SOTBNerdy: Some First Thoughts on @LifeIsStrange Before the Storm

New Life is Strange is good Life is Strange

Two years ago, I talked about a pretty amazing game, Life is Strange and how it helped me deal with my mom’s death. Placing gamers in the shoes of Max, a young woman with the power to rewind time to make life-altering decisions, LiS was, for me, unlike any game before it. It was breathtakingly gorgeous in ways outside of the usual “oh the graphics look so lifelike” foolishness. It was amazing when it came to story, character development, and actually making you give a crap about the choices you made. It was, for me, on par with stuff like Mass Effect when it came to decision-making.

Plus the game was just damned fun.

Everything you did had consequences and no two playthroughs were 100% alike. The game did The Butterfly Effect better than The Butterfly Effect. Finally, it was indie without being pretentious and managed to capture young adulthood/those late-teen years pretty well–even if Max’s best friend (and de facto secondary protagonist) Chloe’s use of the “hella” catchphrase teetered on the unbelievable at points (but it all makes sense when you think about it).

So, imagine my hella happiness when I heard that there would be another edition to the franchise. 
The resulting Life is Strange: Before the Storm puts us in the shoes of Chloe to further flesh out her character and give us a look into her world before she and Max ran back into each other that fateful day (spoilers if you haven’t finished/played the first game). While there’s no rewind function, you get to “backtalk” against adversaries (essentially a game of riffs to see where the story takes you). The first few times I “backtalked,” I was reminded that, like in the first game, you had to be hella aware of your surroundings. You get keys and tips to take down opponents by talking to everyone, looking at everything, and pushing buttons. So, it pays to take your time and take every ounce of the game in. 
Thus far, I’ve enjoyed seeing how Chloe became the blue-haired catalyst she was in the original game. Her dad’s death has a huge effect on her and we get to play through her dealing with it versus being just told about it, as in the original LiS. Plus, we get to see many of the original set of characters interact with Chloe before she became the blue-haired catalyst. Seeing that kind of makes the game all the more tragic and hard-hitting for me, especially if you know what went down in the first game of the series. Plus, there’s a guy Blerd and a moment where you tabletop with him for a while.
Overall, I’m only a few hours into the first episode (I like to savor the flavor). And episodes two and three (and a bonus episode with Max) are slated to release in the coming months. But, if you’re jonesing for some great, emotionally-charged gaming that doesn’t deal with how long your killstreak is or how many touchdowns you’ve scored on the season, you can do hella worse. 
Speed on the Beat

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