E3 2017 Highlights: Life is Strange – Before The Storm

So E3 is still taking place, but the conferences are done and dusted, and the game announcements and reveals will start to quieten down now until Gamescom. So now we can take time to reflect back on the new games announced and anticipate what games we’ll be opening our wallets for in the coming months.

One of the highlights of E3 for me came towards the end of Microsoft’s conference. The Square-Enix logo flashed onto the screen, initially I thought this was a little bizarre as should any Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts announcements occur I’d expect them to be on Sony’s stage. But it wasn’t either of those 2 games, it was the next game in the Life is Strange franchise.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a 3 part prequel staring Chloe from the original LIS, and focusing on her unlikely friendship and relationship with Rachel Amber who is a major plot point in the original LIS. The game will take place in Arcadia Bay again, but 3 years prior to the events of the first game. You’ll be playing as a 16 year old Alex. There are a few familiar locations that are revisited from the first LIS in this prequel.

I’ve singled this game out as my first highlight of E3, purely because I cannot shout it out enough how amazing the first Life is Strange was. I’ve enjoyed plenty of video-games during the years, but there are only a select few games that I’ve become completely attached characters and engrossed in them, and Life is Strange was one of them. The choices and consequences of the first game, which resulted in incredibly emotional cliff hangers at the end of episodes was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had gaming. Feeling emotionally drained at the end of episodes and legitimately needing a break before starting the next episode to get my composure back is something I’d never experienced in gaming, and haven’t since. Regardless of how large those cliff hanger’s were at the end of an episode I couldn’t just jump straight in to the next, I needed an hour of something more lighthearted. And that is not a criticism of the game whatsoever.

And I’ve also singled it out because I’m really looking forward to seeing the relationship of Chloe and Rachel build. Playing the original Life is Strange it was very apparent that Rachel meant a hell of a lot to Chloe, and the scenes in episodes seeing the pain Chloe was in when discovering more and more with regards to her disappearance, they’ve obviously been through a lot together. We learn that Rachel helped Chloe during the death of Chloe’s father and after her mother got remarried. I’m anticipating playing that part of the story out, and I’m assuming will also be playing out the parts up to and of Rachel’s disappearance.

Episode one is out in August, I’m hoping that there is a confirmation of a physical version of all episodes together like there was for the first game. If that should happen, then as badly as I want to dive back to Arcadia Bay, I might hold out for a physical collection. If it happens to feature a soundtrack like the first one did, it’d be a justifiable wait.

Check out the Life is Strange: Before the Storm announcement trailer, and if you have PSN you can get the original Life is Strange for FREE now as it’s one of the free PSN games this month.

– Murr

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