In 2015 I published on the pages of our site an overview of the wonderful game Life is Strange which initially did not even plan to write. This amazing story, full of mysticism, drama and vivid emotions from the first minutes won my heart. It was unusual for everything: a chic atmosphere, beautifully prescribed characters, an unusual video sequence and, of course, a fascinating story telling about the mysterious events unfolding within the walls of Blackwell Academy. I hasten to share with you the joy: the first episode of the prequel of this game with the subtitle Before the Storm came on sale. And he's fucking good!
Game: Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Publisher: Square Enix
Date of release: Date of Release: Published:
At once it is necessary to make a reservation that the prequel Life is Strange was developed not by the authors of the original from Parisian Dontnod Entertainment, but by the guys from the small American studio Deck Nine. There was a good reason for that. After all, the French are currently working on a full-fledged continuation of the original game, and the process is very long. In addition, in parallel, they finish work on another new game – a gloomy role-playing adventure called Vampyr. To fans of the franchise Life is Strange was not bored, the creation of the prequel was entrusted to developers from the United States. I hasten to reassure you: the Americans coped with the firm five. They managed not only to preserve the fragile atmosphere of the original, but even to improve it in its own way.
Events Before the Storm unfolds three years before the original game. The main character this time is the 16-year-old Chloe Price, who is in the deepest depression. It's not surprising, because her best friend Max Caulfield moved to live in another city and has long ceased to respond to text messages, dissolving in her new life. Two years ago, Chloe's father was killed in a car accident, and now her mother began to meet with an authoritarian retired military man named David, whom a teenage girl can not stand for spirit. Being under the strongest psychological pressure, Chloe begins to drink, smoke herbs, skip school classes and in all available ways to look for trouble on her head.
Who knows what would happen to the main character, she will not meet with Rachel Amber – the celebrity of the academy Blackwell. Rachel is the daughter of a famous lawyer, a beauty, one of the best actresses in a theater group, a dream of local boys. Everything says that Rachel is waiting for a great future. However, not everything is as simple as it might seem at first glance. And in fact, Rachel has no less problems and internal demons than the unrequited Chloe. The plot of the game is divided into three episodes. In the first, the player becomes a witness of how a strong friendship arises between the girls on the basis of similar problems. And if you played the original game of 2015, you probably already know how this story ends.
You can joke about the fact that the game promotes the theme of same-sex relationships, popular in the West today, but personally it seems to me that Life is Strange has always been higher than this. Yes, hints of "maiden love" between the two heroines in the game are certainly present. But I did not see anything vulgar in these hints personally. The game is really about something else. On the fragile inner world of man, about his fear of loneliness and misunderstanding from others, about the inevitable process of growing up and parting with a cozy childhood, when the trees were big and we were small. In Life is Strange: Before the Storm, developers have managed to create an incredible atmosphere in which the player literally sinks, imbued with the emotions of the characters, their inner world.
Unlike his friend Max, Chloe does not have supernatural powers and does not know how to manipulate time. Her strength lies in the ability to crush her opponent intellect mixed with insulting barbs. A sort of "rap-battle" (only without rap) between the two characters, when the player has to quickly choose the most clever and demeaning option for the opponent to win over him in a verbal fight. Well, the Backtalk system is really interesting and sometimes it's very amusing to watch Chloe's fragile "muddle" the schoolboys and the drug dealers. And yet the time manipulation I really missed. Especially at times when I wanted to change the answer or take an alternative solution.
The rest of the gameplay has remained virtually untouched. You still wander around in the locations, communicate with the characters, explore the found items, read notes, posters and incoming SMS messages. Among the characters in the second plan you will meet a lot of old friends, but I will not talk about them, so as not to spoil you the impression of the game. Decision-making, as before, affects the further development of events. You can drink beer at a rock concert and wake up in the morning with the wildest hangover, you can steal from the NPC the money to pay off your debts, but then you will have to answer for your act in the future. Virtually any of your decisions have consequences, and they can come into force not immediately, but, for example, only in the next chapter of the game, and even in its final, when you almost forgot about the mistake you committed. This, I must say, is very cool!
