie, or play tough love and give them the truth. There is no right answer in most situations, and it is not as easy as a decision as it seems on paper.
For anyone who played through Life is Strange, but held out on Life is Strange Before the Storm to see if it would be a worthwhile investment of time and money, I can definitively say that it is. The story rushes along at a fast pace — perhaps too fast — but remains coherent and grounded. There are fantastical elements to this just as there were in the original, although on a much smaller scale. Anyone who got attached to Chloe in the original game should absolutely check out Life is Strange Before the Storm and enjoy the wild ride of teenage emotions and hormones.