Life is Strange: Before the Storm - Episode 3: Hell is Empty Image
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
6.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 64 Ratings

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Life Is Strange: Before The Storm Episode 2 - Launch Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Dec 20, 2017
    85
    Even with some foibles, Hell is Empty does a fantastic job filling in the blanks of what happened before Chloe was reunited with Max. As a fan, its references to the original shed light on how many things came to be, such as Chloe's transformation. Yes, I knew the conclusion, but it still has enough interesting developments to keep me invested. Before the Storm accomplishes what so many prequels fail to do; it tells its own story that leaves you content, while also connecting to the original game in a meaningful way.
  2. Jan 2, 2018
    79
    Surprisingly good adventure prequel with emotional power. Runs out of steam towards the end.
  3. Dec 22, 2017
    78
    The conclusion to Hell Is Empty didn’t give me my runaway future, but the prequel nature of Life Is Strange: Before The Storm made that an impossible dream. Instead, another story shoves it aside, trying to find the difference between what is right for someone and what is good for them, but there isn’t enough time in this episode to deliver this message and round out everything else. This pace leaves it rushed and somewhat tunnel-visioned. That said, characters I cared about and real, hard choices which often don’t feel truly right or wrong kept my gut firmly wrenched throughout. Light puzzles break up the talking and drama but again serve to remind us that correct isn’t necessarily right. Instead, there’s a strong single theme that’s delivered well in a story that isn’t afraid to get in a few punches.
  4. Jan 22, 2018
    75
    Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a good adventure game that conserve the quality of the original game, but is less emotive and surprising. The story is a beautiful novel about moral growth and love, and the relationship between Rachel and Chloe is captivating, but ends feeling rushed and loses the focus.
  5. Jan 5, 2018
    70
    As someone who has played too many gun toting dudes, I’m delighted to see a game built around a dynamic young woman who can get a junkyard truck running, act as an emergency stand-in for Aerial in the “Tempest,” and solve a mystery.
  6. Dec 22, 2017
    70
    Before the Storm tackles its themes with grace and provides an amazing exploration of female friendships and relationships with an emotional depth that is rare to come across. Many moments are heart-wrenching and in line with the primary thing that made the original so widely beloved: the emotional, real, and relatable experiences of its characters. Just like the original, it has its good share of flaws; but also just like the original, there are moments and characters so human that you can’t help but connect with them on a deeply personal level. Just like real people, Before the Storm’s final episode is a flawed but at times beautiful thing. Overall, even though I have a stronger personal connection to the first season, I dare say Before the Storm is the better of the two and it’s absolutely worth playing.
  7. Dec 20, 2017
    60
    Not much happens in the final episode of Life is Strange: Before the Storm, and, at first, it doesn't seem to matter as, instead of any new stuff, it's the "feels" that are in the spotlight this time around. The only true problem seems to be the sleep-inducingly slow pacing of it all, something that sort of ruins the end of this prequel.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 9
  2. Negative: 6 out of 9
  1. Mar 4, 2020
    9
    The 3rd episode is awesome again. It's pretty tough to talk about it without spoiling anything so I'll keep it short. I think story-wise,The 3rd episode is awesome again. It's pretty tough to talk about it without spoiling anything so I'll keep it short. I think story-wise, Before the Storm is even beter than the original Life is Strange. If you liked the original game for the story and not just for the time-thingy, then get this game. Emotions are so important and done so well.. From the first episode I already connected more with Cloe and Rachel than I did with Max, and it stayed like that for the entire game.
    It's simply amazing what Deck9 did here and I thank them for it.
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  2. Dec 24, 2017
    8
    Hell is empty's heavy emphasis on dialogue and character development serves as both it's greatest strength and its greatest flaw. While itHell is empty's heavy emphasis on dialogue and character development serves as both it's greatest strength and its greatest flaw. While it boasts some of the richest, most believable character interactions in the series, and draws the game to a fairly satisfying conclusion, it's pacing suffers from the frequency of such events, and so the episode can feel like a bit of a slog to get through. The pay-off is rewarding (and in the case of a certain after-credits scene, typically soul-destroying) though, besides one or two plot points that are left irritatingly unresolved. Expand
  3. Dec 31, 2017
    6
    I hoped that in this Episode we will find out, how Rachel became a Vortex Club member, how she started to flirt with Frank and how she startedI hoped that in this Episode we will find out, how Rachel became a Vortex Club member, how she started to flirt with Frank and how she started to use drugs. But nothing of mentioned above was in third Episode. I started playing Before the Storm only because I want everything to come clear about Rachel, but, unfortunately, deck nine hadn't done their best. The story itself is weird and endings are almost the same. Expand
  4. Jan 8, 2018
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A story of promises broken. Reddit presentation in June: we promise no dark room stuff, this will be an entirely different story. Repeated answers to fan questions: no dark room, no we don't do that, pinky swear etcetera.

    First two episodes brilliant. But whatever you choose, those choices are negated immediately in episode 3. Where is all the "gay" stuff that was in episodes 1 and 2? Where is the continuation of the previous episodes and the explanation for the supernatural events that we kept seeing? I agree that it looks like it was discarded maybe because someone at Square Enix suddenly got panic and didn't like gay people.

