Hoyoverse, previously known as Mihoyo, have just released information on their newest action RPG: Zenless Zone Zero. The creator of Honkai Impact 3rd and the much-acclaimed Genshin Impact have come out with new information regarding their next title, including a brand-new trailer showcasing the gorgeous low-grade cyberpunk-styled characters and world of their newest anime action game.

What is Zenless Zone Zero?

Zenless Zone Zero is the newest game by famed creator Hoyoverse, best known for their title Genshin Impact – an incredibly popular gacha game that is still getting substantial updates nearly 2 years after release.

The official Zenless Zone Zero website and YouTube description describes the game as:

‘This is a dangerous world under constant threat from the mysterious calamities known as the “Hollows”, where the old civilization has been destroyed and world order lays in ruins.

Fortunately, one city is still capable of dealing with the calamities: New Eridu. A diverse group of people, each with their various reasons and beliefs gather here to challenge the Hollows.

And you, are their indispensable accomplice who guides them out of the Hollows, their “Proxy”. This is your story.’

From the Zenless Zone Zero Official YouTube About Section

How Does Zenless Zone Zero Play?

While we do get to see a snippet of combat in the gameplay trailer, the actual genre of gameplay is yet known. We know that Zenless Zone Zero will be a character action game, similar to their other titles, but aside from that, not much else is known.

On the official website, one of the game’s features is described as:

‘Take on commissions and traverse between Hollows. Explore Hollows with your squad, fighting through changing labyrinths.’

Zenless Zone Zero Official Website, Game Features

From this description, we can potentially assume that the game will deviate from both the open-world nature of Genshin Impact and the linear story-driven levels of Honkai Impact 3rd. Instead, the game may be more adjacent to a dungeon crawler or rogue-like, with randomized elements in these ‘Hollows’ that are spliced together to create a unique experience every time. This is simply a guess, but it would be a new route for Zenless Zone Zero to take when compared to their other games and would set it apart.

Alongside this action element, it appears that the player will also be able to traverse a cityscape as well. For now, this city appears almost like Nintendo’s Splatoon series, with a mishmash of low-grade cyberpunk alongside fashionable clothes and cool retro technology – it even has a Japanese-styled noodle NPC similar to the shopkeepers of Inkopolis. It’s not a style often found in video games but one that is very appealing, so I’m happy to see more of it here.

Who Do You Play as in Zenless Zone Zero?

The player characters – described here as a ‘Proxy’ – appear to be a male/female choice just like Aether and Lumine in Genshin Impact or the male/female choice in the upcoming Honkai Star Rail. Accompanying them is this small round rabbit-like creature which we could assume maybe the Paimon or equivalent character in this new game.

Aside from the Proxy, the Zenless Zone Zero features a whole cast of colorful and creative character designs, ones that stray a lot from Hoyoverse’s typical offerings with Honkai Impact and Genshin Impact. There are catgirls, girls with big lightning swords, wolfmen, bear men, and heartless-looking guys in red jackets. A particular standout for me is a short blue-skinned girl based on an Oni, who wields a massive hammer and has a mask-like Nagoriyuki from Guilty Gear Strive. Overall, the characters juist look wild and they look even more fun to play with: a small collection of images from the trailer of the characters can be found below.

Another gacha game with a similar style is of Alchemy Stars, a turn-based strategy game. The characters of Vice and those of Rediesel Wrench from Alchemy Stars share a lot of similarities to some of the characters from the trailer: particularly the white-haired girl with the lightning sword and the guy with the red jacket. If you want to see more of how this style may turn out before Zenless Zone Zero arrives, perhaps check out either Splatoon or Alchemy Stars for a sneak peek.

Is it a Gacha Game?

Probably.

Hoyoverse is now keenly aware of how valuable the gacha game market is, especially as they continue to be one of the highest-grossing companies within that space: it was recently revealed that Genshin Impact has made more than $3 billion dollars to date. Additionally, their newest game before this, Honkai Star Rail, also appears to be another gacha game.

The trailer for Zenless Zone Zero has a host of incredible-looking characters who would just suck money right out of people’s wallets, so given Hoyoverse’s history and just the general presentation of the game so far, I would go ahead assuming that Zenless Zone Zero is a gacha game.

Is Zenless Zone Zero Related to Genshin Impact or Honkai Impact?

Zenless Zone Zero seems completely unrelated to any of their other franchises or series.

This is important as Hoyoverse plans to release another new anime action game later this year, Honkai Star Rail, which appears to be at least tangentially connected to the Honkai Impact series based on the name. This game is also a turn-based action game, as opposed to the more lucid and free-flowing style of action game that Hoyoverse is known for.,

However, this could all change with time. There have been several hints during Genshin Impact’s story of some sort of connection to Honkai Impact 3rd and so there is a chance that something similar could happen with Zenless Zone Zero. At the moment, though, there is very little to substantiate this and just based on the style alone this game appears to be setting itself apart from all of Hoyoverse’s other offerings to date.

When Can I Play It?

Short answer: we do not know.

Based on the cadence from reveal to release, Genshin Impact launched a little over a year from when it was revealed (June 2019 – September 2020) so if we were looking at just that we could be waiting up to a year for Zenless Zone Zero.

However, Hoyoverse appears to have grown in recent years with the success of Genshin Impact (enough to be able to release 2 seemingly massive new games in Honkai Star Rail and this) so perhaps that time will be cut down. With regards to Honkai Star Rail, the game is not out yet but appears to be nearing release as the developer is increasing marketing and giveaways related to the game and its second close beta test so a release of that game may be coming soon.

Similar to that, Zenless Zone Zero is also offering an opportunity to join a closed beta on their official website right now. The link for it can be found below, so if you want to get your hands on this new game as soon as possible, sign up and see if you get in.

Overall, everything that has come out from Zenless Zone Zero in the last few hours has been a pure treat to see: as a fan of both Honkai Impact and Genshin Impact, it is very exciting seeing Hoyoverse branch off to new ventures and new genres which will almost certainly have the same level of polish and grandeur that their current titles have. I’m very much looking forward to Honkai Star Rail and now, Zenless Zone Zero has shot up to become one of my most anticipated games.

The official Zenless Zone Zero website can be accessed here, including information on how to get into the upcoming beta and technical test.

Check out one of our other articles from 9 to 5 Gamers here!

Jack Carson

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