The first gameplay footage from Life Is Strange: Before The Storm tries hard to recapture the drama from the original game.

If you want to ruin something, keep adding to it: this is true of cakes, outfits and most of all fiction. Chloe Price in the original Life Is Strange had a lot of secrets—it was part of her allure. For better or for worse, Before The Storm will untangle one of them, as it details her relationship with Rachel, her dead friend from the original game. Here’s twenty minutes of gameplay:

In this video, Chloe goes to a warehouse show and after a series of misadventures meets up with Rachel. They later ditch class, get wasted and have an argument. The calibre of writing is about on par with the last Life Is Strange, which has great relationships between characters and overall plot but really bad sentence to sentence writing and dialogue. The same is true here, and the bad dialogue is made worse by a stilted performance from Chloe’s new voice actress.

Advertisement

There are things to like—Chloe has a moment of pure joy watching a band she likes at the show, and when she and Rachel are getting along they feel pretty true to life as teenagers. One minute we’re watching Chloe steal money from a merch booth and buy weed like this is an adaptation of the punk movie Kids. The next moment, she’s tearfully confessing to Rachel that she’s scared and lonely like it’s Gossip Girl. I don’t come away from this eager to know what happened between Chloe and Rachel, and I’m afraid knowing will retroactively take something away from Life Is Strange.