The end of the previous episode introduced a shocking plot twist, and it's up to the final episode of Life is Strange: Before the Storm to capitalize on it and provide a satisfying conclusion to the narrative.
I was worried going into this last episode that things weren't going to end well, since I felt the final chapter of the original game was weak. Thankfully, though, Deck Nine delivered a phenomenal ending to this story in what is the best episode of the trifecta.
Story: Is the truth worth digging for?
Building off of the cliffhanger from the second episode, this chapter of the story places a large emphasis on the morality behind things like honesty and deception. As Chloe and Rachel begin to learn the truth of events happening in Arcadia Bay, they are faced with opportunities to dig deeper.
The choice to do so, though, is dangerous, especially for two young girls only on the cusp of reaching adulthood. This episode reminds you that some actions have consequences, and it makes the suggestion to you through its writing that some secrets are best left uncovered.
What really stood out in episode three was improvements made to the pacing, comedic writing, and levels of "teen angst" present. These are areas that were an issue in the previous two chapters, and it makes me incredibly happy that Deck Nine's writing team has finally hit the nail on the head perfectly. Before the Storm has been amazing thus far, but it concludes with something truly special.
The best parts of the previous episodes shine brighter here, too. By the end of the experience, I was stunned by the depth written into the characters — not just the main ones, but the secondary ones, too. Each person in this story feels so human and real, and it all contributes to the way that the game tells the type of emotional, deep narrative the Life is Strange games are known for.
Gameplay: The hardest choices yet
To compliment the rich storytelling, the gameplay of the final episode provides the most thought-provoking, difficult decisions that have ever been in a Life is Strange game. Only one of them felt easy to make, and that's a good thing; choices in these types of games are supposed to challenge our moral reasoning, and this episode took me for quite a ride.
Aside from this, you play through the rest of Before the Storm by exploring the world in a third-person perspective or by having conversations with people. The dialogue between Chloe and the cast of other characters is as well done as its ever been, with your dialogue options playing a large role in your relationships with them.
The world exploration is also strong, albeit slightly lacking. It feels like there could be a few more things, such as posters or files, to discover as you walk around the setting. This type of stuff is adequately present, but the world overall doesn't feel quite as detailed as the original game's did.
Atmosphere: Art and music impress as usual
If there's one thing you can expect from a Life is Strange game, it's that you'll find a gorgeous pastel-like art direction and a collection of fantastic music awaiting you during your experience. The final episode of Before the Storm doesn't deviate from either of these things in the slightest.
To top everything off, each and every character is excellently voice acted, making them all feel authentic, which makes the atmosphere that much more immersive.
Before the Storm episode 3 for Xbox One conclusion
By improving upon the issues of the last two episodes while continuing their successes, the conclusive episode to Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a near-flawless end to the impactful, heartfelt prequel.
- Phenomenal writing
- The hardest Life is Strange choices yet
- Gorgeous art and music
- Slightly lacking in things to discover in the setting
The entirety of Life is Strange: Before the Storm is currently available for $16.99 on Xbox One and Steam. If you haven't seen them yet, make sure to check out our reviews of episodes one and two, as well.
This review was conducted on an Xbox One, using a copy provided by the publisher.
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