Square Enix has announced at E3 the newest title in the Life is Strange franchise, a prequel to the original game titled Life is Strange: Before the Storm. Before the Storm takes place 3 years before the events of Life is Strange, and puts the player in the shoes of familiar face Chloe Price at the impressionable age of only 16. There will be no “rewind” or other powers in this game, placing a higher emphasis on the raw emotions and human relationships of the game’s story, which are highlighted in the two demos currently being showcased at the Square Enix E3 booth.
In the first demo, we follow Chloe to a skeezy rock concert taking place in a dilapidated old barn or shed of some kind. The differences between Chloe and Max in terms of gameplay options are made quickly evident here, as Chloe is capable of much more mischief and wrongdoing; in our demo, Chloe intentionally caused a parked car to roll downhill and crash, stole a t-shirt and $200 cash, and then immediately bought weed with her newly acquired funds, all in the first couple minutes. Of course, as the nature of the game is choice and control of the story, the player can choose to forgo these options and play as a much more “good” or innocent character, but the alternatives are there for you nonetheless.
In the second demo clip, Chloe cuts school with Rachel Amber and the two go to spend some quality time spying on strangers and drinking near a junkyard. As Chloe and Rachel’s relationship was somewhat ambiguous in Life is Strange, it looks like Before the Storm will go into much more depth regarding the two’s history and their dynamic. At the end of this section, the player is even directly prompted to answer the classic “what are we” question from Rachel, with prompts for Chloe to answer as “friends” or “something more”…
Life is Strange: Before the Storm will total about 6-9 hours of gameplay, spread over three episodes. Episode One is scheduled to release August 31, 2017.