Life Is Strange Before The Storm : Brave New World (3 Hours Played)

It has taken me a while since the second episode was released to find the time to play it but following on the story of Chloe and Rachel has been something I’ve been dying to do so here we went…

Brave New World gave us a lot of what felt like beginnings of stories that we know probably aren’t going to be finished as well as we’d like in the final episode. I don’t want to sound like a downer before we get the final episode but it feels like Before the Storm has started what might become a unquenchable thirst to know every detail in the lives of many characters between when it is set and when LiS is set.

Whilst I never had any problems with a prequel, or any prequel to be honest, we always know there is a set point and we have to get to that set point. I thought Before the Storm would be a nice way to introduce us to Rachel and give us so many more feels then we already did for a girl we never knew but felt emotionally connected to thanks to Chloe but what BtS actually has done is make me crave finding out how EVERYTHING plays out.

Episode 2 feels a little stagnant therefore in the story department. A day in the life of Chloe doesn’t seem enough any more. I felt like I wanted more then I got in one episode to make sure that Episode 3 doesn’t feel rushed to deal with certain stories and it ties up the loose ends without making me want yet another chapter in the Chloe Price LiS chronicles. I like that they are looking at moving on from Chloe and Max in the next of their bigger series, the proper LiS 2, but I feel like all BtS has done is make me want more. More of Chloe. More of Rachel. More of Victoria and Nathan, Drew and Mikey, MUCH more of Steph and just general moreness.

Funnily though nothing in the world makes me want more of Max. Chloe’s journal, which is much more interesting then Max’s ever was, makes me less inclined to want to know more about Max.

But like all prequels it has its problems.

I fell in love with the idea of David. A dude suffering from PTSD and failing miserably to join a family unit torn apart by the horrible fate that Chloe’s father suffered. I love it so much that I just want Chloe to be NICER to David because if they actually talked instead of butting heads the future could be so different.

Which is stupid because the future CAN’T be different. BtS isn’t going to effect LiS so David and Chloe’s relationship is going to get worse. For anyone who plays BtS before LiS they are going to lose a interesting story unfolding before them in David and his character and I think that is a shame. For people like me who kinda liked David by the end of LiS, BtS is proving difficult because you can’t do anything to make Chloe, her mum or David’s life easier. We’re leaving them to suffer what they suffer until whatever ending you have already picked for them in LiS.

The three Episode series also has its problems.

How is the story of Drew and Mikey going to be resolved in a satisfactory way with one episode left to go?

I LIKE Drew and Mikey and I want to see something happen. Frank and his boss are after them, we know Frank and Rachel have a thing, we know his relationship with Chloe sours a bit. In one episode we’re going to get answers to all that?

I doubt it.

We leave Brave New World with a giant emotional cliffhanger which is going to take up probably a lot of time to unravel in the next episode but I’m no longer here just for Rachel. In fact both episodes so far has made me dislike her more. Gone is the idea of this cheery lovely woman and in its place is a manipulative little girl who is throwing a tantrum because she thinks her dad is cheating on her mum. She uses Chloe and her naivete and whilst at times she tries to use her charms on others in Chloe’s defense I didn’t like playing that version of Chloe.

I feel like by the time I’ve finished the next episode I’m going to just be craving more and more of Chloe’s story till the gap between both halves is closed.

THEN AGAIN I also trust the ending to be spectacular and can’t complain till I see it but that paranoia that I’ll be left unsatisfied soured the episode a tiny bit. Every interesting moment was over shadowed with “but is it really going to be important enough to finish this train of thought?”

We’ll see.

This episode was also the first time I really didn’t like the graphics very much.

Some people have always had a problem with it and whilst I have always enjoyed watching it the characters seemed very jerky in this episode and their faces much more static. The worst thing to happen to LiS might be Rachel’s earring which has a life of its own in its own stiff way.

Was impressed with puppy Pompidou though, that was adorable.

Moments like Rachel smashing the table and the play in general were just too stilty for me. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great either.

I felt the graffiti spots were slightly more difficult to find this time but it might be that I was playing with a controller which I found slightly more difficult to concentrate my focus on objects with then using the keyboard. I had to go back to get three after completing the game. THAT I liked though. It didn’t feel like a chore like going back to find the extra photos in LiS does but it also gives a good reason to go back and replay parts of the game.

What these two episodes have done is give me hope for the future of LiS because it proves that you don’t have to have a over the top supernatural story to make it interesting. Whilst others have missed that element I love taking over the role of a normal teenager going through a tough period and hooking onto someone and a ideal that feels like it’ll set her free. She’s suffering from depression and probably a shit ton of other things and we’re getting to help her through it. AGAIN it being a prequel we know where this goes and we know it isn’t a happy place so it leaves a bit of a sad aura around it but if LiS2 came out and it was just about a teenager trying to come to terms with a normal life then I think this team could really do that story well.

