You have played the game. You have watched the anime. But now, with Steins;Gate Elite, you can actually play the anime.

Over the years, Steins;Gate has been released on numerous systems. It’s even gotten an HD coat of paint in its recent re-releases. So what’s new about the upcoming Steins;Gate Elite? At Tokyo Game Show 2017, we got a chance to find out hands-on.

From the moment the demo begins, it’s obvious what is different visually: everything. In Steins;Gate Elite, the typical visual novel backgrounds and character sprites have been completely replaced by the corresponding scenes in the 2011 anime.

Of course, as the game has more dialogue and tons of unvoiced text covering Okabe’s internal monologue and what is happening in each scene, there is no way to sync everything up exactly with the anime. Thus, the video will pause on certain key frames or a set of frames (like, say, Okabe running down a street) will be looped ad infinitum until all the text has scrolled by.

[From this point on, this article contains major spoilers for both the Steins;Gate game and anime.]

Storywise, the TGS Demo is set at about the halfway point of the game—namely the point where it turns into a time loop story. You take control of Okabe after the first time jump into the past and set about trying to save Mayuri from her impending death. Based on the mails you send to your friends, you alter what happens next.

Send mails to the wrong people and your search turns up empty; you find Mayuri only moments before she is hit by a car. Find her early by contacting Luka but then mail the wrong person for information about the train stations, and Mayuri is instead pushed in front of a train.

Honestly, it was a tough demo to play on an emotional level.

So while it was interesting to see the mix of the original game and the anime, I found my self leaving with one big question: while the anime covers much of the game’s True Ending route, what will they do about the other routes of the story that were never animated? The answer is simple: Anime Studio WhiteFox (the same studio that was behind the original anime) will be animating those new scenes for the game. And honestly, that, more than anything else has assured my future purchase.

Steins;Gate Elite will be released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Nintendo Switch in 2018.

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