As the Houston Press’s resident video-game reviewer, I’ve made no secret of my incredible fondness for the 2015 adventure game Life Is Strange. The winding tale of a young woman who returns to her small hometown and suddenly develops time-travel abilities when she attempts to save her former best friend is an emotional roller coaster that continues to build a fan base.
Now fans are going to get a chance to return to Arcadia Bay in a new prequel, Before the Storm. Developed by Deck Nine rather than the original developer, DontNod, the game follows deuteragonist Chloe Price at the age of 16, before Max Caulfield ever returned to the bay and began opening portals through time. Chloe is just newly dealing with the loss of her father in a car accident, and forms a close friendship with Rachel Amber, whose disappearance is a main plot point of the original game.
Deck Nine has made it clear the time-travel aspect will not be a feature of Before the Storm, but shots from the trailer below show the game otherwise incorporates much of the same play style that fans are used to. Familiar locations, like Blackwell Academy and the junkyard, appear prominently.
Another strength is the Deck Nine team's bringing on Ashly Burch, the voice actress for Chloe, as a writing consultant. Burch, who is very protective of Chloe, aided the developers in just what she would and wouldn’t say.
Currently the game is scheduled for an August 31 release from Square Enix on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. There has still been no word on whether there will be a true sequel from DontNod, though intense fan speculation and hunger continues. Several other Life Is Strange vehicles are out there, including a dating sim, Love Is Strange, and a live-action digital series.
Check out the trailer for Life Is Strange: Before the Storm below.