How Chloe's backtalk in the Life is Strange prequel was born
We had a chat with the lead writer of Life is Strange: Before the Storm ahead of episode one.
We sat down for a chat with the lead writer of Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Zakariah Garriss, during Gamescom and just days ahead of the release of the first episode in the three-part prequel season to Life is Strange.
"Dontnod achieved something incredible with the first game, for sure, especially in how central they made the whole system of choices and consequences," says Garriss. "How important that is to the Life is Strange franchise, and I think it does this thing where it connects you to the story, because the story that unfolds you kind of become an author of it, you gain agency over it. And then it's consistently asking you these really difficult questions about how you want to handle this situation or that situation and expecting you to make the choices and live with the consequences. We really saw that as essential to what Life is Strange is about."
There is no "time rewind" power in Before the Storm, but there is a mechanic that's new, not to be seen as a replacement for "time rewind", but one that fits with Chloe's persona. Her ability to "backtalk".
"We started with a question of 'how does Chloe solve problems?'," says Garriss. "We've seen how she creates problems. But how does the player solve problems in Chloe's shoes? What fits her as a character? And we kind of let that lead. And we really liked this idea of one: Chloe is willing to pick a fight with anybody, she's not scared of anybody, she's going to confront them to their face. So we wanted a mechanic and an experience that would embrace that. We also liked this idea that sometimes she says the funniest thing, the wittiest thing or the weirdest thing that really for good or bad elicits powerful reactions from people. So we thought, what if we really play into that and give the player a mechanic where Chloe can, in a unique way, confront another character at a very specific point in time and try to make them do something that she wants them to do."
The first episode of Life is Strange: Before the Storm sees release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One tomorrow, but Deck Nine and Square Enix are so far staying mum on the release dates for the next two episodes.