We already knew that a second season of the episodic Life is Strange, one of 2015’s biggest sleeper hits, was in development. It seems that the Strange universe is set to become even bigger than we thought, though, as the first glimpses of a possible prequel have leaked online.
The development team who created the first installment, Dontnod Entertainment, are hard at work on the second. Meanwhile, it looks as though Deck Nine are working on a separate release set before the events of the original Life is Strange. As Destructoid reports, an image purporting to be of a prequel appeared on Deck Nine’s official website, followed by a stream of other super convincing shots hitting Imgur.
Among other things, you can see a range of different outfit designs for Chloe, as well as a shot of what appears to be Rachel and Chloe’s first meeting. There are other images of the two clearly beginning to bond, as well as less telling images of locations (a sawmill, as well as an exterior shot of Blackwell).
So what does all of this potentially point to? From these scant glimpses, it’s clear that what’s being worked on (this is all unconfirmed as of now, of course) here is perfect fodder for a prequel. As fans will know, the entire crux of Life is Strange centered around player character Max Caulfield, and her ability to rewind time. Each time she uses this ability, it has much larger, unforeseen consequences, a sort of "butterfly effect."
Two characters who were central to the plot were Chloe and Rachel, two friends from Max’s school, Blackwell Academy. Using her powers, Max is able to ‘undo’ Chloe’s murder at the hands of a classmate, and prevent another from committing suicide. Doing so causes a kind of domino effect that puts the whole town in mortal danger, and the player will have some tough decisions to make to decide everyone’s fates.
Judging by the images we’ve seen so far, the prequel aims to further invest the player in the series’ emotional aspects by showing us how Rachel and Chloe first met. From there, it looks as though we’ll be able to experience their friendship budding and unfolding, before becoming as close as the pair were during the events of the original game.
This is all conjecture for now, but the world of Life is Strange is an intriguing one, and it could really benefit from this kind of treatment. Let’s hope this is one rumour that holds true.