    Worst of all is the contemptuous part silence/part denial the developers are making since last month. At least admit you changed it. Admit you broke repeated explicitly made promises. That would be a start.

    This abomination of an episode isn't even worth the 1 I am forced to give it.
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  5. Dec 21, 2017
    1
    The first two episodes were well made and expanded the canon from the first game. New, interesting characters were introduced and theThe first two episodes were well made and expanded the canon from the first game. New, interesting characters were introduced and the relationship between Rachel and Chloe was shown to players (who could play it as either platonic or romantic). But everything fell apart in the third episode (shades of episode 5 of the original game?), which was a confused, jumbled mess. Several important characters were shoved to the side or received almost no screen time, and at the end most of the choices made during the first two episodes amounted to nothing. And that "stinger" at the end of credits was a middle finger to the players, pure and simple, from Deck Nine. This episode almost felt like it had been made by a different team than the first two. Most disappointing gaming experience of 2017, by far. Strongly recommend not buying the game. Expand
  6. Dec 22, 2017
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The first two episodes of Before the Storm were brilliant. Some of the best stuff I’ve ever had the pleasure to play.

    I'm sad to say the third episode is a horrible abomination, that doesn’t seem to fit with the previous two episodes at all.

    Here was a story of a relationship between two girls, and there was a company (Deck Nine) willing to run with it, and give hope to teenagers struggling with identity issues and a chunk of the gay gaming community. Needless to say, many of us were waiting for episode 3 with great expectations, which were fed time and again by Deck Nine staff on social media promising many things. They did not even keep a single one of these promises. Most specifically, they are on record promising no Dark Room/Jefferson references.

    Before I begin, let me make it clear that no one was expecting Deck Nine to retcon the tragic events of the original Life is Strange. In fact, had they tried to retcon the original game, I would have been the first to argue sternly against it.

    However, because of Deck Nine’s promises, we were led to believe that this part of the story would at the very least have an open ending leaving the entire fandom able to imagine what happens next, whether you believe it to be the events of the original Life is Strange, or whether you would have wanted to imagine an alternate universe outcome with a more happy or at least open end.

    Guess what happened? Somewhere during the development of episode 3, someone (we do not know who) got spooked, and decided to have an intervention and have Deck Nine trash their original conclusion to the story, and replace it with the horrible abomination we got instead.

    Here’s a list of elements from the first two episodes missing from the third:
    -the supernatural elements to Sera’s story: gone
    -friendship and/or relationship development between Rachel and Chloe: gone (they even retcon their own episodes 1 and 2)
    -the excellent narrative of episodes 1 and 2: gone
    -the general polished feeling of the first two episodes: gone

    There are a few reasons that seem to underline the suspicion that the episode 3 we did get was a rush job:
    -plot elements that show little to no relation to what happened in the first two episodes
    -ridiculous narratives regarding Sera and how Chloe supposedly decides to confront some maniac all by herself
    -horrible looking animations and unfinished locations/surrounding all over the place
    -an endless list of inconsistencies that hint strongly at this rush job, such as Chloe getting a beating and showing absolutely no marks whatsoever

    But above all, it seems Deck Nine and/or Square Enix were suddenly frightened about developing a gay relationship further than they already had. To ensure no one would get hurt or triggered by such things as gay relationships they gave us the following instead:

    -implied pedophilia (Frank leeringly looking at a 15 year old girl)
    -narrative suggestion of Nathan Prescott assaulting Samantha (hospital corridor, near the end, you can listen to a conversation with Sean Prescott)
    -stabbing of underage girl (Rachel)
    -beating of an underage girl (Damon vs Chloe)
    -kidnapping and drugging (Damon vs Sera)
    -a monstrous father who teamed up with the very person that nearly killed his daughter in order to plot the demise of her real mother

    That last bit is also a charge against the horribly written “plot” of episode 3.

    In short: that which started so brilliantly, ended so badly. Never seen something go from 10/10 to 1/10 so quickly. And Deck Nine’s lies won’t be forgotten either. Make a promise, keep a promise. That Dark Room reference was unnecessary (and they promised not to have it in the first place) and has caused a lot of grief in a significant minority of the community (do not mistake this for drama, that is something else altogether.

    Two reasons why the Dark Room reference made no sense (besides it being a betrayal of a promise)”
    -solid underground bunkers like that have no cellphone reception.
    -even if they did have such signal (which they don’t), it would be easy for police and FBI to trace it.

    In other words, they deliberately lied to the fandom, and couldn’t even get technical details on that right. Guess the rush job left them too little time to contemplate such inconsistencies.

    And did I mention Deck Nine also trashed a beloved character from the first series that wasn’t in this one, except in diary entries? Yes they did that too.
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  7. Dec 22, 2017
    1
    Moxie and marc are right this episode was a confused mess. It feels like all decisions are not important anymore, and just discarded. Was thisMoxie and marc are right this episode was a confused mess. It feels like all decisions are not important anymore, and just discarded. Was this an episode of the same game as the other episodes? I think it doesn't look like.

    And as Moxie and marc say, Deck9 basically told lies. Lying is never good. We want the real episode 3 that was promise. The other two were good.
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See all 9 User Reviews