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Life is Strange: Before the Storm is now officially available on Linux

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Life is Strange: Before the Storm, the three-part prequel to the original Life is Strange ported to Linux by Feral Interactive is now available. After very much enjoying the first game, I had been eagerly awaiting this one to come out.

While the original was made by DONTNOD Entertainment, this time around it was developed by Deck Nine and published by Square Enix.

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About the game:

Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a new three part; standalone adventure set three years before the first game in the BAFTA award-winning franchise.

You play as sixteen-year old Chloe Price who forms an unlikely friendship with Rachel Amber, a beautiful and popular girl destined for success.

When Rachel learns a secret about her family that threatens to destroy her world, it is her newfound friendship with Chloe that gives her the strength to carry on.

No longer alone the girls must confront each other's demons and together, find a way to overcome them.

The Linux release also has the bonus episode, "Farewell", which is included in the Deluxe Edition. This bonus episode follows Max (from the original) and Chloe’s childhood friendship.

Minimum System Requirements - As a reminder, this latest port uses OpenGL and not Vulkan:

  • OS: Ubuntu 18.04
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-4130T @ 2.90GHz
  • GPU: 2GB Nvidia GTX 680 or 2GB AMD R9 270 or better
  • System RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 28GB

AMD GPUs require Mesa driver 18.1.6 at least and NVIDIA GPUs require driver at least 396.54. They said that Intel GPUs are not supported.

Much like the original, it's choice driven and your choices will affect the story in a few ways including giving you a different ending. The soundtrack in the original really was great and helped the experience so knowing BtS has another great soundtrack had me excited.

There's no time manipulation mechanic here though, instead you get a "Backtalk" feature, with a risk/reward conversation mode. Your outfit will also change how people react to you too, according to the feature list.

Like all recent Feral ports, it includes their handy launcher customised to fit in with the theme of the game which is always a really nice touch. Although, this is the first time it hasn't include an option to pick you monitor. With it being a Unity game, their launcher probably isn't compatible with how Unity handles that.

As expected from Feral, the Linux port is excellent in terms of quality. Testing on Ubuntu 18.04 with my Intel i7-5960X paired with an NVIDIA 980ti, with the settings cranked up to "Hella High" (maximum) to hear my GPU purr and it's smoother than silk. High frame rates, no stutter—exactly what we want in a Linux port and it shows how Feral's effort has truly paid off for this one.

Seriously, through all of the episodes the performance has been absolutely outstanding. We couldn't really ask for any better here, I've not had a single problem with it.

It's certainly a bit weird with it being a prequel, since we know what comes after but exploring who Chloe is and how things got that way is actually quite interesting. I'm already a pretty big fan of the dialogue system, getting to insult everyone is quite amusing.

The new voice actor actually does a really great job, it's always hard to fill empty shoes but Rhianna DeVries actually did a fantastic job at keeping the same Chloe attitude that we know and love.

If you enjoyed the original Life is Strange, this will very much be your thing. Since it's so similar in many ways with the presentation and the atmosphere although it does feel quite different overall. It's a bit of an emotional roller coaster that's for sure and it does a good job at expanding a lot of the background details many were curious about from the original.

Since it's built in the Unity game engine, some may wonder why it was ported by Feral externally and not just done by Deck Nine and Square Enix directly. The key thing to remember, is that Unity is not a simple push of a button for larger games. This is especially true when you take into account middle-ware that doesn't support Linux or has major issues on Linux, Unity engine specific issues, ongoing support costs and so on. So, it's the same as all Feral Interactive ports as they handle it all for them and do a good job of it making Linux gamers happy.

For those who prefer to watch such games and get into the spirit of things with the larger community, we will have a livestream of it tonight, so be sure to follow us on Twitch.

You can pick up a copy of Life is Strange: Before the Storm right now from the Humble Store, Feral Store or Steam.

With Life is Strange 2 due out for Windows in September, let's hope Feral Interactive will continue the series on Linux if this sells well enough for them. They're definitely going to need to work on the delay from Windows release to Linux port though, considering the last episode of Before the Storm released back in December last year.

