Honestly … this game, man. I’m really trying hard to like it, but… Okay, remember in the review of episode 1 (I believe it was there), I said that Life is Strange: Before the Storm and actually scratch that … the whole Life is Strange franchise is leaving me with mixed feelings. I said that because there are some very good things about the game, yet it just doesn’t get to me. And yes, I am disappointed in the finale. I said that episode 2 faired quite a bit better than episode 1 and I was hopeful for the finale, but if I have to be completely honest – it just didn’t strike me at all. Like it makes sense, ok? It ties plot knots the way it’s supposed to, but as a finale it didn’t have the WOW factor I’m looking for in a finale…
Okay I’m just going to tag SPOILER and talk about the story. So in the previous episode we ended with a family fight in the Amber household and we were told that the woman we saw with her dad isn’t his mistress, but Rachel’s biological mother. He proceeds to tell us the whole story and can I just take a few lines off topic and say how plastic James’ voice actor is … like dude, I’m sorry, but compared to the others it was plain ridiculously annoying. Every time he opened his mouth I was like “please, stfu…”. Anyway we set off as a good little soldier to cheer our captain Rachel up and we succeed in doing so, promising to help her meet her real mom.
Back at our place in the morning (by that I mean Chloe’s house), we take a bit of time off and unfortunately bump into David and our mom, who of course always tries to do good by us and David is just being a little sh*t. Okay, apparently I am in the minority here, but is it just me or is there no way in hell to compare a kid losing her dad to a grown man losing his friend … in the army … like seriously. Moving on, we go to the junkyard to try and fix the old truck we’ve been meddling in episode 2 and later to meet Frank and ask about Sera (this is Rachel’s biological mom). We do get the truck running, but of course things go way wrong and when Rachel comes, we meet with Frank and surprise, surprise, Damon, who kicked the sh*t out of Drew’s kneecap in the previous episode. So off things go a little out of hand and Rachel gets stabbed in the arm and Frank steps up so we can escape … okay, can I get an amen for my boy Frank … honestly, he was the most likeable character in the whole Before the Storm sequel. I was vouching for him the entire game and the cute puppy he has is totally a huge bonus. As I was saying, Frank buys us an opportunity to escape and we drive Rachel to the hospital where she undergoes an operation. There we get to optionally visit Drew as well, or Mikey, depending on our choices in episode 2 and I know Drew can be a bully, but he’s a nice guy on the inside.
Finally Rachel wakes up and tasks us with finding her real mom, because she still wants to meet her and that is exactly what we do until the end. Chloe finds out that James actually lied a bit about Sera, she had been returning the money he sent her for a while now and also wrote Rachel letters, which he never gave her. And top it off he “hired” Damon to dispose of her. We do end up meeting Sera in that old mill house, all burned up now. Unfortunately, Damon drugs her, kicks Chloe in the head and Frank saves the day … Frank man, I tell ya, best character in the series. In the first game I was pretty meh for him, but he definitely rose up in my eyes. Anyways in the final conversation we talk to Sera and try to convince her to meet with Rachel. Apparently you can do that, but obviously I effed things up with the wrong dialogue decisions, I suppose, so she just left, begging me not to tell Rachel what her dad did and that is the final and ONLY major choice in this episode … yes, ladies and gentlemen, Life is Strange: Before the Storm Episode 3 a.k.a the FINALE has ONE MAJOR CHOICE AT THE END… what?!
For a major choice it was a good one though, so I give it that. It did make me thing and put stuff into perspective. I’m not gonna say what I chose, but I will express my gratitude and disappointment at the same time. It was a great choice, but why is it the only choice that mattered … and mattered is a strong word. Why… End of Spoilers.
Choices. Man, choices have always been problematic in this game for me. Like there are some good and impacting choices in episode 2, alas that it is. I failed to feel any gravity of consequence on choices I had made and the MAJOR choice in episode 3 changes just ONE scene in the epilogue. Like please, I am disappointed. I didn’t judge choices until the very end, but now that we have reached the very end, I am disappointed in choices … all choices – major, minor, all of ‘em. And you know what? I might be comparing them to what choices can be in episodic game by subconsciously putting it on par with Telltale’s games that I have played and that’s why I might be a little harsh, but even if we ignore this fact completely, choices in the original game were way better than choices in Before the Storm. And I don’t care if I’m daft or stupid, but I’m telling you, I know how choices are supposed to make me feel, while making them and I had none of that here. With the exception of choosing whether to stay with Mikey or go out to help Drew. That was the only really hard choice for me.
And don’t get me started on gameplay as well. I know this is a story-based episodic game and I know there is only so much you can do with the gameplay, and I did enjoy some small details you could do while free to engage in gameplay sections, however, as a whole, the gameplay is very linear. Like you are left there to explore a certain section of wherever you are and that’s all there is to it. Point and click exploration, having to hear Chloe’s opinion on everything I click on and it’s only a matter of exploring the right thing to progress the story. And you know what, yes I am comparing to Telltale again, but again let us exclude them from the occasion here. And this is partly in fault with the main mechanic of the game that I’ve been trashing since episode 1. That was the cool thing in the first game. You could go explore, do stuff, rewind, do stuff again and it was FUN!!! What do we get here? Chloe back-talking which is so easy to achieve that might as well been put in a normal dialogue with no mechanic involved. I’m sorry Deck Nine, but ya f*cked up on that note.
As far as characters go, I like that we see some development in minor characters and even in Rachel to some extent, alas the main character stays the same during the whole game and as a matter of fact, she is the same as she was in Life is Strange. I hate lack of character development and I would have wanted to see how Chloe got to her delinquent self, alas I didn’t get any of it. At least we got the idea behind the blue hair, which was nice.
By this point, I don’t really know what to say. I’m disappointed in the finale and maybe in the game as a whole. I remember enjoying episode 2 but that was about it. I also remember enjoying the first game WAY more than I did Before the Storm. As a verdict to this episode only I will stick to 6/10.
Also apparently there will be some bonus episode, which goes even further back in time. I guess we might see some interesting stuff there … okay, let me rephrase that …. Please let us see some more interesting stuff there, because I swear to god if I get to see the same Chloe again, I’m gonna flip a table.
Just like I did with Guardians of the Galaxy and I will do for all episodic games I review in the future, because this is the final episode, I will rate the game as a whole now and point out the good and the bad in all 3 episodes.