And for its three episode arc, Life Is Strange Before The Storm has – in many ways – been one long goodbye to characters we’ve come to know and love.
Fans playing through BtS, who finished the original LiS, know how the story can end for the poor souls living in Arcadia Bay.
But rather than turning into an unrelentingly bleak experience, Before The Storm has been a nostalgia filled adventure that’s completely beguiling.
Life Is Strange Before the Storm episode 3, Hell is Empty, culminates the story of Rachel and Chloe’s rollercoaster relationship together.
Without giving anything away, it kicks right off where episode two finished with the major cliffhanger addressed right off the bat.
Revealing much more would ruin the surprises in store, but the final episode of BtS makes for an interesting comparison to LiS’s last chapter.
The final episode of Life Is Strange was criticised in a number of quarters for what was seen as biting off more than it could chew.
Crammed in that last chapter were plenty of twisting scenarios and plot points before it reached its soul crushing denouement.
Before the Storm takes a different tact, dialling back the action to tell a more intimate, personal and smaller-scaled tale to end the story.
And it’s a tighter experience for it.
But whether the major plot beats of the last chapter sticks the landing will largely depend on how invested you are in these characters by now.
Thankfully, Deck Nine Games has managed to do a remarkable job crafting Before The Storm.
Making a prequel must seem like walking on a tight rope – trying to balance fan expectations while creating something new and fresh as well.
It’s a challenge that Star Wars, the Hobbit films and Prometheus have all tried and – arguably – failed at.
But somehow, against all odds, Deck Nine managed to tap into what made the first Life Is Strange so special and reimagine that with Before The Storm.
This is made all the more impressive considering the developer had no involvement with the original game, and were coming in with fresh eyes.
From the fleshed out characters, to the interactive setting, to the expert storytelling – Before the Storm is truly cut from the same cloth as Life is Strange.
But one of Deck Nine’s most remarkable achievements is crafting a game full of surprises when fans going into BtS know how Chloe and Rachel’s story eventually ends.
Despite this, Before The Storm does an expert job of getting the player lost in the moment and the story that’s being told.
One thing the original Life is Strange was lauded for was feeling like a true piece of interactive fiction, where decisions you made had a lasting impact.
And the same can be said for the final chapter of Before the Storm, with the story branching off in different ways, depending on how you tackled previous episodes.
For instance, the much-loved Dungeons & Dragons-esque board game Chloe plays in the first episode can be revisited in episode 3 – if certain actions were carried out.
While players that made certain decisions will see other differences to how the story pans out – some slight, some more significant.
Life Is Strange Before the Storm may have surprised fans when it was first announced back at E3 2017, but it’s first season has turned out to be a resounding success.
It not only stands alone as a great story in itself, but enriches the original – showing a different side to characters we thought we knew inside out.
Sure, it isn’t perfect. The dialogue can at times be a little clunky and the animations sometimes seem slightly stilted.
But that’s all part of the charm, and doesn’t detract from an experience that overall hits all the right notes for fans of the series.
Besides, life isn’t perfect.
And with its own quirks and idiosyncrasies, Before the Storm is one of the best video game interpretations of all the emotions – good and bad – that can be found in life.
From the quiet, understated moments shared with someone special, to the heartbreaking times that leave a lump in your throat.
It’s all there in Before the Storm, which does a stunning job of capturing the whole gamut of emotions we run through during this mortal coil.
Life Is Strange Before the Storm is an unmissable reminder of what it is to be human.
And that, for a video game that so often strives to tug at our heart strings, is probably the highest praise that one can give it.