Zenless Zone Zero First Impressions Based on Closed Beta Test 2 (CBT2)
Zenless Zone Zero recently had a Closed Beta 2 (CBT2) phase and Hoyoverse was kind enough to invite us for a try. Given that this is a beta and not the full release, we can’t exactly review the game as it wouldn’t be fair. However, there’s no harm in sharing our thoughts extensively on it so without further ado, let’s dive right into it.
Zenless Zone Zero First Impressions (CBT2)
In Zenless Zone Zero, players kick off their adventure by selecting their main character from two distinct options: the female Bell or male Wise. While this choice may not drastically alter the overarching narrative, it determines the lens through which players experience the game. The storyline unfolds through a combination of cutscenes and visual novel-style storytelling, all complemented by fully voiced dialogue that immerses players in the captivating world of Zenless Zone Zero.
The prologue not only introduces players to the game’s characters but also provides a tantalizing glimpse into the lore and world-building of Zenless Zone Zero. The concept of Hollows, supernatural disasters wreaking havoc on civilizations, adds an intriguing layer to the unfolding narrative.
A Hub of Activity: Welcome to the 6th Street
The 6th Street serves as a central hub in Zenless Zone Zero, offering players access to a variety of shops, activities, and key characters. From the Video Tape Shop, where players can read newspapers and obtain daily lottery tickets, to the VR Station, allowing for personalized challenges, the 6th Street is a bustling center for in-game systems and mechanics.
Engage in daily tasks such as reading newspapers for lore updates, participating in the daily lottery for Dennies or premium currency film, and interacting with NPCs to unlock quests and missions that contribute to the game’s overall storytelling. Enhance your gameplay by visiting shops like the Remodeling Shop, W Engine Store, and Music Store. Upgrade Bang Boos, craft powerful W-Engines, and pull for discs to customize your characters and strengthen your team.
Combat and Customizations
W-Engines and Discs play a pivotal role in shaping your characters’ capabilities. Craft and upgrade W-Engines to tailor your characters’ playstyles, while equipping Discs adds another layer of customization. The randomness of secondary stat rolls on Discs introduces diversity in character builds, providing players with strategic choices to optimize their teams.
Zenless Zone Zero boasts a dynamic combat system with five distinct attributes, each with its strengths and weaknesses. The introduction of fighting types—Slash, Strike, and Pierce—offers a diverse array of playstyles. Players must strategically manage energy, utilize Perfect Counterattacks, and coordinate Perfect Assists to maximize their combat effectiveness.
The Hollow gameplay in Zenless Zone Zero introduces a roguelike adventure within distorted dimensions. Players navigate a grid-based map, engaging in combat, solving puzzles, and collecting resonium to trigger fusions. Hollow Zero, an advanced version of Hollow gameplay, offers high-level challenges for those seeking more intense experiences.
The Good and Bad for Zenless Zone Zero
Zenless Zone Zero shines with its engaging combat system, diverse fighting types, and immersive storytelling. The incorporation of exploration, puzzles, and daily activities adds depth to the gaming experience. However, the game’s slow start and high stamina costs may pose initial hurdles for some players. For me personally, I got the a similar type of burnout as I did with Dynasty Warriors as characters could certainly use a wider variety of attacks. You often find yourself unleashing the same attacks over and again that it gets stale rather quickly. While the reactive inputs and difficulty spike may not appeal to everyone, the potential for improvement in pacing and guidance suggests a promising future for Zenless Zone Zero.
Zenless Zone Zero stands as a testament to the innovation and depth possible in gacha gaming. Despite initial challenges, the game’s captivating narrative, diverse gameplay elements, and potential for improvement position it as a contender in the competitive gaming landscape. With tweaks to pacing and guidance, Zenless Zone Zero has the potential to captivate a broad audience upon its full release.