Life Is Strange: Before the Storm
Developer Dontnod earned universal praise for the episodic time traveling adventure game Life is Strange back in 2015. During Microsoft’s E3 conference this year, a prequel series called Before the Storm was announced, arriving this summer. Dontnod aren’t actually involved this time around, as they’re busy working on the mainline sequel to the series. But rest-assured that Before the Storm is in safe hands under the direction of Deck 9, a brand new studio created specifically to work on narrative-driven adventure games and with a passion for Life Is Strange.
Before the Storm focuses on the backstory of Chloe, one of the characters from the first game, and her budding relationship with Rachel (mentioned but not introduced in the original game). Unlike Max, Chloe won’t have any time manipulation powers, which was one of the standout features of the first game. In a recent interview, Deck 9 stated that it wants to focus on what it considers the “heart and soul” of the franchise: story and characters.
It went on to reveal some more interesting details about the game, including the fact that although Ashly Burch is not voicing Chloe as she did in the first game, she is involved in a writing capacity. Reassuringly, Birch is said to have fallen in love with the script after reading it, which bodes well for the game’s story.
Speaking to their commitment to produce excellent story-driven games, Deck 9 made special mention of two game tools it developed specifically to facilitate branching narrative: Playwrite and Storyteller. Combined, they allow the game’s branching script to be easily implemented by its writers and the artists the ability to easily alter character expression depending on the emotions being conveyed. The developers stated that this technical tool set has been in development since the inception of the studio three years ago.
Based on its clear passion for the IP and dedication to matching the same high standards of Dontnod’s original game, we’re confident Deck 9 has Before the Storm right on track.