After 30 minutes with Zenless Zone Zone we admit it, we’re intrigued

Zenless Zone Zero looks to continue Hoyoverse’s string of successful games as the upcoming mobile game features great combat and a mysterious urban world.

Zenless Zone Zero preview key art

Genshin Impact. Those are two words that send many mobile gamers wild, including several of my pals here at PT. However, I never boarded the hype train. I also missed my stop for Honkai Star Rail’s Astral Express. It’s obvious that Genshin Impact continues to be a game changer in the mobile game market. But despite this, my little mind wanders before I can get into the meat of it and be hooked. Zenless Zone Zero, however, has my immediate attention, and my hands-on experience at Gamescom proves I was right to pay attention.

ZZZ sees Hoyoverse step away from the open world RPG genre seen in Genshin in favor of a game with roguelike mechanics. Now, I only had a short amount of time with the game, but I can tell you that the combat is sure to please you. Just like in other Hoyo games, there are plenty of characters you can take into battle with you, though the demo at Gamescom gave me access to just three of them. Still, I got a good idea of what to expect, as each one has different combat styles.

I couldn’t help but give the gunslinger a go, a badass-looking guy who knows a thing or two about firearms. Naturally, he’s a great choice for those who prefer to strike from a distance. However, the other Zenless Zone Zero character I played as uses melee weapons, such as swords, which makes her a great choice for those of you who like to be up close and personal. Naturally, each character also has a unique set of abilities you can unleash to get the upper hand – the fact they look cool is just a bonus. Just remember that teamwork is key, using the strengths of your party members and combining abilities is what enables you to beat the odds.

Zenless Zone Zero preview combat screenshot


If there’s one thing my short time with ZZZ taught me, it’s that the dodge button is my best friend. If you don’t make good use of the evasion mechanic, the enemies are sure to overwhelm you. When it comes to controls, I can’t comment too much on how they are on mobile, for I spent my time with the PC version of Zenless Zone Zero. I don’t tend to play games on PC, it’s just not my thing (well, mostly), but if I could easily navigate the area and kick some butt with a mouse and keyboard, I’m pretty confident the controls on mobile will be just as easy to pick up.

The urban setting of the game is also a joy to behold. Though I’m not too familiar with the likes of Genshin Impact and Honkai Star Rail, I do know that neither is particularly urban, so that helps Zenless Zone Zero to step away from the established titles and create its own identity. However, graphically speaking, you can clearly tell that ZZZ belongs to the Hoyoverse library, for it shares a very similar art style to its siblings.

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If you’re hoping I can tell you more about the world of Zenless Zone Zero, I’m afraid I know just as much as you. During my time with ZZZ, I only got to complete a couple of levels and didn’t get access to the world you can explore, so I can’t offer too much insight into the various alternate dimensions on offer. However, the urban fantasy setting offers a lot of intrigue, and you can rarely go wrong with a story set in a post-apocalyptic world.

My time with ZZZ at Gamescom was brief, but it gives me hope and already holds my interest in a way that Genshin Impact, Honkai Impact 3rd, and Honkai Star Rail are unable to do. For me, personally, it seems as though ZZZ is set to make an impact on a new audience, and that could be thanks to it tackling the roguelike genre. We don’t have a solid Zenless Zone Zero release date yet, but I can’t wait to see what the game truly has to offer.