Games that feature some kind of AI that’s gone off the deep end seem to be all the rage these days. (Thanks Portal!) They may have even replaced the RPG hero who has amnesia as standard story fodder. That’s not to say the gameplay premise is bad, it’s just that the game needs to have something else unique about it to make it stand out from the crowd. Event [0] does that. In fact, it does it so well, that it may just be the best recent game featuring this type of story.

The Story

You’re an astronaut on a mission to Europa. Actually you’re on the 11th mission to Europa. You have very few details on what your mission actually is. While in transit something happens to your ship and you’re forced to use an escape pod. The first problem is that you have no way of making contact with the rest of the crew. You end up docking at the space station you were originally supposed to anyway. Things seem to be ok, until you find out that the friendly AI that’s there to help you is actually somewhat snarky and very moody. That’s your second problem. His name is Kaizen and speaking with him is the only way to get around the station that’s in desperate need of repair.

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Parts of the station are very posh.

The Gameplay

Event [0] has standard first-person exploration gameplay. But it’s what’s thrown on top that makes it very interesting. There are terminals scattered throughout the station. At these terminals you can interact with Kaizen by typing in questions. This is actually the bulk of the gameplay. It’s basically a text adventure come to life. But the extent of interaction with Kaizen is very, very impressive. Going in, I was expecting to run into the text’s constraints very quickly. I imagined there would be very little the AI could say past the standard questions you have to ask in order to proceed. But I was wrong about that. Very wrong. In my time with the game (about 2 hours) Kaizen NEVER said the same thing twice. Even in trying to bait him into it, he still said something different and often amusing. Here’s an example of one of the conversations we had.

Me: open door D3
Kaizen: says something unrelated to the door
Me: open door D3
Kaizen: says something different than his first response
Me: open door D3
Kaizen: Again says something different – like he’s purposefully ignoring me
Me: open door D3
Kaizen: I heard you the first three times

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Here’s an example of the hilarity that can come from Kaizen.

Another thing that’s awesome is that Kaizen can be moody and that can be really funny. He will lament about things and respond in different ways based on how empathetic with him you are. If you’re not nice he can turn into a petulant child. If you’re really nice he will do what you ask him to do much more quickly.

My only issue with the gameplay, which really won’t be an issue for most players, is that the camera and exploration controls were so sensitive, that they made me dizzy. If you don’t suffer from motion sickness, then it shouldn’t be a big deal for you. But if you do, you should know going in that it might make you sick and preventative measures might be necessary.

The Rating

Event [0] hasn’t been rated by the ESRB. There’s not a lot that could be deemed objectionable, but the player has to have high level reading skills and the critical thinking to ask the right questions in order to proceed.


Event [0] is not only really fun to play, it’s also so different from anything else out there right now. I thoroughly enjoyed my conversations with Kaizen, especially the non-sequiters that had nothing to do with my progress. I could’ve sat at my desk and chatted with him all day. The game has a wonderful sense of humor and breathes new life into all of the HAL 9000-like plots floating around the game world right now. Event [0] rises above the rest with original gameplay that kept me enthralled and wanting to come back for more. I highly recommend it.

This article was written by

Nicole has been playing games her entire life. Now that she's a mom, she's passionate about promoting games as a healthy pastime to other parents around the globe. She has been an editor at IGN, where she launched and hosted the Girlfight podcast. In her spare time (which is not very much, honestly) she enjoys gaming, reading, and writing fiction. Most of the time she’s a mom to a crazy, intelligent, and exhausting little girl.