First beta test Zenless Zone Zero Work is in progress, and the game has already started appearing online, giving us our first look at the proper look.
First revealed back in May, Zenless Zone Zero is the next big title from HoYoverse, apparently best known for the wildly popular Genshin Impact. Since its announcement, there’s been some tasty gameplay on display here and there, but nothing substantial. However, on August 5th, the first beta testing of the game kicked off, and so far it’s looking pretty, based on gameplay shared online (thanks to PCGamer).
Genshin Impact’s genre is decidedly fantasy, Zenless Zone Zero is more modern with some strong jet radio and The world ends because of you atmosphere. It’s also different in that it’s a roguelike, where you explore areas called Hollows to destroy monsters. It seems like each mission consists of different screens, each containing its own level in a very literal TV sense.
Different screens mean different things, one will bring out a level to fight some enemies, the other will provide random buffs, that’s where the roguelike element comes in. Not every screen has effects or levels, but presumably as the game progresses you’ll be able to choose different paths for different buffs.
Combat looks pretty heavy, with multiple abilities to use, and like in Genshin, you’ll need to switch between characters to defeat your enemies more easily. Switching characters also seems to be pretty seamless, with battles largely uninterrupted when you switch.
The story also looks to be told more through visual novel elements, with some basic dialogue options, though it’s unclear if this will have a significant impact on the story.
While it’s likely to be a free-to-play game with a gacha mechanic, it’s not entirely clear how it will play out. While it’s fairly common to see gacha as a mechanism, we’re unlikely to see anything very different from the norm.
Zenless Zone Zero doesn’t currently have a planned release date, and is currently expected to release on PC, iOS, and Android.