hateplusHate Plus is the sequel to 2012’s Analog: A Hate Story. In that visual novel, players learned the terrible truth of the derelict space ship, the Mugunghwa, and what happened to its inhabitants. All that remained of the ship and its culture were it’s two A.Is, and it was up to players to piece together the events that led to the disaster that claimed the lives of its passengers. However, upon reading the log files, it was clear that the culture and society on the ship had regressed to feudal levels and traditions, where ruling families held all the power and women were treated as second class citizens. Hate Plus, beginning only a few moments after Analog ends, tells the story of the events leading up to ‘year zero’, the point when society regressed to the form seen in Analog. It’s an even more heartbreaking and gripping tale than Analog, and it will suck you right in provided you are prepared to do a lot of reading.

Hate Plus picks up literally minutes after its predecessor. You just learned the secrets to the disappearance of the Mugunghwa, left with one of its two AIs, and are on your way home (over a 3-day voyage) when you discover a set of new files, detailing life on board the ship before ‘year zero’. Just like it’s predecessor, Hate Plus is a visual novel, and you will be spending the majority of the game reading. If that turns you off, then stop reading this review and go play some Smash Bros. If it doesn’t, you’ll be looking through a set of newly discovered log files alongside either Hyun’Ae or Mute, the two AIs from the original game (you can import a save from Analog and pick up where you left off). This time around, real world time plays a factor. After each day is up, you’ll have to wait twelve hours in real world time before you can reload the game (there is a way to bypass it, but the game will chew you out for it) and at one point, the A.I will want you to bake a cake. That’s right, you’ll need the actual ingredients and will have to follow the recipe. If you don’t, you’ll get chewed out.

The log files tell a various stories about politics and culture during the ship’s more prosperous times. You’ll learn about the lives of its passengers, the soap-opera like struggles of the people, and you’ll even encounter tales of people from Analog as you read the files. The ship’s log tells stories of drama, love, and political struggles, and it doesn’t shy away from darker subject matter such as suicide, rape, and incest. Like its predecessor, the game contains multiple endings. There is also a steam achievement that you won’t be able to obtain.

Like it’s predecessor (I know I type this a lot), Hate Plus won’t be a game for everyone. If you like fast paced action with groundbreaking multiplayer and cutting edge graphics, go play some Call of Duty. If you don’t mind sacrificing graphical flair and all those other fancy bells and whistles for the sake of a good story, you can’t go wrong with this title.