Life Is Strange: Before the Storm starts in August

Heartbreaking teen melodrama Life Is Strange will return on August 31st with a three-episode prequel starring Chloe, named Life Is Strange: Before The Storm [official site]. Set three years before the first game, it’ll tell how Chloe’s doomed relationship with gal pal Rachel Amber began. Life Is Strange makes clear how that all ends so sure, go on, twist the knife, you monsters.

Unexpectedly, this is in addition to the new Life Is Strange game that creators Dontnod Entertainment recently announced. Yup, a different team is making it, so two new Lives Are Strange are coming. Here, check out the announcement trailer:

“The whole game is set 3 years before the events of the first,” publishers Square Enix explain, “and you’ll experience the very beginning of the friendship between Chloe and Rachel, and the events that brought them so close together.”

Life Is Strange, if you missed it, is a story ’em up about Max a gal who gains time-travel powers then tries to save her town from a terrible storm while also investigating a mysterious disappearance, navigating school life, and galling around with her pal Chloe. I really dug it. The teen melodrama starts clunky but oh, it really got its hands around my heart and squeezed. Pip and I summed up some of our thoughts about the series in a chat.

This time, Chloe is the star and no, she won’t have any magic powers of her own. Squeenix do hint that this will have a supernatural tinge, though I’d guess it’s simply along the lines of more totemic animal shenanigans – now with a crow.

Life Is Strange: Before the Storm is made by Deck Nine Games, who were previously known as Idol Minds, a name under which they made… some video games I guess? None of that is encouraging. Though when Deep Nine announced their change of name in May, they said they had shifted their focus to narrative-driven games and hired a load of new staff. I guess we’ll soon discover how that has worked out.

Here, this video developer diary doodad has some of the team and Chloe’s voice, Ashly Burch, gabbing about the game:

What about Max? She’s out of town during this period, but will be playable in a prequel-prequel bonus episode exclusive to the Deluxe Edition. Squeenix say this episode, named ‘Farewell’, “takes place long before the events of Before the Storm”. So that’ll probably be about when Max and her family left town for Seattle. I don’t think my heart could take it.

Putting story in bits exclusive to special editions is a bit beh. Squeenix do insist that it’s not essential to Before the Storm and that people who don’t play Farewell “will get the full story”. They say it “really is just a bonus episode for those who would like to play as her one final time.” I’d be surprised if they don’t later sell it separately or offer a discounted upgrade but, if they’re not going to include it with the main game, I’d rather it were sold as DLC. I’m tired of decisions about which edition of a video game I want to buy, and don’t think fondly of anything tapping into that special edition guff.

They both look happy... my heart!

15 Comments

  1. Madvillain says:

    As if LiS didn’t give me a strong enough Twin Peaks vibe, they go ahead and make their own Fire Walk With Me.

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      Aerothorn says:

      That was my first reaction as well, and I can’t imagine it’s unintentional.

      That said, as someone who is currently playing through and enjoying the series far more than I expected…taking this away from the original developers doesn’t seem like a great idea. Life is Strange isn’t perfect – it can’t be – but the [fictive] genre it’s trying to do, and the [game] genre it’s doing it in, both have a lot of pitfalls that even veterans like Telltale can’t seem to overcome; so far it’s avoided almost all of them. It would be way, way easy for this to fall into fan service, or to mess up the original’s near-perfect pacing, or…yeah.

      • keithzg says:

        Yeah, I’m more than a little apprehensive about a game so heavily bouyed by narrative decisions being made by a different creative team.

      • MrBehemoth says:

        “game” can include “fictive” – so how about “narrative genre” and “mechanical genre”?

  2. eqzitara says:

    Back to the imaginary world where the writers imagine a world where “Hella”/”OMG”/”Hashtag” is used in frequency. I really had trouble with the games dialog in past. They talked like kids half there age at times it was really off.

  3. Oasx says:

    Life Is Strange is a great game, but Chloe is absolutely the worst part of it, the idea of playing as her isn’t super appealing to me.

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    johannsebastianbach says:

    Oh boy, this trailer hit me right in the feels … all these memories – sigh … BibleThump.

    That said, I’m quite skeptical about that different studio thing; I’ll definitely wait for all three episodes to be released and some verdict-o-chat guidance before buying it – I don’t want to spoil my memories of the main game.

  5. Harlaw says:

    It’s early days yet, but I’m slightly excited for it now. Chloe was probably my favorite part of the first game, so I’d love to get more of her. The involvement of a different studio is worrying, but the dev diary helped assuage some of those worries.

    Also, no matter the quality of the eventual game, with the inclusion of Daughter in the trailer it looks like they’re at least continuing the tradition of an excellent soundtrack!

  6. InfamousPotato says:

    It’s weird- part of me kinda… dreads playing this? I mean, I plan to buy it- LiS is one of my favorite games of all time- but the ending hit really hard.

    I imagine I’ll feel different in a month, or maybe even tomorrow, but I’m not sure I’m ready for that right now.

  7. wombat191 says:

    in case you were all wondering that noise was me squealing like a japanese school girl given free reign in a hello kitty store

  8. ooshp says:

    Tear ducts at the ready.

  9. Deviija says:

    Oh my, so this is in addition to the other LiS product in the works. My hope is for a Max and Chloe: Arcadia Bay Detectives game. Hijinks and mysteries ensue.

  10. Skandranon says:

    …you know what? Nah. I’ll pass.

    I loved LiS (‘cept the ending), but given the position of the characters in the beginning and what we know of their history, this game is just gonna be nonstop depressing gut punches.

    I’ll wait for the sequel, thanks.