If you have followed Life is Strange since the beginning then you will know that the relationship between Max and Chloe is one that we have followed, adored and become invested in. When Deck Nine announced that there would be a bonus episode available following Before the Storm where you got to be Max one more time, it was always going to be an interesting one and I initially was concerned that it wouldn’t be necessary. However, Farewell fills in the gap when Max is leaving Arcadia Bay and Chloe also as soon as it was available, I decided I couldn’t wait a few days to play it. It sees these young women spending time together, fooling around and having fun while balancing the tricky subject of Max moving to Seattle.
It was so nice to see Max again although I couldn’t really cope with how young they both looked! As Max helps Chloe look through things to throw out in her room, we get a glimpse of the transition from kid to the young woman Chloe became and how the bedroom changed with her. After spending so much time in the room over the Life is Strange series, it was nice to see that some things never changed. While Max reminisces about certain things, she also weighs up the difficult conversation she needs to have with Chloe about her moving away and the game gives you a couple of opportunities to do this. I decided not to do it straight away which then led us onto a treasure hunt as our young pirates search for a time capsule they buried somewhere in the garden.
You spend some time with Max as she wanders around the house figuring out how to get into the attic for the major puzzle piece. There are more trips down memory lane but also a discovery that Chloe may be shifting into a rebellious teen as Max finds out she’s already been in trouble at Blackwell Academy, which of course she wants to find out more about. You’ll have an opportunity to do that later but the main goal at this stage is getting up to the attic. Once you’re up there, Max needs to negotiate the furniture up there to get to it and retrieve an amulet which will help locate the loot before heading out to the garden to see Captain Chloe. While still playing pirate, you explore the garden a little before figuring out the treasure puzzle and retrieving the plunder. When you get inside, Max and Chloe open up the container to find a tape from Chloe’s dad who has done a little something to ensure the treasure was well protected. It’s a really sweet moment which just shows how much he cared about them both. The time capsule itself is pretty sweet with letters written by their younger selves which I found a little cringe worthy but only because I could definitely see myself writing something like that to my best friends back then! The photos, the memories and the letters make you realise how close these two are. So that’s when I decided to tell Chloe about the move. I won’t say what happens after this though because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.
After this, well, I really can’t say much more. I knew what was coming but I wasn’t ready. The main reason this episode hit me so hard is the down to the use of a song which I adore but it’s also one that hits me right in the heart, usually resulting in tears. That song is Black Flies by Ben Howard and it does exactly what it is meant to do. As I sang along holding back tears and watching the final sequences, I thought that this was a lovely way to end but I now want to play Life is Strange again because I’m not ready for Max and Chloe to just become a moment in my gaming memories.
This episode is as long or short as you make it. My advice is that when the game gives you a chance to just sit, do it. If there’s a photo op, take it. And if you have tissues, make sure they’re to hand. Thank you Deck Nine for a lovely Farewell, but damn you for bringing it to an end!
Farewell is available now as part of the Life is Strange: Before the Storm Deluxe Edition on PS4, Xbox One and PC.