Really they have found the perfect way to tackle tough stories like coming out, living with depression, anti-social behaviour that stems from tragedy, broken families and all sorts. Whilst of course I loved the big mystery and all in LiS and the time travel aspect was fun, unique and made the story even better, taking away that element doesn’t look like it would hinder another game. If they continue to make LiS games as a anthology collection with various different angles the series has legs to go on for years.

They have proven that good stories is all that counts.

Finally I guess I just wanted to say that a lot of people want a special bonus Max episode to see Max before LiS.

Obviously I don’t but I would quite like a Frank episode. I really do believe that Rachel is extremely manipulative, looks like she gets it from her dad, and she used Chloe probably until she couldn’t get anything else from her, she’s probably going to be introduced to Frank and use him until Jefferson comes along and she tries to use him. Having a Frank episode wouldn’t just show how him and Chloe got to where they got but also show that side to Rachel even more. She just wanted to escape and these people, who lets face it are at the bottom of the barrel and going nowhere, are just stepping stones for that. Easy manipulated, kind at heart people.

Well we know where that story ends….


6 thoughts on “Life Is Strange Before The Storm : Brave New World (3 Hours Played)”

  1. So, I’m going to completely disagree with…. MOST of what you said. Sorry.

    I actually found this to be my favourite episode of not only this series, but the franchise. I think a lot of the issues you have suggested surround the idea that this is a prequel, and you know what happens, means nothing you do matters. We know one thing that 100% happens, no matter what… Rachel goes missing (And you know, murdered).

    This story has been done really well in that Chloe could easily have that as her turning point. We know that before she lost her dad, she was a sweet kid. Now, rebel at heart, yes? So, say she starts to get on with David in BFS, and only gets suspended or whatever… These choices matter, of course they do. I feel as though when this happens, Chloe would run away again (Seems like her character).

    I think despite the fact we know some things about the future, we also only know so much. I’ve also been playing the game through as though I was Chloe, not how I would usually play a game, but I’m also not a rebel angsty teenager, so I think it’s fair. So, below is my episode experience

    1. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the episode and I get that all my hang ups are because I can’t get out of the mind frame that I want a so much more happier ending for Chloe then I think she gets or will get.

      I think its a positive hang up though thinking about it because it proves that the game keeps me caring. Like I am currently in a bad spot with my depression so things I say come out a little more negative then maybe they are meant to sound without me meaning to but overall I think my general feeling to this episode was OMG ITS SO GOOD, LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING… Oh fuck the next one is the last one and there are SOOO many stories I want to see developed and we might not get to see that and there is SOOO much story left I want to explore with Chloe and Rachel that we just won’t see and I know nothing I will ever do is going to make Chloe happy or save Rachel or work in a positive way to make David a better person or give Frank a happy ending….

      Which I can make sound like I don’t like the game or something but if you look at it actually its proof of how much I love the game and how much effort has been put into making even the most background of characters relevant, realistic and relatable that you kind of never want the game to end. Again maybe because of my current mind frame and my dislike of endings I’m looking at it the wrong way because overall I love the game and this episode was great. I don’t know if that makes sense?

      I think long story short is that I agree with you and that in a way I’m ruining the experience for myself getting hung up over thinking about what the future will hold instead of doing my best to just play Chloe how I want to play Chloe and getting upset that we’re one game away from the end instead of just enjoying the here and now of the game.

      Overall like I said closer to the end I think this game and this chapter in particular, has proven that the series can make people care about just normal people. I want to see what happens to these normal kids who are going through normal things. My sister hung around with kids who messed with drug dealers and ended up beat down by them, I was a depressed teenager that was a A* student that rebelled and wasted my potential, I know rich kids that seemed to find everything in life easy that had horrible things going on in their lives yet other people would fall over backwards to save them no matter what…. Its very good at making you fall in love with broken characters because they are real. It makes it very interesting to see what LiS2 is going to be about and whether they come back to add more to the Max/Chloe story or leave Arcadia Bay completely alone after this. Either way if they go down with more supernatural elements or stick to reality and stuff I think this series is doing well to pull players from all sorts of backgrounds into a world and making them see the world through different perspectives.

      Its a great game.

      1. So, from what I’ve read, LiS2 is set to be a brand new cast and location. Which I think is good. You’d be hard pushed to use the same cast after such diverse endings that can’t be closed.

