If you haven’t played the first episode of Life is Strange: Before the Storm we would suggest you do before reading this review to avoid potential spoilers.
For me, the worst part of episodic games is having to wait for the next instalment but I do like the opportunity to think about the game between episodes. I really enjoyed the first episode of Before the Storm but was disappointed when it ended as I wanted to see how the story progressed. It’s been a seven-week wait for episode two and I’ve found myself thinking about the story and wondering how it might progress. A big part of this was the many decisions the first episode made me choose. Many of those decisions didn’t appear to affect the story in a big way but I knew that some would also influence the remaining episodes.
The second episode of Before the Storm has Chloe and Rachel facing the consequences of their actions from episode one. The new friends find themselves hauled into the principle’s office to explain themselves. To make things worse their parents are also in attendance.
Watch the Life is Strange: Before the Storm – Episode 2 trailer below:
Still playing as Chloe you immediately find yourself with a dilemma. Do you let the blame fall on Rachel and risk hurting your new friendship or take it yourself to protect her. Whatever you choose will have consequences such as upsetting your mother, getting Rachel suspended or even yourself expelled from Blackwell.
The new Backtalk system returns and some of the conversations that use it are trickier to navigate this time. How you handled decisions in the first episode also come back to help or hinder you. I found it really interesting to see the multiple ways that things can play out.
The best part of episode two is the focus on the relationship between Chloe and Rachel. It’s new, exciting and very quickly becomes incredibly intense. You learn even more about each character and the influence they have on each other. It’s clear to see how the decisions Chloe is faced with here turned her into the person we met in the first game.
View some screenshots from Life is Strange: Before the Storm – Episode 2 Brave New World in our gallery:
This episode also gives you more insight into characters like Nathan Prescott, Victoria Chase and Frank Bowers. Some of the decisions you are faced with really are tough and can play out in very different ways.
There are a few big set-pieces this time including carrying out an errand for Frank, meeting Rachel’s family and even a performance of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. These are all well handled but there’s a standout moment when Chloe and Rachel walk home together that is just handled beautifully.
I enjoyed Brave New World even more than the first episode and a big reveal near the end left me intrigued and excited for the final episode, Hell is Empty. Presuming Deck Nine follow a similar development time frame I’m hoping to see that released early December.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm – Episode 2 Brave New World was reviewed using a digital code supplied by the publisher.
Publisher: Square Enix Developer: Deck Nine Games Release Date: October 19, 2017 Reviewed On: Xbox One Also Available On: PS4, PC/Steam