Deck Nine’s prequel to Dontnod’s Life Is Strange has been the subject of much speculation thanks to industry rumors that preceeded the announcement, and some drama concerning the voice actor changes. Thanks to an actor’s guild strike, several of the game’s voice actors and actresses were unable to return to the prequel, and were replaced by non-guild talent.
All that aside, I was able to view some in-game footage during a press-only demo at E3. The walkthrough was run by members of the Deck Nine team, but the decisions were made by group consensus. And for an episodic game that is mostly just some walking around and decision points, not being able to play for myself wasn’t as much of a drag as I’d normally call these things. Its always a bit annoying to not take a game for a spin yourself, but Life is Strange: Before the Storm doesn’t have the most complicated gameplay.
In the prequel, we get three episodes to control Chloe and get an idea of her relationship with Rachel 3 years before the original series. The game will feature new and old locations, but will not include any rewind powers.
Unlike Max, Chloe’s solutions to problems tend to be a little more mischevious. Chloe also leaves graffiti behind, rather than take photos. And the story most focuses on the characters amd problems of the world. There are no powers here, and thus the game plays a lot more like an interactive teen drama than previously. Deck Nine’s reps defended the choice by saying that people flock to Life is Strange because of the characters and relatability of their problems rather than their powers. Amd while that is true, the story in Life is Strange was not quite as normal as what we have in Before the Storm.
All that aside, the promise of the prequel is not to show us why Rachel disappeared, but to tell us a “new story no one knows the ending of” where “there is no wrong choice.” And I’m sure Deck Nine will deliver.
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