Friday, December 22

Life is Strange: Before the Storm - Episode 3 Review

We already have between us, the third and last episode of Life is Strange: Before the Storm: Hell is empty. Truths will be revealed, action and intensity will reach their climax and the plots will close. Are you ready to say goodbye to the story of Chloe and Rachel?

Four months after the story began with the release of the first chapter of Before the Storm: Awake, at the end of August, and having waited two months after playing the middle episode: Brave New World, we finally reach the conclusion of Before the Storm , the fascinating story of Chloe and Rachel, that serves as a piece to complete the puzzle of Life is Strange, explaining the facts prior to the storm and the true story of Rachel Amber, in addition to Chloe's past and all the steps that led her to be the rebel of blue hair and tattoos that you met almost three years ago in the game developed by Dontnod Entertainment


The title that opens this paragraph is in turn the name of the third episode of BtS that concerns me. Those who played as the episodes have gone out will sound this phrase, since Chloe must pronounce it (if she doesn't want to get out of the script) in The Tempest, the Blackwell play to which Rachel convinces her to participate, due to the temporary absence of the main actress. The complete sentence is "Hell is empty and all the demons are here" and belongs to the mythical William Shakespere, one of the great artistic referents of Rachel. In turn, subtly introduces you to know some "demon" in this chapter of which you have only heard about the first two, who will make things difficult for the protagonists and will be the cause of the most tense and intense moments of all BtS . As a nod, for it's looks and actions reminds a little to Negan of The Walking Dead, but instead of carrying Lucille will have another sharp tool to scare us.

The beginning of the chapter will present a metaphor in which you see Rachel and Chloe looking through binoculars and in turn discovering the truth about an important and surprising fact discovered just at the end of episode 2. When you know this truth and remove the veil to a past full of lies, Rachel will make some dangerous decisions before which Chloe will show her support and will always remain on the side of the young woman regardless of the consequences. Maintaining a structure similar to the episodes that precede it, this third begins with more intensity than the others, but soon takes you (at least momentarily) back to that calm that you like so much. Those moments when you can turn on the radio and listen to the characteristic soundtrack in the form of punk-rock music while you wander around the room changing clothes at will or just sitting down to reflect on what happened and how you feel about it , in some dialogues that Chloe has with herself and they serve, in case someone has not yet empathized enough with her to understand what the young woman feels at each moment, to understand what is on her mind.

The challenges of insolence also return, although this time will not be so much to face some "enemy" and hostile tone if not to get, for example, a very good looking chocolate pudding that a friend intends to eat, always maintaining the friendly and casual tone. Also the graffiti that Chloe can make on any surface that presents itself as an opportunity. You will have to be careful to detect these places and, normally, to decide between two presented options of ingenious phrases or funny drawings to leave reflected. Most achievements of the game, will be linked to this mechanics, so if you have a complete soul and want to take those precious points, you should replay some of the scenes to choose the opposite option to the one taken in the first game to get all the possible achievements and get that coveted 100%.

Instead, the power of decisions will be much greater and these will lead to an outcome in which a crossroads will present itself, perhaps not as apocalyptic as that of Life is Strange, but with a very great importance within Before the Storm. Some will have it clear, but others will have to stop and think about the possible consequences and in which decision they feel more comfortable before pulling for one or the other. In addition to this outcome, during the whole chapter there will be maintained some intensity quotas not seen until now in the first and second episodes. There will be surprises, some pleasant and others difficult to process and the tension will increase due to not having the rewinding powers that you had in the first game and they allowed you to try the different options before choosing the one you wanted, besides taking it more calmly . Even so, at this point you will not miss such powers. Before the Storm has its essence and in spite of being cut by the same pattern as the original LiS presents it's own differentiated soul, still more centered on feelings and on humanity by dispensing with the "magical" or esoteric aspect.

Topics such as adolescence and it's related problems, family and relationships, drugs as an "escape route", feminism by showing young women strong in every way and homosexuality, something often wrongly treated in the middle, they are mixed and taken in a masterful way in Before the Storm, in a very natural and comfortable way

And it will indeed cost me to say goodbye to Chloe or Rachel and the beautiful story that unites them. If you are lucky enough to empathize with this story, you will enjoy and live very close to each other the ups and downs of the plot, to visit new Arcadia Bay stages and to know more deeply about endearing secondary characters such as Amber's parents, Joyce (mother of Chloe) and David, Frank, with greater prominence in BtS, Eliot and even, although only with a small mention, Victoria and Nathan, much more relevant in LiS. They all have their own motivations, concerns and subplots and they feel very realistic and human. William, the deceased father of Chloe, will also play an important role in supporting his daughter in dreams that she has, giving her the strength she so badly needed on certain occasions.

Graphics & Design

The characteristic graphic and artistic section of the game, and the style and design of the characters help to shape the world of Arcadia Bay, endowing the title with great personality and beauty, and a soundtrack with indie and punk-rock songs that will support the emotions transmitted in the high points and the calm scenes in which you sit down to reflect


Before the Storm consolidates as a great prequel to Life is Strange. A must play, for all those who enjoyed the first delivery, and for all lovers of good narrative adventures, since you can reverse the order and start with this title, before going for LiS. You will meet Chloe Price and Rachel Amber and the exciting plot that unites them. Two apparently very different people, who end up being essential for each other. You will discover great secrets and you will be surprised by the plot twists that in this third and final chapter reach their climax of intensity, at the same time counting with calm scenes in which to explore the space at your whim, searching and reading all the details presented to understand the whole world of Arcadia Bay and the motivations or concerns of the people who inhabit it. The secondary characters are very well constructed, each one having it's own personality and subplot that will be linked in some way with the main one.

*Game was provided by the developer/publisher for this review


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