Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Who is she?
In the original Life is Strange, the first we hear of Rachel is that she’s gone missing and that Chloe cares deeply for her. There is intrigue to the character when we hear about how amazing she is, and yet she’s still an enigma. We gradually learn who she is through the mystery of her disappearance until we discover her tragic fate. Then players get the chance to finally meet her in Before the Storm. At first glance, Rachel has the perfect life. She’s beautiful, popular, and talented, with rich and loving parents. But the facade crumbles when the truth about her childhood and family emerges.
Why does it work?
As teenagers, life is both exhilarating and confusing. This period of self-discovery can be especially challenging with the added pressure of trying to climb the high-school social ladder. Yet popularity contests aren’t a priority when Rachel and Chloe are together. The start of their relationship couldn’t be more chaotic. Normally accustomed to having her way, Rachel is now experiencing neglect and beginning to pick up some destructive habits such as ditching school, stealing, and even igniting wildfires. Chloe is a wild child and happy to join in on the carnage until it becomes apparent that it is time for both of them to grow up. Players have the option to romance Rachel as Chloe and make their bond even more intense. This route feels genuine, especially with how nervous Chloe would get talking to her. Chloe’s inner monologues such as “come on, play it cool” illustrate these nerves in a realistic light, but she still sometimes fumbles over her words. All of these elements are true to teens experiencing a first love. Like so many who have the luxury of basking in their romance without the burden of long-term responsibilities, their love tends to burn hot and quickly.
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