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“Life is Strange: Before the Storm — Episode 3: Hell is Empty” Review

Episode 3 picks up right where Episode 2 left off… that awkward dinner where shit hit the fan.

The conclusion of Life is Strange: Before the Storm does nothing special, but if you got this far, you might as well finish it, right?

What Is It?

As stated in the lead, Hell is Empty concludes Before the Storm and its story that outlines the relationship between Chloe Price and Rachel Amber.

Like I did with my reviews of the previous two episodes, I’m not going to get too enveloped with the plot in this review, but I do want to go over what I thought worked with Episode 3 despite it not having the same consistency the last two episodes had.

Why Should I Care?

The main criticism people will make with Hell is Empty is the fact that the episode doesn’t really do anything that makes its storytelling unique.

Episode 1 had a very involved, yet optional game of Dungeons & Dragons while Episode 2 featured a truly eye-opening moment during the performance of Tempest, the school play.  Episode 3 has another optional game of Dungeons & Dragons, but it doesn’t go anywhere near the depth that it did in Awake, and because we experienced this already, it was hardly anything memorable.

This episode has a couple highlights for Life is Strange fans in the form of how Chloe decided on blue hair and where she got that beatdown truck.

That aside, Hell is Empty is about as engaging as any episode in Before the Storm was.  The fact that it’s also the slowest episode made it all the more impressive.  From the awkward dinner, to Chloe fixing up what happens to be the truck she drives in the original Life is Strange, to even a shocking moment concerning unrequited love, Hell is Empty is filled with all sorts of tough choices that’ll easily make players question people’s personal psyche.

Everything in this one episode leads to the ultimate decision where you have to decide whether to lie to Rachel for the sake of keeping her relationships healthy, or tell her the full truth and probably destroy her idea of what family is.  It’s nothing compared to the repercussions the big choice in the original Life is Strange (which I absolutely hated), but it flawlessly illustrates the fact that, sometimes, it’s not always about what’s right and wrong.  In the case of Hell is Empty, it’s about how honesty and empathy can impact relationships and futures.  It’s heavy stuff.

What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?

Again, Hell is Empty doesn’t do anything special, so if you’re looking forward to see what unique stuff Before the Storm‘s conclusion does to separate itself from the rest of the story, it’s the fact that the game gets a whole lot heavier.

Friends don’t let friends go to sleep pissed.

As a whole, the story Before the Storm had to tell was fantastic, and the folks at Deck Nine deserve all sorts of credit for the bang up job they did.  The upcoming bonus episode for those that own the Deluxe Edition features the likes of Ashly Burch and Hannah Telle reprising their roles as Chloe and Max Caulfield, and I’m definitely interested in seeing how that turns out.

At the end of the day, I’m thankful that I gave this prequel series a chance.  While I’m still not forgiving Dontnod for their excuse of an ending with the original, Deck Nine’s look at Chloe and Rachel definitely gave me a greater appreciation for the goings on and the people living in Arcadia Bay.

Check out our reviews of previous episodes of Life is Strange: Before the Storm.

 
 
 
 
 
Title: Life is Strange: Before the Storm - Episode 3: Hell is Empty
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Deck Nine
Genre: Episodic Adventure
Release Date: December 20, 2017
ESRB Rating: M
Developer's Twitter: @DeckNineGames
Editor's Note: A code of the Deluxe Edition version of the game was provided by the publisher for purposes of site coverage.

The conclusion of Life is Strange: Before the Storm does nothing special, but if you got this far, you might as well finish it, right? What Is It? As stated in the lead, Hell is Empty concludes Before the Storm and its story that outlines the relationship between Chloe Price and Rachel Amber. Like I did with my reviews of the previous two episodes, I’m not going to get too enveloped with the plot in this review, but I do […]

Episode 3 picks up right where Episode 2 left off… that awkward dinner where shit hit the fan.

The conclusion of Life is Strange: Before the Storm does nothing special, but if you got this far, you might as well finish it, right?

What Is It?

As stated in the lead, Hell is Empty concludes Before the Storm and its story that outlines the relationship between Chloe Price and Rachel Amber.

Like I did with my reviews of the previous two episodes, I’m not going to get too enveloped with the plot in this review, but I do want to go over what I thought worked with Episode 3 despite it not having the same consistency the last two episodes had.

Why Should I Care?

The main criticism people will make with Hell is Empty is the fact that the episode doesn’t really do anything that makes its storytelling unique.

Episode 1 had a very involved, yet optional game of Dungeons & Dragons while Episode 2 featured a truly eye-opening moment during the performance of Tempest, the school play.  Episode 3 has another optional game of Dungeons & Dragons, but it doesn’t go anywhere near the depth that it did in Awake, and because we experienced this already, it was hardly anything memorable.

This episode has a couple highlights for Life is Strange fans in the form of how Chloe decided on blue hair and where she got that beatdown truck.

That aside, Hell is Empty is about as engaging as any episode in Before the Storm was.  The fact that it’s also the slowest episode made it all the more impressive.  From the awkward dinner, to Chloe fixing up what happens to be the truck she drives in the original Life is Strange, to even a shocking moment concerning unrequited love, Hell is Empty is filled with all sorts of tough choices that’ll easily make players question people’s personal psyche.

Everything in this one episode leads to the ultimate decision where you have to decide whether to lie to Rachel for the sake of keeping her relationships healthy, or tell her the full truth and probably destroy her idea of what family is.  It’s nothing compared to the repercussions the big choice in the original Life is Strange (which I absolutely hated), but it flawlessly illustrates the fact that, sometimes, it’s not always about what’s right and wrong.  In the case of Hell is Empty, it’s about how honesty and empathy can impact relationships and futures.  It’s heavy stuff.

What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?

Again, Hell is Empty doesn’t do anything special, so if you’re looking forward to see what unique stuff Before the Storm‘s conclusion does to separate itself from the rest of the story, it’s the fact that the game gets a whole lot heavier.

Friends don’t let friends go to sleep pissed.

As a whole, the story Before the Storm had to tell was fantastic, and the folks at Deck Nine deserve all sorts of credit for the bang up job they did.  The upcoming bonus episode for those that own the Deluxe Edition features the likes of Ashly Burch and Hannah Telle reprising their roles as Chloe and Max Caulfield, and I’m definitely interested in seeing how that turns out.

At the end of the day, I’m thankful that I gave this prequel series a chance.  While I’m still not forgiving Dontnod for their excuse of an ending with the original, Deck Nine’s look at Chloe and Rachel definitely gave me a greater appreciation for the goings on and the people living in Arcadia Bay.

Check out our reviews of previous episodes of Life is Strange: Before the Storm.

Date published: 12/22/2017
3 / 5 stars

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