        If it’s any help, there are supposedly 2 more parts to Before the storm, there is supposed to be a mini episode with Max on the pre order deelio. This is probably the best example of a game having nothing special, but making you feel all the time. That’s the best. Everything is realistic in here, but also stylized.

        These sort of games read a lot about yourself. Even if everything is left ambiguous that’s fine, as you can leave a little to the imagination in my head.

  2. So, I had real fun with this episode. The meeting with Wells, he brought up how I got on the stage in the episode before, and I failed the speech challenge; told Rachel how much drugs I did. Whoops. So, you can step in for Rachel, tell her that she was following you, which means she stays in the play, but you get expelled. That’s what I did.

    I was wondering how it would all work if you did it the other way, turns out, she just get’s an indefinite suspension… Which is better I suppose. Do colleges have some sort of impeachment system in place regarding being tardy? I mean, if I didn’t go to the equivalent college, I skipped a day, I couldn’t get expelled… You aren’t under legislation to attend. Must be different in the US (Or I suppose on Scholarship).

    As I’m playing as Chloe, I shouted at her step-dad, because despite her being clever and sensitive; David is a tool, and there’s no way she could handle it. He literally just needs to tone it down, and be more compassionate and they’d be fine. Chloe runs off, because she’s been expelled, and fuck life.

    So, then go to the junkyard. Set up a cool Elvis doll on the car dash; feel like I’m moving already. Section was more fun for me than others, I like a good explore to be honest. Then Chloe falls asleep. Is she a narcoleptic? She might well be, could have done serious problems with the lit cigarette. Weird dream sequence, and here come Rachel.

    I’m not sure I buy the two wanting to run away; but that they like the idea. I mean, Rachel keeps saying it, but really wants to appear in a play. The two play shrink, and Rachel brings Chloe clothes. Great… But why are some of the clothes the same as the ones Chloe already had? seems really dim. I was a bit weirded out by her getting changed in a skanky barn on a junkyard, but whatever.

    Meet Frank, puppy pompadiou is incredible. I want more. Chloe owes $175 or so, but stealing a thousand makes up for it, and would give her $100 more… Not sure I get the logic. Why would Frank send Chloe in to steal the money, if he was going to send someone else to get him to pay in blood…

    So, Ethan is insane right? Stay away. You steal the money, because you can. Then get in moral choice alleyway with the beat down. I gave the money up, it didn’t really matter to me, I didn’t need the money, Chloe does not seem like the type of person to worry about cash (And Rachel must have lots if she wanted to get it).

    Then the play scene happened. So, presumably, if you had Rachel get stripped of the play, she’d still do it, as Victoria would get drugged? Makes sense. But why Chloe? Is she literally the only person in the world that fits the costume? In my game, she’d been expelled earlier that day; doesn’t make sense. I liked the scene though, with the director getting emotional, seemed fun.

    The two plan to run; share a kiss to seal the deal (Because, of course they did.) And forward to escape… With no car, no money and no actual location to go and stay. But, whatever. Sounds like a great idea. Better run home and get invited to dinner. Winner.

    There’s a bit where Chloe is trying to get the last graffiti spot, and she’s like ‘Mrs. Amber’ will totally bust me standing behind her… She knows it’s you… No one else in the house would have done it… She’s still the other side of the room… And you just desecrated the crossword in front of her. Logic is dead.

    Then, a meal. You can either be a jerk to her dad, who is very hittable; or you can stay nice and let Rachel to it. I launched into him; because why wasn’t he a nicer person. DA’s are supposed to be for the people, but if you’ve ever seen ”Making a Muderer” on Netflix, they give me the willies. Suddenly, he calls me a delinquent from a broken home; which isn’t entirely untrue (I literally got expelled that day, and tried to steal a grand from someone); and I launched in with the oh so famous “Your mistress goes to the same drug dealer as me” line. Instant Classic.

    Turns out, it’s not his mistress, it’s his ex-wife… or ex-girlfriend… Or ex-mistress, who also turns out to be Rachel’s real mum. Now who’s got the broken home, eh!?! Well, that would be Rachel, as there’s a broken table in her front room.

    Episode ends with a load of unanswered questions. Love it.

    1. Absolutely love the description of your play through man!

      Obviously as I said I never went on the stage in the first game… Or I did but didn’t sit down and get into trouble so its nice to see that that part of the game carried over!

