Gaming, Hands-On

Zenless Zone Zero Is Yet Another Hoyoverse Gem Releasing in 2024

Hoyoverse is quickly becoming one of the most recognisable names in the video game industry. From Genshin Impact to Honkai: Star Rail – both of which won numerous awards – the studio has released one polished game after another. Later this year, Hoyoverse will be launching yet another new title: Zenless Zone Zero (ZZZ).

After playing through the second closed beta test of ZZZ, I absolutely cannot wait for the action game’s release. As usual, Hoyoverse’s excellent storytelling and worldbuilding are present in ZZZ, but what makes the game particularly interesting – to me, at least – is its dynamic, fast-paced combat system.

In fact, ZZZ’s combat mechanics remind me quite a bit of my other favourite franchise, Monster Hunter. Granted, Monster Hunter does have its own depth and intricacies, but compared to, say, Genshin Impact, ZZZ’s combat system is more challenging, to a certain extent.

This is thanks to the ZZZ’s unique “parry” system. Right before an enemy’s hit would land, switching to another character – a party of three can be formed in the game – will trigger a Perfect Assist (if there are enough Assist Points) or Perfect Dodge. Not only does the animation differ from one character to another, this mechanic also makes combat feel more fluid and dynamic.

Of course, successfully parrying a large enemy’s attack is very, very satisfying too.

Next, we have ZZZ’s overarching lore. While I was still only at the beginning of the storyline in the second closed beta, it shows a lot of promises. Hoyoverse’s worldbuilding with New Eridu (the main location of the game) is both engrossing and interesting – even if it can get a tad too complicated sometimes – and the characters with their own unique personalities and charms add depth to the story too.

Speaking of which, I really like the overall aesthetics and design of ZZZ’s characters. They are quite a departure from Hoyoverse’s usual character design seen in Honkai: Star Rail and Genshin Impact, which is a nice change of pace. Looking at the revealed character roster of ZZZ so far, I’m really quite excited to learn more about them, especially Grace Howard and Von Lycaon.

As for how demanding ZZZ is, I tested the game on the iPhone 15 Pro. Not surprisingly, the game runs great with little to no slowdown on the iPhone, thanks to its fast Apple A17 Pro chip. I’m happy to report that the on-screen controls don’t feel cumbersome to use either. While it’s not quite as precise as using a mouse and keyboard, I definitely don’t mind playing the game exclusively on mobile.

And that is a good segue to the availability of ZZZ. As Hoyoverse already revealed, the game will be offered on iOS, Android, PC, as well as consoles, though no specific systems were detailed for the latter. In my opinion, the PS5 should be one of the consoles that will get the game, given that both Honkai: Star Rail and Genshin Impact are playable on the PlayStation system.

As much as I enjoy playing ZZZ, there is one aspect of the game that I am quite concerned about: the gacha rate. Star Rail and Genshin Impact, for example, only have characters and weapons (Light Cones for Star Rail) to try and acquire. But for ZZZ, there’s a pet system of sorts in the form of Bangboos that can also be acquired from banners.

Needless to say, adding on a third equipment for players to acquire will increase the amount of premium currency required to “max out” a specific character. Granted, ZZZ is still in closed beta, so everything is still subject to change. Hopefully, ZZZ’s premium currency economy will be generous enough to account for the extra equipment needed to properly kit out characters in the game.

At the end of the day, I am still very excited for Zenless Zone Zero. From its gameplay, character design, to excellent worldbuilding, there are a lot of reasons to be excited for the game. Hopefully, Hoyoverse will reveal the exact launch date of ZZZ very soon. So far, it’s only confirmed to be released sometime in 2024 this year.

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