The next chapter in the Life is Strange series has been announced at Microsoft’s E3 2017 Xbox briefing, and we’ve already got a first look as Square Enix has just released twenty minutes of gameplay footage for the upcoming prequel, Life is Strange: Before the Storm.
The prequel’s first installment, much like Max Caulfield herself, takes us back into Arcadia Bay’s past, three years before the events of Life is Strange. While Max has taken a backseat to former deuteragonist Chloe Price, Before the Storm brings back some familiar faces and locations that fans of the original will no doubt remember. The released gameplay footage gives us a look into the life of 16-year-old rebel Chloe and her unlikely developing friendship with teen queen Rachel Amber.
The released gameplay footage starts off at an abandoned mill hosting an underground concert that Chloe has snuck off to attend, introducing the game’s emphasis on interactive storytelling and consequential actions. The second scene features a setting appropriately named “The Overlook,” in which Chloe and Rachel spend the day together bonding. Finally, the video winds down with the familiar junkyard that we remember from Life is Strange as Chloe’s second home. The three scenes give us a look at the developing relationship between Chloe and Rachel, however that relationship will go.
While time travel is understandably not included in the gameplay with Max’s absence, Before the Storm includes its predecessor’s focus on the consequences of the player’s actions. Choices made in the game can have permanent effects on future choices, as well as the ending, keeping the faith to the series’ theme of causality.
The first of three installments of Life is Strange: Before the Storm is scheduled for release on August 31, 2017 for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, with a Deluxe Edition also announced.