In the first episode I liked almost everything. But especially remember the desktop role-playing game, in which Chloe plays with his buddies in the academy courtyard. Here everything is built according to the classic rules of D & D: there are two main characters, there is a game master, there is a rich lor, including various spells, monsters and even the opportunity to defeat the main boss. Developers have certainly spent a lot of their time on this. But it's not necessary to play in this little table. The player can easily abandon it and pass by. This is wonderful Life is Strange: Before the Storm. It is woven from hundreds and thousands of tiny details that form a stunning overall picture.
In the original game, Max did not part with her camera and constantly took pictures for her personal creative project. Chloe can not boast of the skills of a photographer, so in Before the Storm she simply leaves behind her various graffiti in the form of drawings and texts on the walls. Remember that exploring the world in this game is vital. After all, only this way you will be able to unlock some variants of answers and questions in dialogues with key characters. Again, no one commits you to this. However, if one is inattentive, you can voluntarily deprive yourself of very interesting fragments of the plot. And the plot in this game is just wonderful. By the way, if you are going to buy yourself this game, I highly recommend buying the Deluxe edition. Having bought it, you will receive the fourth bonus episode of the game "Farewell" 100%, in which we will be told about the touching parting of the characters of Chloe and Max.
Visually the game resembles the original, and this despite the fact that the graphics engine changed from Unreal Engine to simpler in all respects Unity. For myself, I noted that the animation of the characters' faces has become much better. In the rest – we still have a very nice, bright picture with a beautifully chosen color palette and the developers' love for detail. The interface in the game remains the same. In the menu created in the notepad format, you will look at Chloe's sketches, various stickers, tickets for concerts, unsent letters Max, full of resentment and despair. Objects with which the main character can interact are outlined with a bright white outline. In general, you will not have to get used to the game again for sure. Clicking on a certain button (on the PlayStation 4 – it's L2), Chloe can look at her left palm, where the marker is recorded her main task at the moment. This is done so that the player does not forget where and why he is going.
Traditionally, the game was pleased with the selection of music and acting. Especially for Life is Strange: Before the Storm, British band Daughter recorded a whole album. Soloist of the group Elena Tonra created a magnificent sound palette and decorated it with her gentle voice. In addition to Daughter in the game there are also tracks from other bands. I remember well the composition Through The Cellar Door of indie band Lanterns On The Lake. Despite the fact that Ashley Birch, who voiced Chloe in the original game, refused to continue working with the character, Rihanna Devriz, who succeeded her, coped with her task just superbly. Her unconditional faith in the game. Before the Storm produces a magnificent surround sound, which is fully revealed only in high-quality headphones. Do not regret money and buy yourself these. It's worth it, because the sensations of the game in this case change drastically.
The drawbacks of the game, of course, are also available, but they are not so serious as to spoil your impression. The main disadvantage is the notorious episodic propagation model. You went through the first episode, the story ended in the most interesting place, and you still have to wait for the continuation of the devil. Although, the developers promise to release the remaining two episodes as quickly as possible. Let's hope that we are not deceived. Sometimes in the game there are questionable qualities of the art. For example, photos of Chloe and Max from the past, which seemed to draw a drunken teenager. Fortunately, such "Kalyaki Malyaki" are not very common. I was also somewhat annoyed by the fact that it is impossible to speed up or miss the dialogues. I accidentally poked the wrong button and listened to the character again from beginning to end.
- A very strong script and superbly written dialogues.
- The new protagonist in many respects surpasses the heroine from the original.
- Nice graphics, wonderful work with the palette and lighting.
- The Backtalk system allows you to work out opponents in one word.
- Still an inexpressible emotional atmosphere.
- Those who bought the Deluxe edition of the game will receive a bonus mini-episode.
- Wonderful musical accompaniment and the play of actors.
- Oh, this episodic propagation model.
- Dialogues can not be accelerated or missed.
- The game is of questionable quality art.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm – a wonderful gift for fans of the original game of 2015. Chloe Price, becoming the main character, was able to fully reveal himself to the players. Before the release of the game, many fans feared that Chloe would not be as interesting as Max. In fact, it turned out that a hooligan-outcast in many ways surpasses his girlfriend. I remember one wonderful phrase from the game: "1% genius consists of inspiration and 99% of LSD." So this game consists of 100% inspiration. This is, perhaps, the best way for an adult person to feel like a teenager for a while. I strongly recommend this adventure to acquaint all those who miss the continuation of the original story, as well as to individuals who are tired of the monotony of the modern gaming industry. I put the game 9 points out of 10 .