If you’re a fan of Life is Strange, particularly its excellent prequel mini-series Before the Storm, you undoubtedly picked up the Deluxe Edition of the game for the bonus episode. Whether or not you have the Deluxe Edition, all you should know is that the bonus episode is excellent, and it does more than enough to appeal to any fan of the game, even if you didn’t touch Before the Storm.
What Is It?
Whereas the original Life is Strange followed Max Caulfield and her relationship with the rebellious Chloe Price, Before the Storm followed Chloe just as she was strengthening that rebel phase of hers. The prequel’s focal point was Chloe’s relationship with Rachel Amber, the girl who mysteriously went missing in the original game. Rachel was a huge part of Chloe’s life, as she was the only thing she looked forward to in an otherwise difficult life that was spiraling down a path that got exponentially darker with every passing moment.
Through Deck Nine’s masterful storytelling, Chloe became more and more likable in each of Before the Storm‘s three episodes, and you can’t help but feel her pain especially when you put everything together with the events in the original.
The bonus episode, Farewell, puts players back into the shoes of Chloe’s BFF Max Caulfield during a seemingly more simple time as both Chloe and Max are back in their preteen years in what looks like your average day at the Price household–until it isn’t.
While Max and Chloe are kids in this episode, that doesn’t stop their lives from being strange.
Chloe just got into Blackwell Academy and has been having a hard time adjusting, while Max and her family are moving away in three days and she hasn’t even told Chloe yet. So as Max, you try to have the best day possible with your best friend, but at the same time, you know it’s all coming to an end. How can you possibly get through the day without it going straight to hell?
Why Should I Care?
It’s worth mentioning that Farewell also marks the return of Ashly Burch and Hannah Telle as they reprise their roles as Chloe and Max (Rhianna DeVries did a fabulous job filling in as the voice of Chloe since Burch was unavailable due to SAG-AFTRA strike), and they don’t miss a beat in their performances in this heartfelt chapter.
Knowing that, Farewell needed this home run of performances because the material covered in this episode is extremely heavy. If you thought you knew Chloe Price because of everything you experienced in both Life is Strange and Before the Storm, think again. It’s hard to imagine that Chloe had her life together at any point, but it’s fully intact in Farewell. If anything, Max was more flawed in the sense that she’s nowhere near as confident as Chloe is when it comes to rolling with life’s punches.
Eventually in the game, both characters play around acting like pirates in the backyard, and it’s a scene of such innocence, you can’t help but smile. It has that same effect that Awake did with D&D and what Brave New World did with Tempest. There are multiple points in the episode where you see Max and Chloe have legitimate fun, making it hard to believe that this friendship is scripted. It all feels so real, and the game has the production team and actors to thank for that.
It’s just a clinic of Deck Nine’s masterful storytelling as there’s nothing special gameplay wise, and there aren’t even any trophies or achievements to collect despite its Collection Mode.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
It’s hard to even think of a game that gives players as many feels as Life is Strange does, and this bonus episode alone is a beautiful mess of emotions that succeeds at striking about every chord for players who’ve grown attached to the game’s main characters.
If you played through either the original Life is Strange or its prequel in Before the Storm, Farewell is a must-play. Just be warned; you might cry with all the anguish you’ll probably have in this roughly two-hour experience.
Check out our reviews of previous episodes of Life is Strange: Before the Storm.