Feral have ported well over 20 major titles to Linux now, so it's really great to see even more. When we spoke to them for our thoughts on Valve's Steam Play, they clearly said their future plans haven't changed. They've already released Rise of the Tomb Raider and Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia this year along with Total War: WARHAMMER II still to come as well as another teaser.

26 Likes, Who?
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svartalf 14 September 2018 at 7:42 pm UTC
EhvisSo there goes that plan to play the first one before this comes out.

Well it is a prequel, so maybe you can start with this one anyway. I assume that's probably okay to do and wouldn't have spoilers or be too confusing but I'm not sure.

They actually INTENDED you to play them in the given, released, order. So...while you could play them in reverse order, it's probably not the experience intended.
prosoor 14 September 2018 at 11:00 pm UTC
Mine is Kubuntu 16.04. So I have to upgrade?
rkfg 15 September 2018 at 2:09 am UTC
Just completed the second episode, wtf it's all so intense and alive! Absolutely on-par with the first game, maybe even better on the emotional side rather than on mystery/supernatural. I don't even care if the ending is good, bad or mediocre, these 2/3 of the ride are amazing. The episodes don't feel short as well, I spent 18.4 hours on LiS (5 episodes) and already clocked 9.1 on LiS:BtS (2 episodes) so not that bad at all!

I encountered a weird reproducible crash in one location (2nd episode, the tent before the play), if you examine certain objects and then proceed to the next location. The game tries to load it for some time and then crashes with a native (C++, not C#) backtrace in the log. Might be an engine issue. If you don't examine the items the game loads just fine. I sent the savegame, log and the reproducing steps to Feral, hope they can fix it so that others get a smoother experience.
Beer 15 September 2018 at 5:56 pm UTC
Just finished the game. I liked it. It's not as good as the first, but it's good.. and worth playing. I paid double what I had to in order to support Feral, I could have paid $12.50 on humble, but I went all out and spent $27 buying direct from Feral and ate the paypal fee. I do kind of regret that now, because I didn't realize how much shorter this game was than the first.

Moving story, great soundtrack .. just like the first. This one's far less complex.. the story is a lot more linear and your decisions aren't as meaningful this time around. I guess that's how it has to be though, since this is a prequel and the ending needs to line up to the first game's beginning.

This game is also a lot more hands-off. There are a lot of scenes in the game where you can just sit back and enjoy the show for 10 minutes without touching anything. Some may like that, others may not.

I had one problem with the game, a crash that wouldn't let me proceed, but I worked around it.

Spoiler, click me
In the 2nd episode when Chloe is about to walk out to stage, the game crashed repeatedly while loading the next scene.

I reported the issue to Feral. I managed to get past the crash by turning all the games settings down to minimum and putting it into windowed mode instead of full-screen. I'm not sure what actually fixed it, I did all of that at once.

The original LiS, I'd give a 11/10 rating, one of the most memorable gaming experiences I've ever had, and a technical marvel. This one, I'd give an 8/10. Still a great game and definitely worth playing.

Last edited by Beer at 17 September 2018 at 4:09 pm UTC
rkfg 15 September 2018 at 6:40 pm UTC
Yep, the same crash I encountered. It's easy to pass if you just read the script and don't touch anything else, then leave.
DrMcCoy 15 September 2018 at 7:29 pm UTC
Just finished the game (+ the bonus episode). Still need to go back into collector's mode to get the graffitis I've missed.

However... I do agree with that RockPaperShotgun article from a while back: (spoilers, of course)

Spoiler, click me
But after the credits roll, a brief cutscene plays. In the first half, Chloe and Rachel are joking around in a photo booth. They look happy. At one point, Rachel kisses Chloe on the cheek. This is then juxtaposed with a shot of Rachel’s phone. Chloe is calling; she’s called seventeen times and Rachel hasn’t picked up. She can’t pick up, because in the background we hear her being abused by Mark Jefferson, in the lead up to her death.

This scene isn’t only wildly unnecessary, it’s profoundly cruel. It plays like a Marvel cinematic universe tease, as though we are supposed to get excited for the brutal murder of yet another queer female character. But we already know what happens; the scene has no purpose beyond being a gut-wrenching reminder that, yet again, the same-gender couple does not get a happy ending.


And the final seconds of the game threw away their good faith for the sake of cheap shock.

