Life Is Strange: Before the Storm’s final episode bids a fond Farewell to Max and Chloe before their story’s even properly began. Set days prior to Miss Caulfield’s departure to Seattle, developer Deck Nine promised this would be a happy send-off for series creator DONTNOD’s beloved teenage pairing. Well, it’ll leave you with tears in your eyes – but not necessarily ones of joy.
At around 75 minutes long, this is the shortest slice of episodic drama that the franchise has played host to yet, but it packs an absurd amount of character development into its slender running-time. Deck Nine once again does an admirable job working within the boundaries of the original story, and while it does take a few teensy liberties, it’s all in service of Chloe’s character.
In fact, if you were one of those people who couldn’t stand Miss Price’s edgy attitude in the main game, then Before the Storm as a whole has really done an outstanding job of depicting her broken childhood. The best thing about this final goodbye is that it catalogues the exact moment where things go awry, and it’s hard not to feel sympathy for the potty-mouthed punk-to-be.
Of course, it all starts rather jovially. The episode leans hard on nostalgia, as it gives you freedom to explore the Prices' household, reminiscing on everything the two tweens have gotten up to over the years. A ridiculous amount of inspectable objects mean that there are an enormous number of things to interact with, each depicted in the series’ now iconic hand-drawn style.
The main thrust of the plot sees the pair digging up a time capsule, which they’d buried as youngsters when they were going through a pirate phase. One brilliant scene sees you, as Max, attempting to direct Chloe to the spot of the “treasure”, complete with the common brand of confusion over ‘left’ and ‘right’ that occurs when two people stand facing each other.
It’s a lovely little episode, made all the more poignant by original voice actors Hannah Telle and Ashly Burch reprising their roles as the BFFs. Obviously the story’s not going to hit if you haven’t followed Max and Chloe’s tale from the beginning, but this is fanservice, and the developer’s once again picked the perfect song to draw out your tears when their journey comes to an end.
This is a Farewell for Life Is Strange fans, but Deck Nine once again does an outstanding job of telling a heart-wrenching tale within what is, effectively, someone else’s story. DONTNOD may be the creators of this wonderful slice of life series, but the American developer’s done an impressive job of expanding the fiction with Before the Storm – and this episode ties a big fat bow around Max and Chloe’s yarn for good. Now, what’s next?