Or writing about one of your favourite games to avoid the horrifying realisation that it's ending soon
With the 2nd episode of Before the Storm that came out this month, you may be familiar or at least have heard of Life is Strange.
For the not-so-familiar, LiS is a non-linear choice based game from the minds of DONTNOD (Remember me). Despite being a story focused indie game, it did amazingly well. Won a bunch of awards for it a few years back and the fan base is obsessive and loyal.
Things got busier at DONTNOD since the game's success, so they handed the production of the prequel over to DECK NINE. I recently finished the 2nd episode of the prequel: Before the Storm and I am not in the slightest bit disappointed like the internet seemed compelled on telling me I would be.
DECK NINE are doing an amazing job of making an amazing game- even without the time travel. And as for all the moaning about the change in Chloe’s voice actor… I honestly don’t think I would have noticed if someone hadn’t told me prior. It made sense anyway, as the Chloe in BTS is younger. Regardless, both voice actors are amazing.
The Life is Strange games are not for everyone. This game can be played in a pretty laid back manner, so if you prefer playing games where it feels like there’s a hand curling its fingers around your heart ready to rip it out when you run out of HP (Hi Dark Souls) then this game might not be for you. But for someone who doesn’t get much gaming time these days outside of work and parenting (you can’t “just pause” A Halo 3 campaign on Legendary, crying baby or no), this game was perfect. what it lacks in button mashing action, makes up for in a brilliant story, relatable characters and multiple outcomes from the choices you make with heavy impact.
I was a little late to the game with Life is Strange, so thankfully all the episodes were already out and night by night me and my wife devoured them. We also got to watch and judge each other on the different outcomes we picked for each of our games. The Time Travel was great and definitely enhanced the cleverness of the story as well as making for an… weeks of nightmare-inducing interesting final level, but even if you were to take the time travel element out, it still would have one mindf*ck of a story. Characters can actually die if you don’t pick the right choice. Not me though, because I'm a good friend.
To replace the time travel function, you have conversations with people where you actually listen to keywords in their speech in order to work out the correct thing to say back. No, it’s not as sci-fi as Time travel, but it’s still pretty fun and challenging. It can get pretty intense sometimes as you’re on a time limit too. Plus, once the time limits over, fans of the first game- including myself- will be horrified to realise you really cant turn time back and choose the only option you didn’t pick (the right one). you’re stuck with that choice for the rest of the game.
Oh yeah, You genuinely get to play DnD with some college friends.I’ve never touched a 20-sided die before, but this made me want to. The in-game DnD game makes for some pretty funny outcomes and like real DnD, it can be one long game if you want it to be. If you do choose to play it, I’m going to advise you on a spoiler-free choice you can choose during the DnD sesh simply because everyone else keeps telling me to do:
I have no idea why, but that’s what everyone keeps telling me to do. So yeah, pick Barb.
And finally, Chloe Fucking price.
It’s amazing and a little worrying how much people seem to relate to Chloe Price, including me. In both games, there are things she does and says that trigger things in me that makes me just want to tell her to grow the hell up (that’s probably the Dad in me, whatcha gonna do?) But then there’s also times I really, really feel for her. There’s a scene in Before the Storm that my wife and I got pretty emotionally involved in…
Overall, I love her character. Not because she’s a badass, but because I don’t completely love her character. She is flawed, and a bit of an arsehole sometimes, but she’s an arsehole for a reason. A good reason. And I think that’s something we can all relate to, at least at some point in our lives.