(Boldening mine)

So my feelings about the game, and the series as a whole, is mixed.

I liked that they were more explicit with the relationship,'s not a happy story. And the ending of the bonus episode too, that again hits the same beats, what a shitty hand Chloe has been dealt.

Heck, I think Before the Storm did a lot of things better, and I do, well, identify with Chloe more than with Max, so to speak. The concert scenes at the start were on point, the D&D sessions sprinkled through-out were a riot.

But, in the end, it leaves me sad, depressed. And I'm not sure that this is what I needed right now.

Last edited by DrMcCoy at 15 September 2018 at 7:30 pm UTC
Comandante Ñoñardo 15 September 2018 at 7:44 pm UTC
I didn't play the first game and now I don't need to play this, because I know who is the murderer..

So, if someday I want to play this franchise, the order is: THIS game first and the other game later.
DrMcCoy 15 September 2018 at 7:51 pm UTC
Huh. You don't really get to see many people from the first game, and certainly not the main antagonists. If you think you know what happens in the first game now, after having only played this game, then you're dead wrong.

I'm unsure about what the best order to play them is, though. With this game first, at least you don't yet know that a certain character's death is a forgone conclusion? On the other hand, it might hit you worse.
Centu 15 September 2018 at 7:52 pm UTC
Fuck it. That bonus episode was heartbreaking, specially after having played through the whole thing. It didn't have me weeping in tears, but I sure did felt a tear almost dropping. I hate the devs for ending it like that haha. I've never experienced anything like that from any games I've played. This is why I love this game series so much, it's so detailed and the atmosphere is so spot on. You don't believe it when you hit play, but you get totally drawn into the characters and the story and the whole thing. I wonder if anything of it is based on events in the life of the team, at least it feels so. Anyway, they are some fucking awesome storytellers! The only objection I had was Rose Amber, her scripting and the way her dialogue is read felt a little robotic. Overall I'd give it a 9/10, a must-have game in your collection!
rkfg 16 September 2018 at 12:54 am UTC
Yeah, the series contain so many little details about the characters and the world they live in, you can't say they're not alive. I absolutely love how "unfiltered" these details are. They don't carry any political agenda, cheap morale or other bullshit. It's the profound feelings and words of people that are all around us.

What hit me the hardest is how actually good all these people are. Well, almost all of them. And they still can't find a common language because indeed life is so very strange. I understood the views of Chloe's parents and her own and I see why they're always fighting. And still I so want them to be at peace, together, it's even more desirable after the events of the first game when you get to know them better. This looks like a war with no winners at all, no one is at fault and that's why it's so sad.

Another strong moment (in a spoiler because it only works when you encounter it unprepared):
Spoiler, click me
at the junkyard in the first episode, when Chloe furiously smashes everything you're given 4 options but all of them are "Smash". Such a great message in the UI design, it even made me shiver a bit. The game implies you have a choice as usual but actually you don't have and don't want to have it. You only want to smash everything on your way. It's quite a rare technique but it works wonders when done right like this. I'm sure I saw the narrative appearing right in the UI you're used to in such a subtle way but can't remember what game was that. Anyway, it happened only once and it was great. Maybe, exactly because it wasn't overused.

A good parallel with the first game is the cataclysm event unfolding in the background. There are theories that Rachel might have posessed a supernatural power but it's not mentioned in the game. However, you can overhear some info which implies that.

The Rachel's robotic family is surely a letdown. I'm not sure if that's made on purpose or just bad voice acting and animations slipped through QA. Looks too unnatural compared to the rest of the game. Oh well, that was a great emotional rollercoaster anyway. Thanks Deck Nine, thanks Feral! The Chloe's house will be missed as it became my house as well. I can close my eyes and see her room with plenty of details like I actually lived there for a long time. And that means you, the developers, absolutely succeeded in you mission!

Now I only worry about LiS2 because as many others I'm not sure the story without girls among the main characters will be any exciting (read: oxytocin inducing). It might be intersting, adventurous, have plot twists and cliffhangers buuuuuut without "chemistry" between the characters it's not what I call exciting. And the last thing I want to see is that sort of chemistry between the brothers. Not my cup of tea, sorry.
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