Rollerskating to The Offspring? This was made for me.
Road 96: Mile 0 is the prequel to Road 96, a story, choice-driven game released in 2021. This upcoming prequel will have you playing as Zoe and Kaito. While I shamefully still haven’t finished Road 96, a game I played for a few hours and adored, I had to check out what Mile 0 had to offer and it absolutely delivered. In keeping with the franchise, Road 96: Mile 0 is a narrative game. But the twist is that it’s full of musical components, reminiscent of Sayonara Wild Hearts.
During my time I played two songs so I didn’t get much story in those sections, more like tonal flavor. As far as the story of Mile 0 here’s the narrative synopsis from the game’s steam page:
“Players will alternate between the roles of Zoe and Kaito, two teenagers with different backgrounds and beliefs. They live and explore White Sands, a luxurious condominium where Petria´s elite reside and where Kaito´s parents work.
Zoe is one of the characters of Road 96. She comes from the rich side of the city and her father works for the government. Kaito, a character from Lost in Harmony, lives in a less privileged area. They're good friends, but that could all change quite soon. Their journey in Road 96: Mile 0 will challenge their friendship and everything they believe in. They say money doesn’t buy happiness, nor friendship. These teens are dreamers and they are going to learn where they belong. Will they remain friends?”
The two songs I played involved characters skating around the world to licensed music. This rhythm setpiece was on rails and had a mix of realism and surrealism to create a mood, revealing the characters' mindsets. The one that stood out to me the most was rollerskating as Zoe.
She puts on her quad rollerskates and takes off down the street, dodging cars and mundane obstacles but it all leads to her skating up the side of a skyscraper as she’s chased by a giant, suited man. And all of it happens as The Offspring plays. Honestly, I think I only listen to The Offspring when I'm playing Tony Hawk or Crazy Taxi so I can't help but feel hit with nostalgia here. These rhythm sections are basically a playable daydream and I love it.
As far as the rhythm aspect, you’re mostly moving left, right, jumping, and ducking with some glowing gems to guide your movement. Occasionally there’s a specific button prompt outside of that. These sequences are pretty easy to get through and include checkpointing. If you’re looking to push yourself you can go for a higher rating, as your performance is scored at the end.
While what I played was only a sliver of what Road 96: Mile 0 is offering it got me excited for the full release which will be a bit shorter than the first game, coming in at about 5-7 hours of playtime.
Road 96: Mile 0 comes out April 4, 2023 for PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.