games / Previews

SDCC: Life Is Strange: Before the Storm Gameplay Preview

August 6, 2017 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Life Is Strange: Before the Storm

During this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Square Enix was allowing some special hands-on gameplay sessions for the next installment of the Life Is Strange series, Life Is Strange: Before the Storm. This new game is actually developed by Deck Nine and not Dontnod Entertainment like the first one. This game follows the character of Chloe Price from the original game and her friendship with a character named Rachel.

Previously, Square Enix was showing the game in a behind-closed-doors, hands-off demo preview at E3 earlier this summer. However, now 411mania was actually able to play through the game hands on. The version at Comic-Con was the PC version, and it appeared to be the same slice of the game that was in the behind-closed-doors preview at E3 this year. In the sequence, players take control of teenager Chloe Price as she travels to an underground concert in a rundown mill for an indie rock band called Firewalk.

While Before the Storm is an episodic graphic adventure game, it does have basic third person controls. The controls allow some degree of control for Chloe to walk around and explore the mill environment. From there, Chloe can make various observations about the environment to the drugs and various paraphernalia lying around to the graffiti on the walls. She can also converse with the other denizens hanging around at the mill. Players control the direction of the story based on various dialogue options. So, players can strike up a conversation with the local drug dealer and try to buy some drugs or opt out. They can even check out the t-shirt vendor and use some underhanded gameplay options to cause his car to crash in order to steal the vendor’s money, and then promptly use that money to buy some drugs from the dealer. Controlling and navigating around the environment is pretty simple, but it’s also fairly rewarding to explore. Searching for the right clues inside the mill allows

So there is a nice sense that players can dictate the direction of the overall story. The characters and dialogue came off very well developed for the most part. Chloe is definitely in her rebellious teenage phase. This came out in another non-playable sequence that was available during the demo session, that shows her tumultuous relationship with her mother’s boyfriend, David. Chloe’s dad is out of the picture, and it’s making things a little uneasy at home with her mother dating and seeing someone else. You can also check out some of the Chloe and David gameplay sequence below.

The interactive elements to the environment add a nice layer of texture to the gameplay. Exploring Chloe’s home shows that her mother is having bill trouble, and how David is trying to leave some new tools in the garage; something Chloe is not happy with.

The first of three episodes for Life Is Strange: Before the Storm is slated to arrive on August 31 for PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. The other two episodes will be released later on.