Enlarge / So far, Before the Storm captures that meaningful-to-them teen melodrama. (credit: Square Enix)

On its face, Life Is Strange: Before the Storm sounds like the most superfluous prequel imaginable.

The original game told the tale of teenage duo Chloe and Max as they investigated the disappearance of Chloe’s best friend in the Pacific Northwestern town of Arcadia Bay.
In the process, the pair rediscovered their own lost friendship and the many unseen layers to the people around them. Oh, and player character Max just happened to be able to rewind time.
Before the Storm rewinds time, too—to three years before Max’s reality-bending and ultimately heartbreaking return.

This time you play as Chloe to unravel her relationship with Rachel Amber, the girl whose vanishing kicked off the first game.
What made me so tentative about Before the Storm’s premise is that Life Is Strange was full of revelations.

By the end of the original game’s five chapters, we know Rachel’s fate, how Chloe went from mathlete to punk in the years since Max moved away and back again, and just who can be trusted in Arcadia Bay. Life Is Strange was an adventure game in the Telltale vein, putting characters and choices first.

After all that, a prequel featuring much of that same cast didn’t seem like it would provide much opportunity to learn or room to grow.
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