Life Is Strange: Before the Storm – Farewell review
A moving story about girlhood and friendship.
Life Is Strange: Before the Storm’s bonus episode, Farewell, is a standalone prequel to both Before the Storm and the original game.
Farewell is about best friends Max and Chloe, the protagonists of Life Is Strange and Before the Storm respectively. Max is moving in a few days and Farewell follows her as she spends a very important day with Chloe.
The central choice that forms the emotional core of Farewell is whether Max should tell Chloe she’s leaving. Should she be honest and ruin their last day together or spare her friend and enjoy their last day in blissful ignorance? This conflict is refreshingly simple and childlike. Only in childhood does this dilemma seem so earth-shattering; only in childhood is moving away from a best friend so poignant. Farewell’s story is powerful because of its simplicity and the way this contrasts typical game narratives of fantasy and apocalypses and aliens.
Farewell’s attention to detail makes its simple story real. It’s the small, completely optional moments like reading a choose-your-own-adventure book that Max and Chloe wrote for a class project or having Max do dishes at Chloe’s house so Chloe’s mom doesn’t have to that give the narrative its weight.
Farewell is more of an incredibly special series. Its final moments – something you’ll see coming if you’ve played Life Is Strange or Before the Storm – are some of the best the series has to offer. I love the beautiful, melancholy world of Life Is Strange and was happy to enjoy a couple more hours in it with Farewell.