Platform: Playstation Vita
Release: Dec 10, 2015 (for Vita)
Price: $40 USD
Steins;Gate 0 is the sequel to the acclaimed Steins;Gate made by 5pb, it’s a sci-fi visual novel that involves time travel, conspiracy theories and mind control. 0 adds another technology that is significant to the story – Artificial Intelligence. It is out on numerous platforms but I am reviewing the Vita version I originally played.
Plot: The story continues from just before the ending of Steins;Gate and takes place in the alpha attractor field timeline, as opposed to the beta attractor field timeline the previous game took place in. In this timeline, SERN is not as much of a threat and Mayuri survives.. but now Kurisu dies instead. This timeline instead converges to WWIII. The protagonist Okabe’s mind is pushed to the brink between the deaths of two of the people he cared about the most. Two main subplots in this timeline involve Suzuha searching for a child who she had lost when time traveling, Kagari, and Rintaro testing out the Artificial Intelligence system Amadeus, which contains a copy of Kurisu’s memories.
Gameplay:The main gameplay element, besides reading text, is checking your phone at the right times and responding (or not responding) to the correct messages, which alter the timeline of events. It’s a simple but effective means of branching the storyline.
Graphics: Steins;Gate 0 uses the same pastel style graphics as the previous game and it’s a very visually distinctive style that people either love or hate. I find it very unique and while it won’t fit every game, it seems to work well with this series.
Music:I’ve always loved Steins;Gate’s music, and here is much the same; the composer definitely did a good job matching the background track with the mood of the scene and the environment.
Conclusion: 9/10. Steins;Gate 0 is a noticeably darker game and takes place in a timeline with even higher stakes. While Steins;Gate started off on a lighthearted note and only started getting darker towards the midpoint of the game, 0 starts off right off the bat with dark sombre tones and doesn’t really let up the whole game. There are light hearted moments, but Okabe for the most part remains much more serious in this game compared to the previous one. He no longer uses his ‘Kyouma’ mad scientist shenanigans anymore, and is more focused on his main goal of saving Kurisu, saving Mayuri and reaching the fabled Steins Gate timeline. Overall it’s a great sequel for Steins;Gate fans and a fitting conclusion for the series, and those who are into time travel, sci-fi, psychology etc will definitely be interested in this game, the only reason I gave this game a slightly lower score is because there are moments where some scenes seemed unnecessary to me in order to prolong the game’s length. This game is quite lengthy to get to the true ending, and there isn’t as many open ended routes in this game as the first one. The different endings in this game are often required in order to achieve the true ending, compared to the multiple possible endings of the first game.
That said, it’s still a highly recommended game for me – just be sure to play the first game before you play this one as this game is a true sequel and builds off of the first game!