Road 96: Mile 0 – PC Preview

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I got to check out an exclusive preview of Road 96 Mile 0, a story-rich narrative-driven game, which serves as a prequel to the 2016 game Road 96 and is developed by Digixart, who also published the game with help from Ravenscourt. They are also known for their other title 11-11 Memories Retold which was also received well back in 2018. You can pick up Road 96 Mile 0 when it releases 4th April 2023 on Steam, Playstation, Switch, and Xbox.

It’s not about the destination, but the journey 

I have never played Road 96, so when I saw that this was a prequel I was happy to check it out and see why my friends fell in love. Road 96: Mile 0 seemed like the best way and so here we are ready to see the highs and lows of our dual protagonists on their journey of self-discovery.

Kaito covering his ears as Zoe plays the trumpet right next to him at their hideout
Blow it out your ear!

Gameplay

In Road 96: Mile 0, you play Zoe, a teenage girl who likes to hang out with her best friend Kaito. You play from the first-person perspective of Zoe and choose dialogue with the reticle on the screen which you can then point to and click the dialogue option you want. Some choices will impact her overall morality of Zoe tilting her between being obedient or questioning the world around her. These are shown with two main symbols; a light bulb with a question mark (for questioning) and a house (stay obedient).

I got to check out four areas in the game and could play them in any order. My favourite area was Oasis Villas; the carefree rich residential area and also home to Zoe where you will meet Colton, a spoilt kid who demands you push him on the swing. You will then be introduced to the QTE (Quick Time Event), and after succeeding I got to see Colton flying off the swing thinking he was a bird. This was a stark contrast to the exhausted worker’s residences in Tyrak Square. in this area I was heading to Kaito’s house but stopped to help a newsstand lady by delivering newspapers for her. The mini-game was a fun on-rails shooter segment that had me lobbing a barrage of newspapers at the civilians and mailboxes which lead to funny results like them falling over rails or dropping tools.

Zoomed out view of a crumbling building with government propaganda hanging from its sides
The present is crumbling, the future is incoming.

After finishing each level I was given a rhythm segment to run through. You will have to crouch, move side to side and jump to the finish line with obstacles that will have to navigate around. My favourite one was running from Zoe’s bodyguard as he starts to turn into a giant and begins to throw cars at you. These segments mainly set the mood for the current scene and help show us inside Zoe and Kaito’s minds and how they perceive the world by switching between both of them at random times within the song. This was best shown when Kaito is trying to convince Zoe that the media are lying to her and you see the world split in two, with one half being a blissful paradise and the other half looking desolate and covered in pollution. In the end, you will be rated on how well you did with S+ being the highest score, I was happy to see that you could replay these parts as well to improve the score which did take me a couple of tries.

A Giant Zoe is about to jump over a gap and destroy a city while roller blading next to some floating lands
Progress begins with a single leap.

Graphics and Audio

To begin with the music Road 96: Mile 0 was brilliant and I was happy to see different genres used in the rhythm segments, from an awesome remix of Bella Ciao that got me bopping my head, to the song No Brakes by the offspring that had me feeling rebellious. The music in between these segments was relaxing and great at filling the emotions need to push a scene. Dialogue between characters never felt forced and flowed naturally even when I thought I had selected some cringe word choices.

The vibrant colours drew me in, from the glowing neon in some of the musical segments to the saturated warm hues of the desert environments surrounding Kaito and Zoe’s hangout spot.

The character designs were nice and none of them ever felt robotic or stiff when speaking or performing gestures toward one another, and I particularly like the way Kaito’s character was designed the most.

A Golden Statue stands in the center of twisting paths and archways whilst nature consumes man-made creations
You cannot stop nature.

Longevity

As I only had a preview I was happy replaying the musical segments over and over trying to better my score, I also found myself replaying each area to see what impact the other choices would cause in the overall story.

Tiny Zoe confronting the giant man with a mustache that looks like two leaves as he stares intently at his prey
I have you now!

Final Thoughts

I am pleased to say that I never felt bored when playing this. I enjoyed both characters which is rare for me, and I cannot wait to see their journey unfold before me and to see how they both deal with the underlying classicism in their city. Tying that with a killer soundtrack and replaying my choices, I can say I am happy to pick up Road 96: Mile 0 when it drops on April 4th of this year, and I will also be checking out Road 96 to see how the two games connect as well as find out what happens Kaito & Zoe.

If you like this article check out my review of Deep Rock Galactic 

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this preview.

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I've loved gaming ever since I was a kid. I always found myself diving into new games and getting lost in the many different worlds. I would say Ratchet & Clank 2 is my all time favourite game. I cannot wait to see what the future of gaming has in store.