I’ve always loved coming of age stories. Nostalgia is always a motherfucker and viewing an honest story about a troubled teen always hits home for me. It brings me back to all of those problems that you have as a youth. All of those times that you had to learn about life lessons the hard way for the first time. Everything from death, to break ups, to fitting in, to sex, drugs, art, career, and realizing that the world is far less predictable that you once thought it was, or hoped for, or even expected.
In this case, we play as Chloe Price, Max’s best friend from the first game. She fits the troubled teen trope to a T. She lost her dad whom she very much loved. She resents her mother for settling for a lesser, more douchier man and not dwelling on her deceased husband. She mouths off to authority. She isn’t afraid to fight. She steals, lies, smokes pot and is really not that great of a person.
Life is strange before the sun is the epidemy of a lackluster sequel. It nuances its predecessor in such a way to keep the player interested and intrigued (given the fact that you’ve played the wonderfully nostalgic older sister by the same title) in a way that there are so many references to the first game and so much background story that it just seems like it should be a great follow up. But unfortunately, due to the extremely off putting and annoying protagonist, this story is starting out to be a very unfortunate disappointment.
When I played life is strange almost 3 years ago, it was something that I will always remember. It was far from perfect, but it hit me in a way that no other game did with its brutally honest telling of a coming of age, teenage best friend relationship with a super cool time travel mechanic.
One person in the first game whom you didn’t get to see but was absolutely not absent from the story was Rachael. This is the most appealing part of the prequel for me and I was honestly really excited to see how the story was going to go after the inevitable meet up with her as Chloe. It was uneventful. I felt underwhelmed and disappointed. Rachael was almost as much of a shitty person as Chloe was! I understand that one of the themes of the story is that it’s hard growing up in a broken home. But come on, there is almost nothing to like about these characters. Even the reoccurring ones are still the same. Bland and uninteresting.
Just like in the first game, Chloe is over the top rude with her mother who just clearly wants the best for her. She acts like a spoiled brat to the extreme and you just really don’t like her. She balanced the likable Max in the first game. Since there are no hopeful characters in this story so far, it is just such a drag to see such a disappointing cast. The worst thing about it is that since it’s a prequel, you know that there’s not going to be any character development because you already know what happens! Chloe stays a bitchy teen. This, combined with the fact that Max’s time travel thing was much more interesting than Chloe’s argument shtick makes it really hard to invest in Chloe. Like really? The compromise for time travel was mouthing off?
If you haven’t played the first game, there is really no appeal to play this one.
As a former dickhead and rebellious teen I do have a connection with her though. I can relate to the extreme nature of Chloe but that doesn’t make it appealing. At the end of the episode, Chloe redeems herself a bit and shows some humanity with Rachael and actually ends up being kind of beautiful in the way that you can totally relate to the situation because everyone has been through it.
The last 10 minutes of this game is the best part of it.
I am so torn with my opinion towards this game because it still triggers the nostalgia that the first game did albeit not being that great of a game itself. The relentless childish nature of the main protagonist combined with a lackluster cast and beginning really hurts this franchise this time around. Overall this one is a dud and it breaks my heart because I really wanted to see this sequel succeed.
The games developer, Deck Nine, pulled out a compelling ending, but regardless, they have to do something special in the upcoming episodes to keep the community interested. Otherwise, this franchise is going down fast.