Life Is Strange: Before the Storm - Episode 3: Hell Is Empty
Top Critic Average
I’m disappointed in the finale and maybe in the game as a whole. I remember enjoying episode 2 but that was about it. I also remember enjoying the first game WAY more than I did Before the Storm. As a verdict to this episode only I will stick to 6/10.
Much like the original Life is Strange, Before the Storm’s concluding episode missed the high marks of the rest of the series but still provided a satisfying ending. A more poetic writer might say that Life is Strange is about the journey rather than the destination.
A shaky conclusion to a fantastic season, the finale episode is still a solid entry but it doesn't reach the dizzying heights of the first two entries.
As a standalone episode, Hell is Empty doesn't quite hit the same spot that the previous two episodes reached — but that's not to say it's a let down.
Coming of age stories usually have you liking characters more as the plot progresses, but players will be eager to wrap up Life is Strange: Before the Storm sooner rather than later. The poor pacing, unlikeable characters, and plodding interactive elements end this season on a low note.
Hell Is Empty, the final episode of Life is Strange: Before the Storm, is action packed and tense but ends with a hollow, inconsequential decision.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm's 3rd episode has a simpler approach to its narrative. It doesn't go out of its way to amaze the player. So it might not be the best or the most memorable but thanks to an incredibly bitter ending to a great story, Rachel's and Chloe's adventures connect to the main game and that is the biggest achievement of Hell is Empty
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Hell is Empty was satisfying in the sense that it delivered something out of the pages of a crime drama, but as far as keeping continuity with itself and with the original game, the episode left much to be desired. These first two episodes leave such a strong emotional resonance that stick around long after they end and, unfortunately, episode three isn't on par.
Some players may well prefer Max and her powers to the more grounded story of Chloe, but the prequel is still a worthwhile journey through Arcadia Bay and an appropriate telling of the events before Max returned to the area.
Three years ago, we were introduced to Chloe as she was a desperate and lost young woman. We were told that Rachel meant a lot to her, but we didn't know the half of it. Before the Storm provides that context and it's immensely successful in the way it tells that story. In my favorite scene from all of Life is Strange, Chloe was willing to don a silly outfit, get on stage, and stammer through Shakespeare to protect her friend. That's about as un-Chloe as it gets. Rachel clearly means the world to her.