Life Is Strange: Before the Storm is an episodic adventure series. It consists of three episodes released gradually over time:
For PlayStation 4 and Xbox One the episodes can be purchased separately. For PC the only option is the full season.
The game is set three years before the events of the first game, Life Is Strange, and it is done by a different developer. The player controls Chloe Price, a character from the first game, a teenager who lives in Arcadia Bay. It focuses on the period while Max Caulfield, the protagonist of the first game, has left for Seattle. Chloe is sixteen and the story focuses on the unlikely friendship with Rachel Amber, a popular girl who seems to be the opposite of the rebellious Chloe.
The basic gameplay is identical to the first game. The player guides Chloe through different environments with small environment based puzzles. There is a focus on developing a story and the conversations between the characters. Certain choices and actions have consequences that influence the story. The character can be moved around freely and just like in the first game points of interest are highlighted in white. Possible actions vary per context, with typical actions such as examining or starting a conversation. Game elements carried over from the first game are a journal that is updated as the story develops, a section with biographies for the different people in Chloe's life, and background information through texts on her cell. Max was able to take photographs of specific spots as an additional challenge. For Chloe this has been replaced by putting graffiti on specific spots. The time rewinding power of Max is not present.
Chloe has access to a new backtalking game mechanic. Sometimes the only way to advance is through a conversation puzzle system, where only the right answers are the way to progress. Correct answers need to be chosen by reflecting on words to pick a comeback with arguments and insults. Next to logical choices certain insults and answers can also be gathered through clues with then appear as new dialogue options. There is a timer and the responses need to be given before time runs out. This is similar in design to the insult swordfighting from the Monkey Island series in some ways. Next to regular conversations options Chloe often has access to an aggressive choice.