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Event [0] review for PC

Platform: PC
Publisher: Ocelot Society
Developer: Ocelot Society
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

At first glance, I was genuinely excited by the premise of Event [0]. In a world where original game design can be overshadowed by AAA titles and even indie developers that have built a reputation for themselves, it's great to simply take a chance on a game that you have very little knowledge of and maybe even take the trailer at face value. Hue was one of those games this year and now Event [0] is the next.

Event [0] is a first person exploration game for the pc that takes place in a retro future inspired by 2001 Space Odyssey and other 70’s sci-fi movies and TV shows. After the fairly lengthy introduction, you find yourself aboard an abandoned spaceship. Here you find a computer terminal that inherits an artificial intelligence named Kaizen. You are able to communicate with Kaizen by actually using natural language to find out what happened on the ship, open doors to access other parts of the ship, or even play a piano.

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When I first installed the game, I noticed something concerning, at least to me. There was no controller support. In a normal situation, I would’ve moved on not even giving it a chance because I don’t have experience with mouse & keyboard games. The premise intrigued me so I took a chance and I’m glad I did. The controls are simple and effective with how the game is laid out. You use the mouse to look around and mouse buttons to walk forward and backward. I know many gamers are accustomed to this scheme, and to an extent I can see why.

The keyboard is your primary tool since the game revolves around you building a relationship with Kaizen, who by the way is an insecure, bipolar mess of an AI. Kaizen will have random conversations with you, talking about the previous inhabitants of the spaceship without many clues to their whereabouts. At the same time, the AI can be helpful in you finding ways to open doors that it may not be able to open for you. What I really enjoyed about Event [0] was the ability to actually type my dialog to Kaizen, instead of depending on pre generated answers.

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At one point, I found myself straying from the objective, which is to find a way back to Earth because I was busy having a full blown conversation with Kaizen. I feel when you get immersed into the mechanics like that, you can get an appreciation for what the developer’s vision was. At the core, Event [0] is an extremely short exploration game and may be a turn off for some people. Length isn’t always a concern to me if the content has a value worth spending more time with.

The visuals were another piece that brings the narrative together. Taking inspiration from movies like Alien, you can feel claustrophobic at times when progressing through the dilapidated spaceship. The lighting works well and sometimes just looking outside into space gives you a satisfying view of the nearby planets.

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Aside from the narrative driven component, puzzle solving is your primary objective when progressing further. Talking with Kaizen and asking questions you may be asking yourself while playing, can be crucial to solving each puzzle. While there isn’t much of it, I found the puzzles challenging and spent a decent amount of time on each.

Overall, Event [0] is one of those games that isn’t for everyone, and in most circumstances would’ve been a game even I passed on. It may be on the short side, but in a world where sometimes games are in an abundance, short may be just want you need. I would recommend checking it out.

Grade: B

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