The first beta test for Zenless Zone Zero is underway, and gameplay has started appearing online giving us a first proper look.
First revealed back in May, Zenless Zone Zero is the next big title from HoYoverse, obviously best known for the insatiably popular Genshin Impact. There’s been tasty morsels of gameplay shown here and there since its announcement, but never anything too substantial. August 5 saw the start of the game’s first beta test however, and so far it’s looking pretty action packed based on gameplay shared online (thanks, PCGamer).
Where Genshin Impact’s genre is obviously fantasy, Zenless Zone Zero is much more modern, with some strong Jet Set Radio and The World Ends With You vibes. It also differs in that it’s a roguelike, where you explore areas called Hollows to take down monsters. It seems that each mission is made up of various screens, in the very literal TV sense, which each contain their own levels.
Different screens mean different things, with one bringing out into a level to fight some enemies, and another offering randomised buffs, which is where the roguelike elements come in. Not every screen has an effect or level, but presumably as the game progresses you’ll be able to choose different paths to get different buffs.
Combat looks to be very action heavy, with various abilities to use, and like in Genshin, you’ll need to switch between characters to more easily take down your foes. Switching characters also seems to be pretty seamless, with combat essentially uninterrupted as you change over.
The story also looks to be told more through visual novel elements, with some basic dialogue options, though it isn’t obvious just yet if this majorly affects the story.
While it’s very likely going to be a free-to-play title with gacha mechanics, how that will manifest isn’t completely clear yet. Though seeing as gacha as a mechanic is pretty universal, it’s unlikely we’ll see anything wildly different from the norm.
Zenless Zone Zero doesn’t have a planned release date at this point in time, and is currently expected to release on PC, iOS, and Android.