Life Is Strange: Before the Storm - Episode 3: Hell Is Empty
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The conclusion to Hell Is Empty didn't give me my runaway future, but the prequel nature of Life Is Strange: Before The Storm made that an impossible dream. Instead, another story shoves it aside, trying to find the difference between what is right for someone and what is good for them, but there isn't enough time in this episode to deliver this message and round out everything else. This pace leaves it rushed and somewhat tunnel-visioned. That said, characters I cared about and real, hard choices which often don't feel truly right or wrong kept my gut firmly wrenched throughout. Light puzzles break up the talking and drama but again serve to remind us that "correct” isn't necessarily “right.” Instead, there's a strong single theme that's delivered well in a story that isn't afraid to get in a few punches.
The episode itself has its weak points, but it's still a successfully heart-rending finale to one of the great storytelling achievements in gaming.
Chloe and Rachel's complicated friendship shines in this finale, making you care about each character and the bond they share in a way you couldn't fully grasp in the original series
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.
Deck Nine has lived up to the expectations and has crafted a perfectly fitting ending to Chloe Price's journey. Although Life is Strange: Before the Storm could have had a couple more chapters, "Hell is Empty" is a more than enjoyable finale to the prequel.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Certainly not a calm before the storm, but while it's full of wonderful characters this final chapter feels unsatisfactory.
The overall story stayed interesting throughout, the characters were complex, the bigger themes were brilliant and it was a generally emotional and expertly executed second trip to Arcadia Bay.
By improving upon the issues of the last two episodes while continuing their successes, the conclusive episode to Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a near-flawless end to the impactful, heartfelt prequel.
Life Is Strange: Before the Storm is more down to Earth than the main campaign, and it's actually better for it. Deck Nine's done an incredible job of working within the boundaries that DONTNOD's story set, and its biggest achievement is characterising the enigmatic Rachel Amber, who's both intoxicating and fragile all at the same time. Episode 3: Hell Is Empty feels like it could use a little more breathing room, but it crescendos with a gorgeous conclusion that's as heart-warming as it is heart-breaking. After all, we already know where this story ends.
Hell Is Empty - not exactly what we wanted to see as the final of the Life Is Strange prequel. Nevertheless, the mini-season as a whole turned out to be an interesting. Fans of LiS and other episodic adventures should try this game.
Review in Russian | Read full review