When Life Is Strange came out in 2015, the audience was swept off their feet. An episodic graphic adventure was something people just started to get used to with the Telltale Games titles like The Walking Dead. However, when Square Enix released Life Is Strange it was clear that this type of genre is going to become a trend. Now, Life Is Strange: Before the Storm by Deck Nine has finally come to Android and iOS devices to finally allow mobile users to enjoy this game previously released to console and PC in 2017.
Mobile users finally got their versions of Life Is Strange two and three years after its release. Namely, iOS version was released in December 2017, and Android one a few months ago this year. So the prequel Life Is Strange: Before the Storm comes to mobile just in time for players to revisit the characters.
Life Is Strange: Before the Storm is a third-person graphic adventure consisting of three episodes. The gameplay is narrative driven and in the 3D surrounding so basically you influence and affect the outcomes as much as it’s possible. This is the same as in the original game. However, what is different is the feel of the game and that depends completely on the gamers. For me, the mobile version was just not so relatable. And 90% of the reason for that is that episodes were so engrossing when presented on bigger screens that they really resembled a TV show.
In Before the Storm, we meet Chloe Price as a sixteen-year-old rebellious girl we already know from the original game. Being that this is the prequel, we are looking at the events which happened three years before the storyline in Life Is Strange. However, Life Is Strange: Before the Storm doesn’t have supernatural elements and is a typical drama like in the My So-Called Life TV show or any similar ones popular during the ‘90s.
If you played Life Is Strange already, and you probably did since it got really stellar reviews, then you know what happened to Rachel Amber. And knowing that makes Before the Storm an emotional rollercoaster you are afraid to play because you will get hurt but still need to because you find the characters and their story worth it. Even if you don’t know Rachel and Chloe from before this game, you will still feel their emotions really strongly since the game is so well written and expressive that you simply can’t sympathize with them. The only problem with the story is that in all its captive embrace, you know it will crush you in the end.
At the beginning of the first episode, we see Chloe trying to find a way to enter the metal concert with her wit and sass. You figure out right from the start that this is a troubled girl with a tough life. After she meets Rachel, everything changes for both of them. And this is where we truly see the importance of this prequel since in Life Is Strange we are missing quite a bit of that background story about these two girls.
Rachel’s father is the District Attorney whom she catches in the compromising act and that shows us how much she and Chloe are fundamentally the same. They are both hurting and trying to find meaning in their lives, which is what brings them closer.
Instead of the supernatural premise of time travel in the original, Before the Storm uses Backtalk which is really unique for an adventure game dialogue. It gives a player more control over the conversation so you can get what you want for your character and also perfectly shows off Chloe’s character. But the problem is, it’s not used nearly enough and often in the other two episodes like in the first one.
The core of the game is Chloe’s and Rachel’s relationship. It’s empowering and heartfelt for both girls, but with an outcome that will likely break their hearts. The drama may seem like too much in the last episode, but that is only so for those who don’t appreciate a compelling relationship like Chloe and Rachel have. And when you get to the end and start feeling everything that leads to that last moment, you can’t help it but really be impressed with how many feelings can fit in a mobile game.
Some may see the ending as unfair, and others may find it a worthy conclusion of the game. Whatever it may be, you will feel something more than you expected and that is why playing this game on a small screen can’t do this game justice. It doesn’t damage it, however, which only speaks for the superb storytelling and captivating characters, especially Chloe.
Life Is Strange: Before the Storm is cruel in its realistic portrayal of life that you might wonder why you should play something so real and close to home. Because every moment in our lives count, being sad or happy, good or bad. What these girls felt for each other in that one moment in time will live impact on their lives forever, just like this story will touch your hearts and maybe help you figure out your own feelings.