Since the release of its first PV in May, the game has been largely silent, except for a brief appearance at the Summer Games Festival in June. Now, in the eyes of all, the game is finally playing its first test. Thanks to the invitation of Miha Tour, we are lucky to participate in this test.
After nearly six hours of playing, Zone Zero really gave me a sense of surprise that exceeded my expectations. The surprise was manifold, and not only did it completely overturn my initial belief that it was a "Big Crash 3." Despite being an ARPG, the rogue-like combat gameplay of Utter Zone Zero is very different from that of Collapse 3. In terms of playstyle, Miha's game has a more modern feel to it than the Original Gods and Crash series, which use the word "fantasy" throughout.
The ads on the login screen are right
The second is the high level of completion of the game, which frankly feels more like a Demo than a first test -- at least in terms of UI and setting design, the game is as finished as Collapse 3, which has been in operation for six years.
The collision of cyberpunk and street culture
"Trendy" and "cool" are my biggest feelings in this trial play.
On the one hand, Miha Tour is credited with creating a near-future world that combines the two new cultural trends of cyberpunk and street culture.
The story of Utter Zone Zero takes place in a near-future world destroyed by an unknown disaster called the Void. Humans affected by disasters turn into monsters called Ezhuel that threaten the survival of the survivors. The New Ailidu, where the protagonist lives, has become a "fortress" for survivors to survive because it has mastered the technology of controlling empty disasters.
At first glance, this seems like a familiar plot template. But unlike most junk games, Zone Zero does not ask players to be commanders, captains and other "children of heaven", staged to save the world. But to "new Ailidu" as a stage, the interpretation of a comic strip with the unfolding of urban adventure comedy. This is the kind of thing that Miha is good at, after all, since "Crash" (" Crash 2 "), crazy jokes have been the norm for Miha. But "Zone Zero" throws aside the "salvation" restriction, this kind of more self-free nonsensical comedy makes people further feel the humorous, humorous hip-hop style.
In the story interpretation, in addition to the animation CG and the common character dialogue that Miha you is good at, there is also the cartoon interpretation of the whole voice, which undoubtedly makes the story of the game further comic sense.
This time, the two brothers and sisters operate a video store on the surface, but secretly help the thief to enter and exit the hole illegally. Simply speaking, you can understand as the protagonist like "ghost blow out the light" in the grave robbers hired to guide Hu Bayi. Only the employers are no longer the big bosses of the so-and-so syndicate, but street gangs, special citizens and small groups of "burrowers". This kind of plot setting that sometimes walks in the gray area itself has a strong sense of street culture.
For the main city "new Aili all", whether function or style design, are quite some "Jet Warrior 2" flavor. Graffiti and skateboards can be seen everywhere in the street corners and alleys of the shop streets, a wide variety of discs and movie posters in the protagonist's own video store, and some of the characters' mechanical artifacts full of heavy industrial and technological sense, which are full of the trendy and cool atmosphere of the collision between street culture and cyberpunk.
There are a lot of eggs hidden on the tape
Similar to JRPGS like P5, Absolute Zone Zero moved most of the game's features into the middle of the store. The NPC is not only the source players pick up task in the city, their storefront also represents a play different functions, such as in the ramen "eat take gain" (similar to the strange hunting the cat food), in front of the store, buy materials in the record store extraction equipment and so on, this has to do with the function of the mobile game originally of menu interface has the very big difference.
On the other hand, what made me feel hip and cool was the very trendy audio-visual design of Zone Zero.
The music, for example, plays well with the comic tone of the game's urban adventure, while at the same time highlighting the elements of street culture. As you wander through the main city, you'll hear Blues-Rock music in the background; Enter the battle level, passionate electronic rock and roll to the sound; As the plot progresses, Hip-Hop will also look at the atmosphere and pick the right moment to appear.
Beyond that, whether it's the loading animations as you enter a combat level, or the UI changes of a grid as you explore a void, they're abstract, bizarre, and exaggerated. These small designs, when put together, have a strong impact on the player's visual senses.
Similar, but not exactly like, gameplay
The combat gameplay of Zone Zero is a return to the "main level style" that ARPG mobile gamers are so familiar with, but it's not just short and fast level combat.
Based on the world view, the protagonist will "dive" into the void via remote link with the help of a small robot named "Bang No" to assist the employer. The level mechanics of the game are somewhat similar to the Roguelite gameplay of Dark Dungeon -- walking through an unknown map, collecting random boosts, forming a build, solving various events, and then reaching the end.
