** FULL ARTICLE
Life is Strange was an episodic series that was built on a strong story based foundation, twists and knowing how to shock the audience in the truest form, usually around the ending of each episode to be released. Along with this came a clouded mystery about a girl players knew barely anything about, Rachel Amber.
As the game carried on, it became clear that especially in regards to Chloe, Rachel was this really important piece of a much bigger puzzle, there’s discussions, clues, and missing posters that always seem to find their way into appearance in the beginning of the game, and even towards the end this unknown missing girl still plays a big part in the story. This kept the interest, and personally even I spent a large amount of time wondering who is this girl, and what happened to her. But that being so, by the end of the game that cloud still remained, fragments of who Rachel was dangling in the distance, seeming to be a little too far out of reach.
Enter Before the Storm.
This is a game that opens new doors to ideas and subjects that were previously hidden in the original series, and more so than that shines light on this strong theme that proves to be a central part of this prequel series. That of which being truth and lies.
In everyday life people are faced with choices, decisions and pathways that lead towards certain things and one of the underlying factors that exists within this daily cycle is the intertwining of both the truth and lying.
In a recent article I came across there was a quote by the author which read “In fact, lying has nothing to do with truth and falsity. It is simply not true that the definition of lying is the stating of a falsehood. Lying seems instead to be a relation between a belief and an intention. If you utter what you believe to be false (regardless of whether it is false) for the purpose of inducing another to believe that it is true, you have lied.”
Before the Storm seems to be built on this type of concept, the characters in the game weaving their own threads to push forward their intentions. A good example of this is Rachel’s Father, a man who has essentially lied to his daughter for her whole life from his belief that he is doing it for a good reason. But, does that make it right? Definitely not, because at the end of the day it’s still a lie.
There’s also the connection that the developers gave Rachel with this theme, her rocky trust and nagging feeling in the back of her mind that she is being betrayed ultimately sets up the dramatic ending where you yourself are given the power to fabricate the truth for Rachel or refuse and spill everything you’ve uncovered regardless of what influences worked against it.
I myself sat struggling with this choice, thinking about what consequence either path could have for Rachel, first thinking that maybe taking away both her biological Mother and Father wasn’t the best idea. But, after deliberation and a rapid change of choice I came to the conclusion that if I were in her shoes, I would want to know the truth, even though it may be brutal. I thought back to Chloe telling William that she wished she would have known things he may have concealed, while he was still alive.
For Rachel, living that lie as sweet as it may have been could not compare to what would have been shielded behind it, a man who himself was not afraid to hide behind it, ultimately harboring no remorse for how deep that rabbit hole went.
Curious about how others felt after I finished the game I took to the Steam comments and found a string of discussions, each person having a different opinion on why they felt their choice was the best. How far did this concept of lies and truth go and what did others feel was deemed as right? The response was mixed. Some believed that it was best to hide the truth, leaving Rachel with a relationship with her Father sparing her the heartbreak of another lost parent, and others believed that the ultimate betrayal was leaving her with James, allowing her to continue to live her life as it always had been, a lie.
To sum this up, I believe that Before the Storm touches on philosophical aspects that make us think about why we should or do think the way we do. Sitting back and thinking about it personally, we can ask ourselves the question of how much do we really value honesty? And when it comes down to it, what do we believe is the truth, and is that truth really true or may it be a lie in disguise regardless that we in turn have also sold ourselves?
The Truth about Lying. Joel Marks. https://philosophynow.org/issues/27/The_Truth_about_Lying