      As for her getting in trouble I don’t know… I guess didn’t her mum say that she always tried to blag Chloe out of it in the first episode? Maybe just not showing up all the time he couldn’t outright tell a widow that she’s lying about her daughter so he kinda had to let it pass but actually coming to school and then leaving again is a different matter? Also I think its obvious the only reason Chloe is in trouble is because she’s stacked so much shit up against herself and there is nothing else he can do… I feel like Wells wants to be sympathetic but he himself isn’t a very emphatic character and he can only do so much and Chloe has pushed him so far that when a top student acts out WITH Chloe he is very happy to be able to push the blame onto Chloe.

      I also had Chloe get expelled because I personally find Rachel very manipulative and wanted Chloe to have some say over her life. I get that this point Rachel is doing it to get Chloe out of trouble but I would rather Chloe be in trouble then kind of be in someones debt for saving her ass even though she kinda doesn’t want to be at the school anyway.

      Frank didn’t send Damon. Damon went on his own violation. I originally actually went out and gave Damon the money, I didn’t hear the complete interaction because I panicked and went back but he started saying that Frank said he was doing something. He was surprised to see you but also kind of not.

      The last graffiti spot made me laugh. When she said that she couldn’t in front of Mrs Amber I was like OK so when Mrs Amber finally turns around and see’s the VERY OBVIOUS graffiti is she going to think that Mr Amber got up and did it himself?! Like… It was obvious it was going to be Chloe so why even hide it!

      One thing about Rachel though is that in a way I do think she wants to run away but she’s in a position of privilege to think that. Sure up until the end of the episode she thought her dad was cheating on her mum, and even after it she’s found out her mum isn’t her mum, but she’s still living in a comfortable house with two parents (even if one isn’t biologically hers) that love and care about her and give her everything.

      She wants to run away because its like some romantic dream. Being the tearaway that runs off to sit on beaches or whatever else. So in a way I think she does want to because I think most teenagers think about leaving their woes and their small towns behind and going off on adventures.

      Unlike Chloe though its a romantic dream based on being a teenager and probably feeling trapped because she’s that step away from being a adult but not quite a adult yet.

      Chloe wants to go because of all the bad memories and the shit that keeps happening to her. Her dad died here, her mother is dating someone she doesn’t understand and who doesn’t understand her. She feels like the town, her mum and everyone else is moving on and she’s stuck. Her best friend moved and forgot about her. She feels suffocated.

      THAT is why I think Rachel has latched onto her.

      Chloe IS someone who WOULD run away. Just Chloe is aware that when she does she’ll probably be sleeping in her getaway vehicle or on the streets whilst Rachel is now filling her head with romantic thoughts. Chloe would run away and live in a cardboard box because she’s been through the shittest of times. It would be the kind of situation where they did run off and Rachel would have somewhere and people to go back to when she realised it was shitty but Chloe would be stuck.

      Its why I said I think Rachel is a lot more manipulative then some people think.

      From LiS we also know that Frank fell in love with her. Frank being a drug dealer means he’ll have money, he has a RV and can actually just bugger off and do his job anywhere in the country. When Rachel finally meets Frank and gets to know him she no longer just has a buddy to run off with she has someone who really CAN run off. She’s now faced with actual emotional trauma of a kind knowing that her mum isn’t really her mum and that might make her feel more like escaping that reality. She might go through that “I don’t know who I am” phase but she’ll STILL have a family to fall back on (I know Chloe has her mum but Chloe doesn’t feel like she has her mum whilst I think Rachel is fully aware she has her mum and dad.)

      Going forward Jefferson just before LiS then IS her golden ticket out of Arcadia Bay. I feel Rachel jumps from one person to another to try and get out but again its a romantic fleeing of the small town and going out to make her fortune whilst Chloe wants to escape a personal hell that is personified by the town that her dad died in and her best friend left her in.

      Think I took pretty much the same path as you all game long though. Sounds pretty much the same.

      1. You can absolutely make the argument that Rachel is manipulative… And she is, her character is blatent so. Almost everything she does in the first two episodes shows she always gets her way, and knows how to lead people.

        She gets you to follow her, she runs off and asks you to follow, she starts a fire, and has a tantrum, and you apologise. She gets you to act in the play for lols… And Chloe goes along with it because she wants someone to be friends with, or because she fancies her or whatever.

        The whole Frank thing may be like that. Or, how I see the final episode, her dad doesn’t say much about her mum, so Rachel goes to Frank to find out more about her, and then it gets complicated.

        From all this though, Chloe doesn’t seem like she would care about it. She would be lead to fuck with the system.

        One thing I have seen, is that some of the moral choices you get in these games have been recently quite one sided. Apart from the money in this one… Which can go one of three ways, give the money to Damon, to Drew or keep it. Everything else has been pretty obvious that you’d do one way or the other, even so, that you’d have to do a speech check to do the choice. Never had this problem in the Walking Dead game…

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