Due to the constant erosion of the human in the void, the player gains pressure while exploring the unknown grid. When the pressure reaches 100, there is an erosion effect on the Bond, which is a negative BUFF, to increase the difficulty of the battle.
The player doesn't just touch the grid, but sometimes encounters random events. Such as teleporting you to a new and unfamiliar area, disrupting your established route arrangement; Or get into a series of battles over the wrong answers; May also encounter some used to adjust the taste of "4399 decryption games", which also let players harvest a certain sense of freshness.
However, it is a pity that the diversity of pigeon's build terms is not enough, and most of the terms are just pure damage value changes. However, considering that the game is still in early beta, there is a lot of room for improvement.
When it comes to the combat system, Absolute Zone Zero is like many 2D ACT mobile games in that it's a three-person team, one-player battle mode, and you can switch roles during a battle. It looks very similar to Collapse 3, but after you actually play it, there's a very clear difference between the two. In contrast to Collapse 3, which requires the player to create their own timing of output, the combat gameplay of Zone Zero is not overly demanding, and all of the Settings are built around "refreshing".
This difference is first reflected in the types of characters. Characters in Absolute Zone Zero do not have auxiliary role positioning such as damage augmentation and healing, but are divided into attack types such as strike, slash and puncture. When they attack an enemy of the same type, they accumulate an additional "imbalance" of the enemy. The "imbalance value" is another example of this difference. In combat, the player has to accumulate the imbalance value through continuous attacks, and when the imbalance value reaches 100%, the enemy will be in an immovable "imbalance" state. At this point, the jointed QTE for the other roles is triggered. It is worth mentioning that when a combo hit an "unbalanced" enemy, it will trigger a combo attack for all three characters in turn.
In other words, the refreshing flow of combat in Zone Zero comes from the snowballing process, where the enemy is thrown "out of balance" by a constant barrage of attacks, resulting in several bursts of cascading damage. When SEVERAL gorgeous skill effects are triggered one after another, the brilliant combat performance is enough to make people overwhelmed, coupled with the excellent sense of attack shaping, stimulating the player to secrete adrenaline every moment.
Of course, it would be nice if there were more types of enemies. At present, there is still a lack of enemy types, especially when you step on the combat grid several times in a row, and repetitive enemies inevitably make people feel boring. On top of that, the characters Bear (Ben) and Battle maid (Corin) are uncomfortable with long, carcineering attacks, which somewhat spoils the rhythm of the battle.
Finally, I would like to talk about the game's cultivation system. The cultivation gameplay of Absolute Zone Zero is still the traditional mobile game cultivation template in the market. On the whole, it is good and predictable. Besides, compared to the other gameplay, the current version of the development system is a little shabby. Apart from the classic three of character upgrading, leveling up, and breaking through, there is only a device (possibly named temporarily) system similar to the Holy Relic mechanism, which makes my heart ache. However, the equipment in the form of a music album is something new.
What differentiates Zone Zero?
There's no doubt that Utter Zone Zero is yet another complete demonstration of Miha's ability to industrialize games.
Now speaking of game industrialization, everyone in front of the screen is not unfamiliar, it represents the guarantee of game production efficiency, stable production quality and quantity of content. However, once patterned, the industrial pipeline will lead to a highly uniform game template and style, which will eventually make players lose the novelty of the game. This is the fundamental reason why most of the Spring Festival games, obviously not poor quality, suffer from the criticism of players.
I hate to admit it, but just as I think of Ubisoft at the sight of Open World in a can, Zone Zero has many of the same features that longtime fans will know from Miha at first glance. Such as "ancestral" character art styles, such as familiar text styles, and more or less the same pattern of formation.
But as mentioned at the beginning of the article, compared to the Original Gods and Collapse series, where "fantasy" was used throughout, the Miha Tour began experimenting with a new style of play in Utter Zone Zero. Yes, Absolutely Zero is more of a stylistic differentiation. Even in the world, no cliche salvation in the game plot, has not risen to the grand thinking of human survival, only a few little weave together the two urban adventure in daily, this is not only a rare in the mihajlovic swim the main works of the past, are now very rare in the mobile market.
As for the future of the game, we don't know yet. We'll just have to leave it to time. For sure, though, it's a good thing for the vast number of Mihaku fans to see a change.