PS4, PS Vita, Switch
Release Date:JP: March 15, 2018
Remaking the classic visual novel from 2009, Steins;Gate Elite is an updated version of the sci-fi story originally told in 2009 by 5pb. and Nitroplus. The game is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch. Instead of the stills from the original title, Steins;Gate Elite uses footage from the original anime adaptation, and partnered with White Fox to create new animation to present the game entirely animated. The result is a visual novel that is fully animated throughout the runtime of the game, creating a true playable anime. Steins;Gate Elite launches in Japan on March 15, 2018.
A localization has still not been announced. First print runs of the game on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita will include a copy of spin off title Steins;Gate: Linear Bounded Phenogram, which marks the first time the side-story title will come to PlayStation 4. Meanwhile, first print runs of the Nintendo Switch version will include a brand new game, Famicolle ADV Steins;Gate, which adapts the story once again into a classic Famicom adventure game like was seen in Japan on the Famicom back in the day.
Series creator Chiyoshukura Shikura had ambitions to evolve the visual novel genre, and took influence from the game series Yarudora, A series of FMV visual novels which Sony released in Japan in 1998, themselves taking inspiration from titles like Dragon’s Lair. Like Steins;Gate, Yarudora was a visual novel with branching paths based off of player choices throughout the game.
Shikura appreciated how those titles blended the strengths of a visual novel and anime, but realized that to be feasible in today’s market that such a project would be incredibly resource draining and time intensive. The decision was obvious to Shikura from there that to make such a game today, there would be a need to reuse and recycle as much animation as possible, leading to what the project eventually became.
The story of Steins;Gate was chosen because there was a Steins;Gate anime adaptation that was already completed, and had covered a large part of the story already. Of course this was not without its challenges either. The animation studio that originally created the anime adaptation, White Fox was brought on board to work on new animations to cover pieces of the story not included in the anime.
In addition, player interaction had to be considered. Animation had to be created for the player pulling out their cell phone in a variety of situations, and the user interface had to be seamlessly integrated with the animation. The animation of some scenes had to be deconstructed, altered and pieced out to have characters move and talk separately, since multiple characters moving and speaking at once would have been at odds with the player advancing the story with each input.
Given that Steins;Gate is a visual novel with minimal gameplay, it’s actually very had to talk about its story without spoiling most of it, but let’s try. Steins;Gate follows the story of college student Rintaro Okabe, and his friends, who run a hobbyist ‘lab’ for running science experiments and inventing useless gizmos they call future gadget. Okabe is a piece of work, who fancies himself a mad scientist, and likes to pretend that a nameless, shadowy organization is tracking his every move, and trying to get to him.
But when Okabe ends up inventing what he thought would be a harmless device- a microwave that can be controlled by telephone- and it ends up having the power to transport things through time, he suddenly finds his life veering dangerously close to the delusions and fantasies he has always held. Now fighting against a shadowy organization that will stop at nothing to get their hands on his time travel tech, and trying to protect his friends and their very identities, Okabe ends up traipsing through time itself on an epic odyssey.
As a visual novel, the interaction the player has within the world of Steins;Gate Elite is relatively limited. Players proceed through the story, advancing the action with an input and see events play out. At points in the story, the player will have influence over specific decisions, such as an action taken by Okabe or who he calls at a specific moment. These decisions are usually routed through the “Phone Trigger” system in the original game and that system is likely to be preserved for this remake.
Okabe will be called or sent text messages throughout the story, and the player driven choices to pick up or ignore those calls, to reply to a text message and how they choose to do it, or if they do at all. Though on a few occasions response will be necessary, most of the time it’s player driven and those choices drive which of the six paths down the story players will go.
Players take control of an eccentric young man named Rintaro Okabe, who acts as the protagonist throughout. He founds the Future Gadget Laboratory in Akihabara and as founder titles himself as Lab Member No.001. He refers to himself as a mad scientist, and shows an outwardly manic persona.
Childhood friend of Okabe, Mayuri Shiina is Lab Member No. 002, despite being a bit childish. The young woman lost her grandmother to strange circumstances before the start of the story, and Okabe created his entire persona around keeping her from wallowing in grief.
Lab Member No. 003 is skilled computer programmer and hacker extraordinaire Iradu “Daru” Hashida. The two met in high school, and is a first year Tokyo Denki University student like Okabe, who can sometimes annoy Daru with his over the top delusions. When he’s not working with computers, he’s deep in Otaku culture.
Okabe’s assistant is Kurisu Makise, Lab Member No. 004. She’s a neuroscience researcher who has already had her work published in an academic journal, making her something of a prodigy at her young age. She can be prickly but is easily embarrassed when referred to as a tsundere.
Moeka Kiryu, Lab Member No. 005 meets Okabe in Akihabara when he’s looking for an old IBN 5100 computer. The 20 year old woman is incredibly shy, even sending someone right in front of her a text message instead of speaking to them.
Luka Urushibara is something of a pupil to Okabe. Faris Nyannyan works at the same cafe as Shiina. The final Lab Member No. 008 is Suzuha Amane, who seems to dislike Makise for unknown reasons. She’s searching for her father in Akihabara while working part-time for Okabe’s landlord.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.