Zenless Zone Zero is the next upcoming action game by Genshin Impact creator Hoyoverse. Today we got heaps of new gameplay revealing the story, how commissions work and a raw look at combat.
While the exact release window of Zenless Zone Zero is not yet known, Tuning Tests commenced for the game starting on August 5th. This Beta testing window is something that Hoyoverse does with many of their other games, including Genshin Impact, and people have started to post gameplay from that Beta session.
The first thing revealed is that the player will, like Genshin Impact, get to choose what gender their player character the Proxy is. The canonical male name is Wise while the cannon name for the female Proxy is Belle. This will be the character that the player controls as they walk around the streets of New Eridu. Agents are characters that the player uses in the combat heavy Hollows. You also get to explore the area where you live and take commissions, a video store called ‘Random Play’, which is meticulously made and full of little details and Easter Eggs.
The story of the Zenless Zone Zero revolves around you, a Proxy by the name of ‘Pantheon’. You help out fellow agencies in the world of New Eridu to complete certain tasks. The Cunning Hares, made up of Nicole, Anby and Billy Kid, will be your main focus in the story. You will be helping them with tasks that involve entering Hollows. These are areas where Ether Energy corrupts people and turns them into monsters – without a Proxy, it is easy to get lost in a Hollow.
Cutscenes play out quite differently than in Genshin Impact. Some cutscenes are fully animated affairs with voice-acting and flashy visuals, while others are more understated. Comic book-esque sequences that are drawn and voiced over or visual novel-styled talking back and forth between two characters. It is certainly a unique way to deliver a story.
The main gameplay loop is Commissions. These are far more like regular missions rather than the daily commissions offered in Genshin Impact. In Commissions, the Proxy takes control of a squad of 3 Agents made up of a variety of different agencies. You lead these Agents through several different stages, all denoted by different television screens. Lead your squad along the path in rogue-lite missions, encountering enemies and upgrades at certain screens that will take you into battle. This is unlike anything else in any of Hoyoverse’s other games, but the static missions structure does align far more with their Honkai Impact 3rd title rather than the more popular Genshin Impact.
Actual combat feels far more at home with previous entries. You control one of 3 characters that you can switch between with a button press. You can Attack, Dash/Dodge, and move aa s regular option, with characters having Dash Attacks and Combos unique to them. Each character also has a Skill which is charged by using regular attacks and dodging at the right time. This accumulates Ether Energy. When you have enough Ether Energy, you can perform a special Skill attack with that character. For example, Anby engulfs her blade in lightning and delivers a swift uppercut slash.
There are also character-exclusive Ultimates, abilities you get access to when your Decibel Level reaches maximum. By using Combo Attacks or Dodge Counters, you can quickly raise your Decibel Level and unleash your Ultimate attack.
There are other unique elements to the combat too. By switching characters, you can ready them for an attack when they switch in. This lets them perform an attack immediately when they enter the field.
Agents can also be upgraded using various materials, enhancing their Attacks, Skills and Ultimates for more devastating effects.
Other more in-depth elements of the game including more characters and a deeper look at the HUB area of New Eridu that can be explored by the player can be found on the channel MELOO, who streamed their entire 7-hour experience with the Tech Tuning Test. Everything discussed so far has only been revealed from the Tutorial of Zenless Zone Zero.
Zenless Zone Zero doesn’t currently have an exact release date, but it should hopefully be coming relatively soon if they continue to deliver Tech Tuning Tests and Beta roll outs. More information on Zenless Zone Zero can be found on the official webpage for the game as well as Hoyoverse’s official website.