The Best Games of December 2017
Honorable Mention: Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Starting with a couple of honorable mentions, check out the Twinfinite’s Staff picks for our best games of December 2017 which includes of course, our Game of the Month!
Guides Editor Chris Jecks: Acting as a prequel mini-series to satiate fans ahead of DONTNOD’s Life Is Strange 2 (placeholder title), Before the Storm shed some light on the relationship between the blue-haired badass Chloe Price, and the goody-two-shoes Rachel Amber. Considering how special Life Is Strange is to its fanbase, seeing an entirely new developer take the reigns of this three-part series may have had some fans a little concerned. Now that I’ve finished episode three, though, I honestly can’t tell you whether I prefer the original series or Before the Storm. They are both so great.
Though it may lack a supernatural twist, Before the Storm manages to make this more grounded story feel just as interesting. Its backtalk mechanic plays into Chloe’s standoffish and fierce personality, opening up new routes to overcome a challenge by intimidating her opponent in a war of words. When the option is there, you’ll always want to use it, and it acts as a fitting replacement to Max’s time control ability, even if it isn’t used quite as much.
Life Is Strange, for the most part, though, is about YOUR decisions changing the way the story plays out, and for me, this is where Before the Storm just feels one step ahead of its predecessor. Each and every tiny decision you make will ultimately change something later on in the game. It could be as subtle as the background in a certain scene, or what happens in the ending montage once you’ve finished contemplating that final, tough decision, but it’s visible. It’s not moving bars behind-the-scenes that ultimately do nothing. It’s right in front of you and this makes replaying the series and changing how your Chloe acts with the world far more worthwhile than other episodic, decision-driven series out there.
Deck Nine absolutely get what Life Is Strange is all about and that shines in every detail of the game. From the believable and relatable characters, to that artsy visual style, oh, and let’s not forget the soundtrack. The OST by Daughter constantly nails the mood throughout, while the licensed tracks dispersed throughout feel just as at home as Alt-J’s Something Good or Foals’ Spanish Sahara did in the original.
Deck Nine has managed to deliver a prequel that feels so true to a series that they didn’t even create. There’s a ton of tidbits, one-liners, and standout moments in Before the Storm that fans of the original series will absolutely love, and though I’m still left with a lot of unanswered questions, they’re not enough to detract from another fantastic getaway in Arcadia Bay.