Life is Strange: Before the Storm is the prequel to the episodic game Life is Strange and is developed by Deck Nine and published by Square Enix.
The game is basically a puzzle game, with the reward for the puzzle being more story. The main difference with between this game and the its predecessor is the lack of a time travel mechanic. The puzzles can sometimes be obtuse, but Chloe will usually give you a useful hint to get you in the right direction. Depending on your choices, you might have to play a word association game to get a certain dialogue option.
Much like the main game, Before the Storm is not a happy story. Taking place before the main game, Before the Storm follows Chloe Price and Racheal Amber as they deal with their respective problems in life. The dialogue is awkward and poorly written, but it gets the point across. For the first episode, there is not a lot of substance and nothing to draw you in or keep you invested in the story.
The game uses an art style somewhere between realism and cartoonish. The characters are poorly animated, sometimes taking you out of the game. The use of pastels contrasts with the story quite a bit. The game likes to show off it’s graphics, but it really doesn’t have much to show.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a decent game, but not worthy to be associated with the Life is Strange series. Were it to be the first game in a new series, its flaws would be more forgivable. But based on the precedent set by the main game, Before the Storm just doesn’t hold up. Perhaps, like the case with the main game, it will get better as it progresses. But with only two episodes left, they don’t have a lot of time to improve.