Although Life is Strange: Before the Storm features a powerless protagonist, developer Deck Nine Games confirmed that the prequel will have supernatural elements.
Speaking to IGN at Gamescom 2017, Lead Writer Zak Gariss said the team has included more than one supernatural element throughout the game. “Arcadia Bay is a really surreal place,” said Gariss. “We’ve taken a lot of joy in going into that part of the world. Even though Chloe doesn’t have a supernatural power, the ways in which we are exploring what her life is right now definitely includes really strange and supernatural elements.”
While Gariss refrained from mentioning specifics, supernatural spirit animals, similar to the original game, can be observed in the trailers of Life is Strange: Before the Storm. Spirit animals were used to describe certain characters and for foreshadowing.
Nonetheless, protagonist Chloe Price lacks Maxine Caulfield’s time-bending ability. In place is a backtalk, an ability that functions as a risk/reward conversation system for Chloe to get her way. “The idea here is to give players the chance to step into her shoes when she’s at her most witty, and at times maybe most brutal,” said Garris. “[Backtalk is an] ability to kind of push anybody’s buttons through a special dialogue mini-game to elicit the kind of behavior she wants from someone.”
Gariss stressed that Chloe’s backtalk ability is not an alternative to Max’s rewind power: “This is just a particular mechanic that we’re exploring to give players a chance to kind of be in Chloe’s world.”
Life is Strange: Before the Storm takes three years prior to the events of the original game. According to Gariss, the game focuses on Chloe and Rachel’s relationship and how Chloe became the “blue-haired beanie wearing badass in the first game.” With Life is Strange: Before the Storm featuring characters from the original, such as Frank Bowers whom Rachel had an affair with, Deck Nine Games aims to tell the “actual details” behind each character’s relationships. “We never saw the actual details of what their relationship was like. So we’re really excited about Before the Storm giving players the chance to see that first-hand and to make decisions and sort of have agency within that moment when Chloe’s meeting Rachel.”
Despite being a prequel, Gariss adds that Life is Strange: Before the Storm’s story will not be predictable. “We chose deliberately to situate our narrative three years before the events of the first game to carve out a space so even the most die-hard fans of season 1 won’t know the ending of Before the Storm. They’re not gonna know where it’s gonna go. Because this isn’t the story of Rachel Amber’s disappearance.”
Life is Strange: Before the Storm launches on August 31 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Check OnlySP for more news on Life is Strange: Before the Storm and follow our Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr for the latest on single-player games.