I was still not over the end of Life is Strange but if anything it was literally a whirlwind of emotions. I was excited when they announced they were making a prequel game and I knew that I wanted to play this game no matter what. Let’s see if Life is Strange: Before the Storm lives up to my expectations. As always since this game is more on its story be warned about spoilers ahead.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm is the story about Chloe Price. A story that recounts the events that happened before Max came back to Arcadia Bay. For those who have played Life is Strange, Chloe Price was Max’s best friend and probably her love interest depending on your choices in the game. Chloe Price has a more rough personality than Max. Rebellious, angsty, and a person who doesn’t care for the rules. This is the glory that is Chloe Price and we get to experience it firsthand.

Chloe Price is our main character this time around as we experience her everyday life at Arcadia Bay. It’s pretty far off from what we experienced with Max as Chloe is more inclined to ditch school. Chloe also gets into shady dealings and gets into places you wouldn’t want your child getting into. She’s a rebel and she does drugs and she’s not someone who you would consider a role model. But behind all the angst and her rebellious ways, Chloe Price is still a normal teenager who gets hurts, who gets misunderstood, who tries to be patient when people provoke her and stands up for what is right.

Since Chloe doesn’t have time bending abilities like Max, the gameplay is very different from its predecessor. Each of your decisions are permanent and they will still have consequences just like the first game. A unique feature to this game is the Backtalk. Backtalk lets Chloe get into an argument with someone and if she gives the correct answers she wins the argument and convinces that person to do what she says. Otherwise, Chloe doesn’t get her way and makes for a less smooth conversation.

Episode 1: Awake takes us to the first day that Chloe meets Rachel Amber. The most popular girl in school. It’s a tale of girl meets girl and girl falls in love at first sight with girl. But it’s not your ordinary love story. It’s a tale that intertwines shady businesses and dealing with day to day life. I was hoping to see how Chloe would deal with life in a classroom but we never were taken to class in this game.

Instead, we see Chloe and Rachel interacting outside of school. The story is just not all about the two of them though. Other than that, we get to meet other people in Chloe’s life. We get to see Chloe interacting with her mom and his stepdad David. We also get to meet new faces that wasn’t in the first game like Steph and Mikey who are tabletop nerds that Chloe plays with. We get to see a side of Chloe here that we never got to see in the first game. Apparently Chloe has played tabletop games before and we get to experience that firsthand here as she plays it with Steph and Mikey.

We also get to see a pre-Max era Victoria who is as bitchy as ever but still falls for Chloe’s tricks. We also see Nathan Prescott at the time his family has sponsored Blackwell Academy. He’s still a douchebag even after Chloe tried to help him from getting bullied. Another new face to this game is Eliot who seems to have hooked up with Chloe. I’m wondering why this was never mentioned in the first game but I guess by then Chloe was more focused on finding Rachel Amber.

Overall the game had a very interesting story but I felt that it was too sudden for Chloe to fall in love right away with Rachel. They only met a day and that happens right away. Maybe it really was love at first sight but I feel like the relationship escalated too quickly. We never really get to see them discover each other’s personality or let alone get their relationship to bloom.

Another thing that kind of disappointed me with the game was that there were parts of the game where you are forced to choose a certain choice. Like it got to the point that no matter which option you choose you’d still end up choosing that option anyway. It kind of takes away from the experience and how each experience is supposed to be unique to whatever you choose. I wish they handled it better and actually gave you choices that matches up with what you wanted Chloe to be. But I guess they also wanted to make sure that the Chloe we are getting is the same Chloe that we got to know in the first game.

What I really love about this game though is the soundtrack. The music is great and there were even moments in the game that I would just listen along to the music. It really captures the atmosphere of the game. The laidback songs, the angsty songs, and the songs of melancholy and despair. I just love every bit of it and I even spent a lot of time just listening to the music while Chloe or Chloe and Rachel listen along.

The ending of Episode 1 didn’t give as big as an impact as the end of Life Is Strange’s Episode 1 but maybe it’s not supposed to be that way anyway. It’s a good game with a very down-to-earth story. A story about two people falling in love for the first time despite all the craziness that has been going on in their life. An unorthodox love story and yet it’s so relevant in today’s society. If you have played the first game, then it is a good game to get and play to discover the backstory of Chloe Price and get to know Rachel Amber a little more.

This review is based on a retail copy purchased by the author. Played on a standard PS4.

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Review - Life Is Strange: Before The Storm - Episode 1: Awake (PS4)
Great soundtrackGreat start to a prequel storyBacktalkA tabletop campaign!
Forced choicesChloe hates the worldThings escalate so quickly
8.8Overall Score