Anyone who purchased the Deluxe Edition of Life is Strange: Before the Storm got a little something extra on Monday morning on top of its brilliant story. It was the long-awaited bonus episode titled "Farewell." To this point, the episode was billed as a goodbye for Max and Chloe, taking place right before Max moved away to Seattle.
But Farewell is more than two friends saying goodbye for several years. This episode served as a further entry to the overall theme of Before the Storm as a whole, looking at the progression of Chloe Price as a person. Farewell isn't just an ending, but it serves as an origin story.
The first 90 percent of Farewell takes place entirely on Max's last day in Arcadia Bay, going all the way back to nearly a decade before Max and Chloe would reunite for the original game. There's an air of nostalgia over the course the story, with the two finding pieces of their past scattered throughout Chloe's house. The two have to help find old stuff to toss out, they search for a time capsule. The plot turns are all about reliving the past, while Max prepares to head towards an uncertain future.
The bulk of the episode is Max coping with the idea of venturing into the unknown. She's moving away, she's starting a new life, she's going to a new school, and she's about to meet new people. But it's how Farewell approaches Chloe's unknown that makes it memorable and helps complete her character arc. Players are treated to an optimistic Chloe Price. They meet a Chloe Price with a bright future, with only the most positive support system. Without going into specific spoilers, players meet the Chloe Price before she was crushed by the weight of the world. They meet Chloe before fate dealt her a bad hand. What makes Farewell feel particularly tragic is that Chloe was clearly headed down a different path and if any of the events she endures is off by a day, she might have turned out differently. Instead, she's crushed by everything all at once.
As a prequel and an origin story, Farewell is a strong effort. It's a little short, which makes sense given that this is a Deluxe Edition bonus and not part of the main game. It's possible to put two and two together about Chloe without ever playing Farewell, but there's something about actually witnessing and playing the events of this particular episode that make her story resonate more.
I will say that one thing I didn't like in Farewell is that the decision-making that the series has been praised for in the past almost takes a full backseat this time around. There are a couple of key choices and there's potential for them to feel consequential. But the fact that I couldn't see the percentage of who picked what this time around gave me the impression that the choices didn't really matter.
Farewell is for every Life is Strange completionist out there. It's for anyone who has the slightest affection for either Max or Chloe and has found themselves attached to their overall story in any way. It doesn't take much to see what made Max who she is or what made Chloe who she is, because the core games have done a great job of that. But Farewell is the bow that ties the package together. It's an episode that series fans are well-served to experience at least once.