We found out at this year’s E3 Expo that episodic darling Life is Strange is getting a prequel, Life is Strange: Before the Storm. The new title will set its sights on the relationship between Max’s punk pal Chloe and her assumed girlfriend Rachel Amber. In a new video, former voice actress and writer/consultant Ashly Burch and new voice talent Rhianna Devries spill the tea on the characters in the forthcoming title.
Burch, who played Chloe in the original title, will not be voicing Chloe in this title because Square Enix decided to go with a non-union actress. She has, however, stayed on the team as a writer and consultant to Chloe’s character. This has caused a stir among fans of Burch’s portrayal of Chloe, and this video may indeed serve as a reconciliation to the fuss.
“I took Chloe very personally; I tried to play her as raw and as close to heart as possible,” Devries says in the video. “I got to work with Phil, who was the voice over director for LiS one. He asked me certain questions that would prompt certain emotions from me so I would read the lines a certain way. It becomes a very personal matter, it’s not just playing around anymore. I’m feeling everything that I’m feeling.”
Not only is Burch not reprising her role, this prequel isn’t being developed by original Life is Strange studio Dontnod Entertainment. Instead, it’s being developed by Deck Nine Games, formally known as Idol Minds. Deck Nine confirmed in a blog post that Before the Storm isn’t the game Dontnod announced in May, and that the Life is Strange team is working on its own title.
For the Deck Nine team, creating Chloe in a more raw and formative time at 16 meant creating Rachel as both a hero and foil. She’s good and she’s bad for Chloe, and this three-part title is all about dissecting that complexity.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm’s first episode is due out on Aug. 31 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. There will be a fourth bonus episode, “Farewell,” from the perspective of Max that’s exclusive to the deluxe edition of the game.