Life Is Strange original voices return for Before the Storm bonus ep

The voice actor behind spunky punky teen rebel Chloe in the original Life Is Strange, Ashly Burch, will reprise her role in the bonus episode of prequel series Life Is Strange: Before the Storm. While Chloe is the main character in Before the Storm, Burch couldn’t play her because of the voice actor strike so publishers Square Enix replaced her with another actor, Rhianna DeVries. Oh dear oh dear. But the strike is over now and Burch will voice Chloe once more in ‘Farewell’. Life is strange but business is stranger.

The bonus episode, which is exclusive to the Deluxe Edition of Before the Storm, is a prequel to the prequel. It’s set back before Chloe’s gal pal Max split the scene, and Max’s voice actor Hannah Telle is back for this too. Max is the main character, and Square Enix say “this may very well be the last time that you will get to see Max and Chloe together!”

I’m okay with that. I don’t want to see more of them and I don’t think I will play this bonus episode. I’m content with where the final episode of Life Is Strange’s original series ended for me. I don’t want to root around in that past.

Weirdly, Rhianna DeVries is still half of Chloe in Farewell, providing her motion capture. The labour politics of this whole situation are wonked.

Farewell is due some time in “early 2018”. Supposedly it is just a bonus and not integral to Before the Storm, so it’s not included and will require paying an extra £6 for the Deluxe Edition (which includes costumes too). The third and final episode of Before the Storm is still to come too.


  1. KillahMate says:

    Yeah, in situations like these I always wonder how, for example, Rhianna DeVries must be feeling.

    • thenevernow says:

      Like Blaze Bailey, I guess. She knew she was a replacement and that the replaced is, well… alive.

    • Booker says:

      Probably similar to the way Ashly Burch felt when she was replaced with Rhianna DeVries. :P

      But I get it, it’s a dumb situation. Still, only doing this in the “bonus episode” is probably still the best way to handle this mess.

      • Dreaminsomnia says:

        Because of all of the fans of the VA actors…And yeeessss there are fans (there were conversations on Steam about the original VA had been replaced) You know what’s going to happen now right? The game devs are going to hire ALL of the voice actors who were involved in the original and the current game version for any future new releases…

        • Booker says:

          Yeah, I know what’s going to happen now. Nothing, because there aren’t going to be any future releases with those characters. This is their final appearance.

          The Life is Strange Season 2 is going to be with new people.

  2. Matt_W says:

    Burch is quickly becoming one of the biggest voice actors in video gaming.

    • Ghostwise says:

      And yet she started tiny !

      (Yes I know, that wasn’t quite her first “named” VA role. But close enough).

  3. Jalan says:

    This really confuses the point made by developers about the whole “with a different voice artist, we can showcase a different period of the character’s life” – so apparently it’s a different period where vocals shift according to divine whim? I… just… I’ll leave that line of thought where it is for now.

    It’s great that the strike is finally over and many VO artists can return to roles they had to vacate, however.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      The devs were most likely told not to blame the strike for it. Might be because it’d negatively affect the dealings, might be that they didn’t want the bad publicity, whatever the case, I doubt they chose to give such a strange excuse, it’s just the best they could come up with.

    • GameCat says:

      But they didn’t had to ditch work if devs would hire them on terms the VA union was striking for?

  4. Someoldguy says:

    This is going to be a bit weird now that I’ve got used to Rhianna being the voice, but I’ll roll with it. The bonus episode isn’t that interesting to me anyway because it’s only going to be a vignette, not leading to anything bigger.

  5. VanDerSpar says:

    Man, I keep reading “The voice actor behind Spelunky”, and feel that after my 400+ hours, have missed a great deal.

  6. somnolentsurfer says:

    Politics-wise, obviously it’s great that the strike is over and got at least something for their efforts. Gameplay-wise, this is going to feel odd. Ashly Burch was a huge part of what made Chloe so great in the first place, but Rhianna DeVries has been doing a marvellous job, not just with the voice acting, but with the performance capture as well, which has come on hugely since the first game. I really hope they can make the splitting of that role between two people who both are Chloe work. I’m quite impressed with how amicable that working relationship seems to have been so far, all things considered. Burch would have been well within her rights to be outside the studio shouting ‘scab!’, but everything appears to have been worked out for good of the game so far.

    Obviously, the game’s only getting made for the good of Square Enix, but it’s still super good, and I cried again.

  7. Hyena Grin says:

    This news made me pretty happy. The bonus episode, I imagine, is going to be a short and low-tension affair. Some nostalgia and maybe filling some gaps and exploring a friendship a little. So bringing the original actors back for it makes a lot of sense.

    I haven’t minded DeVries in Before the Storm, she’s doing a great job with it and the voices are close enough that it wasn’t a jarring transition. But putting DeVries and Telle together would break the illusion, I think. It’d be weird to have the Chloe/Max friendship being voiced by half the original cast.

  8. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    I’d prefer if they brought back the original developer. New VA wasn’t objectionable imo, unlike the game itself.

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    phuzz says:

    I’ve not played any of Life is Strange yet, but I think it’s going to be my christmas game this year.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      Their both great, but play the original before Before the Storm.

      • Hyena Grin says:

        Agreed. There is going to be temptation for people to play the games chronologically, and I think that’s the wrong call. Before the Storm is good, but not as good as the original, and relies a bit too much on you knowing Chloe already, and what happens later in her life.