After Chloe stole the spotlight for three episodes, Max has taken center stage again in a new Bonus Episode for Before the Storm.
That's right; in the Bonus Episode, you get to play as Max again. However, there's still no superpower of reversing time like there was when playing as Max in the original Life is Strange but seeing as the Bonus Episode is a prequel to all of the events in both series, I guess it makes sense that she wouldn't have unlocked her power yet. Anyway, the gameplay remains the same as the previous Before the Storm episodes although the whole episode takes place in Chloe's house. Thankfully, the developer expanded on the house a little by adding a backyard that you actually get to play around in instead of just staring at it through patio doors. Plus, there's a small attic.
The story starts with Max and Chloe hanging out in Chloe's room. Max makes a comment that she feels like she's spent so much of her life in that room and I must say, I agree due to how many times I've walked around that room picking up Chloe's prized possessions. Chloe has been tasked by her mom to clean up her room and look for things to get rid of. As Max, I picked up a few objects but for every single one, Chloe had some reason to keep it. I hadn't seen this side of Chloe that much before and it opened up a new perspective on why she took Max leaving and her Dad's death so hard considering how sentimental she really is.
While looking for things to throw out, the pair stumbles upon an old cassette tape recording they made when they were eight. In between a ton of giggles, the younger girls talk in pirate-speak and allude to a hidden treasure that can be found in the house. This sparks the interest of the teens and Chloe runs to the backyard to look for a telescope while Max is tasked with going into the attic to find the amulet. After pushing a few pieces of furniture around, I eventually found the amulet and joined Chloe in the backyard. Upon fastening the amulet to the front of the telescope, we found markings showed up while looking through its lens. I quickly matched the markings with interesting objects that I could see in the yard and pointed Chloe to where the X showed up.
The girls dug up the treasure only to find the time capsule they had buried all those years ago was guarded safely from corrosion in a plastic drum. They soon discover that Chloe's dad was the one that put the time capsule in the drum to keep it safe. While the girls look through all of the nifty items and bring up memories from their past, Max finally decides to tell Chloe that she's going to be leaving town in three days with her parents. Chloe tells Max that she already knew and she just wanted to make this last time together memorable. Soon after, Chloe's mom stumbles through the door with a police officer. Chloe runs over and falls to her knees as she hears the news of her Dad being involved in a fatal accident. This is the moment that everything started to unravel for Chloe and Max.
Knowing the devastation that this event caused almost brought a tear to my eye. Combining it with the fact that Max had to leave right when her best friend really needed her, I feel like the bonus episode did a great job of bringing the Life is Strange story full-circle as it helps the player understand what influenced Chloe's behaviour throughout the entire series.