Life is Strange: Before the Storm Episode Two review – At any Price

Credit: Deck Nine, Square Enix
Credit: Deck Nine, Square Enix /

Life is Strange: Before the Storm’s second episode Brave New World continues to ignite the flames of Chloe and Rachel’s relationship.

Developer: Deck Nine
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: PC (version reviewed), PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: October 19, 2017

The premier first episode of Life is Strange: Before the Storm set the stage for what is turning out to be an emotionally captivating story. The relationship between Chloe and Rachel, while relatively unexplored in the original Life is Strange, was ultimately a huge part of the story. And Before the Storm continues to serve as an effective way prequel filled with personality and passion.

While the first episode Awake set the stage for these two girls’ blossoming relationship, Brave New World slowly but surely pushed it forward. One can expect the premiere episode to slowly set up the plot line and (re)introduce characters. But after an attention-grabbing scene at the end of the first episode, it was a little disheartening to see how slow the second episode got moving. Nothing better to bring you back down to Earth after an exciting scene than some point-and-click fetch quests!

The intertwining of the school’s rendition of The Tempest with the girls’ relationship was brilliantly executed.

Despite its slow start, the episode is filled with drama, romance, comedy, and action – Before the Storm features a number of different subplots and relationships involving Chloe. Some seem important, like Chloe and her mom, while her strange friendship with Eliot seems more like filler than anything. Chloe’s involvement with her drug dealer Frank’s criminal activities is certainly a driving plot element that provides action and suspense, as well as tough decisions that feel truly important.

The choices in the second episode of Before the Storm are even tougher than the last, really hitting that moral grey area that the Life is Strange series is so keen on. Chloe is put into some tough situations where there just isn’t an obvious right and wrong answer. This serves as a reminder that real life has real consequences- it’s the price we have to pay. While some plot points provide only an illusion of agency, there are still some significant branching choices players must make. We could also see a few of the results from the previous episode built into this episode, though relatively minor in the grand scheme of things.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Credit: Deck Nine, Square Enix /

The new Backtalk mechanic again makes its appearance, though it isn’t featured nearly as much compared to the first episode. Chloe is still a firecracker with a quick temper and no filter – for better and for worse.  But the number of borderline cringe comments seemed much more reasonable in the second episode. I’m no teenage girl from Oregon, but I felt like Chloe’s angsty wit still came through without being quite as over-the-top as the first episode of Before the Storm.

Related Story: Life is Strange: Before the Storm Episode One review – The Price is right

The real winner of this prequel, though, continues to be the dynamic duo of Chloe and Rachel. Their budding relationship is just as exciting as it is complicated, and it’s interesting to see how it continues to grow, right at the player’s fingertips. The intertwining of the school’s rendition of The Tempest with the girls’ relationship was brilliantly executed, and the scene of the two walking home afterward was both heartwarming and exciting.

And what would a Life is Strange episode be without a twist to end the episode? Even as cliche and predictable as these types of games can often be, the final reveal this time around was a bit more of a surprise. And of course, it has us asking – well, what now? This prequel has us hooked. All we can do is eagerly await the grand finale to this emotional and heartfelt journey.

<em>Brave New World</em> continues to explore the dramatic relationship of Chloe and Rachel, while everything else falls by the wayside. The second episode features more difficult decisions than the first, reminding us that life choices are never binary. Despite another slow start to the episode, a classic suspenseful cliffhanger has us yearning for the conclusion to this emotional and heartfelt prequel.. Deck Nine. . Life is Strange: Before the Storm Ep. 2. 8

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.