E3 2017: Life is Strange: Before the Storm, New Light on Chloe
During E3 this week, we were able to catch a glimpse into Life is Strange: Before the Storm. This time, however, we won’t be playing as the time-rewinding Max, but as her estranged friend Chloe Price. So no, this isn’t Life is Strange 2. DontNod is quietly working on that one in Paris.
Before the Storm takes place two years after Chloe’s father is killed in a car accident and right after Max leaves Arcadia Bay, and before the striking blue hair and signature beanie. So that would make Chloe in this story 16 years old in this game. Developed by Colorado-based Deck Nine Games (a brand new company working independently from DontNod), the game focuses mostly on the relationship between Chloe and Rachel Amber. If you played the first game, then you definitely remember that name.
Deck Nine promises to deliver all of the wonderful teen angst and the close friendships, or maybe romantic relationships depending on how you play it out, that the original game delivered. Whether or not Rachel and Chloe become romantically involved is entirely up to you, but it won’t change the closeness the two develop over the course of this prequel.
Besides the total lack of time-travel and the slight change in Chloe’s demeanor (she’s not quite on the verge of self-destruction just yet), fans have already noticed the absence of Chloe’s original voice actor Ashly Burch. Due to continuing negotiations for better pay and work conditions between big-name gaming publishers and SAG-AFTRA, the voice actors in video games’ union, Burch is prevented from reprising her role this time around. Actress Rhianna DeVries is filling in instead.
Even though we won’t audibly hear Ashly’s voice through Chloe in Before the Storm, it doesn’t mean she has lost her voice. Ashly worked close with the writers at Deck Nine as a story consultant to maintain Chloe’s vibe, her cadence, as well as her voice.
“[Ashly] went through the episode one script” sometime after the strike began, Lead Writer Zak Garris told Polygon. “She decided she wanted to get involved. She loved what we were doing.”
Below you’ll find a 20-minunte hands-off demo shown at E3 earlier this week. One of the main personality shifts that we see in Chloe is that she is much more of a wrecking ball than she was in Life is Strange. This demo features her chaotic nature perfectly as it features her sneaking into an illegal rock concert at the edge of town. When Chloe spots a vendor sending band shirts outside the venue, you’re given the option to release the car’s handbrake. She does, and the vendor goes flying, allowing Chloe to steal both a shirt at the $200 the vendor made in sales.
There are more examples throughout the demo, and Deck Nine reminds us that these chaotic choices you make will have consequences somewhere down the line. So make important life choices, kiddies.
Towards the end of the demo, you’ll also get to see Chloe interact with Rachel, who are currently in a fight for some reason. This seems to be just one of the turning points in Chloe and Rachel’s relationship, and her reaction all depends on how you play it. Just watch below.