Life Is Strange: Before The Storm – Episode 3 (Hell Is Empty) Review
The finale of Before The Storm is upon us. All the choices you’ve made thus far will supposedly come to fruition. Let’s discuss whether or not Deck Nine finished as strong as they started.
Hell Is Empty Review
Starting where we last left off, Rachel’s father is continuing on what was revealed at the end of the second episode. I don’t want to spoil what it is, but it turns out we finally have something to strive towards. The rest of the episode is getting to that goal.
The choices you’ve made so far do have results in the final episode, I’m just sorry to say that they weren’t really all that impactful. There was one particular choice I dreaded after making in episode two that shows its results here and it feels like I got off a lot easier than I should have. That was probably the heaviest choice in the game besides the final one, so that says a lot about how the rest of the choices felt in the end. Pointless. Worthless. I will give Deck Nine props for actually having different variables of scenes based on what you choose, but do those variables ultimately matter if they all lack actual impact or consequences?
A lot of the character interactions in this episode get a bit wild. You’re going to see the bad side of some characters you thought you knew well enough and the good side of some characters you thought less of. Before The Storm also does a good job of making these seemingly drastic changes make sense, especially considering the progression throughout all three episodes.
Speaking of the characters though, I don’t believe I touched on this in the previous episode reviews, but some of the voice acting is quite bad. Obviously some performances from the main characters are great and the actors and actresses deliver the perfect amount of emotion, but the good performances really place a heavier spotlight on the bad ones. It can really hurt a scene when everything is hectic and tense and you hear a character go, “What the fuck?” in a goofy line read.
As for gameplay, it’s all the same stuff as you played in previous episodes. Puzzle-solving, information-finding, and Backtalk. Sadly, this episode showcases the most blatant non-consequence in the game by having the same end result for succeeding or failing in a Backtalk. Not going to spoil what happens in the scene, but just know it’s a Backtalk challenge that you literally can’t avoid, so giving you basically the same end result is a bit odd and lazy.
Before The Storm has been a really good vehicle to hold us over until the next Life Is Strange comes out. While it does have a few missteps, I’d say fans of the original will definitely enjoy this extra bit of story, but to those who didn’t enjoy the original or had criticisms about the choices, writing, or dialogue should stay away from this prequel, it will not change your mind. Honestly, this last episode didn’t really do much for me as someone who enjoyed the original. Even though it improved on some aspects, like the dialogue overall is better, it still falls into a lot of the same traps that the original had problems with, like the illusion of choice. Just when I thought my decisions would matter, the game just ends. No consequences, only slightly different scenes that lead to the same ending. Was it worth the asking price? I find it hard to answer that. While I enjoyed my time with it, it was still quite disappointing in the long run. I got to know Chloe and Rachel a lot more, but everything besides that felt lacking. If you’re genuinely interested in the game because you enjoyed the original or you want to get into the series here, try out the first episode. It’s only $5 and that should help you decide on whether or not to get the other two episodes.
Watch the full review video on FanBrosTV!