Zenless Zone Zero Review: Urban Combat RPG

Zenless Zone Zero review: immersive urban combat and engaging social gameplay.

Zenless Zone Zero gameplay featuring urban combat and character interactions.
Image Credit: Games Radar

Zenless Zone Zero Review

PLATFORM: Android, iOS, PC, PlayStation 5
RELEASE DATE: July 4, 2024

HoYoVerse has proven once again that it doesn’t rest on its laurels. Following the immense success of Genshin Impact, which set a high bar for AAA gacha titles, they could have easily continued down that path indefinitely. Instead, HoYoVerse has chosen to diversify its portfolio with Honkai Starrail, a turn-based JRPG, and now Zenless Zone Zero (ZZZ), an urban combat and social game reminiscent of NEO: The World Ends With You.

A Complex and Rich World

Zenless Zone Zero plunges players into a world reshaped by a cataclysmic event that created “Hollows,” spherical pocket dimensions filled with hostile creatures known as Ethereals. These dimensions are valuable sources of Ether, a precious substance that Hollow Raiders (or Agents) risk their lives to collect. Guided by hackers called Proxies, Raiders venture into these Hollows, facing the threat of corruption if they stay too long. This engaging and intricate setup forms the backbone of the game’s narrative, providing a rich tapestry for players to explore.

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Protagonists and Setting

You play as one of two siblings, Belle and Wise, who are Proxies operating from New Eridu, one of the last safe cities. Their cover is a video store named Random Play, which doubles as the headquarters for their secret Proxy business, Phaethon. This dual life forms the basis of the game’s narrative structure, splitting your time between urban exploration and intense combat. The characters are well-developed, with unique backstories and motivations that add depth to the game’s storyline.

Gameplay Mechanics

Zenless Zone Zero is a complex blend of various gameplay elements. The day is divided into four segments—morning, afternoon, evening, and night—each offering different activities and interactions. Players can visit locations like noodle shops for buffs, coffee shops, newsstands, and the Modelling Shop to customize their Bangboo companions. The game also features odd jobs, side quests, and missions that reward various in-game currencies.

The Gacha system, a staple in HoYoVerse games, is present here in the form of Master Tapes, which unlock new Agents and W-Engines—items that enhance combat abilities. The game’s combat is particularly engaging, involving combos, special attacks, and dynamic team switching. Despite its simplicity, the combat system is enjoyable and offers a frenetic, joyful experience. The ability to switch between different Agents on the fly adds a layer of strategy, as players can tailor their team to suit their playstyle and the challenges they face.

Deep Dives and Exploration

Deep Dives into Hollows form a significant part of the gameplay. These dives are roguelite-adjacent, with players navigating grids to reach objectives and boss fights while managing corruption levels. The exploration mode is faster and more rewarding than in the betas, with various environmental challenges and NPC interactions adding depth to the experience.

Exploration in Zenless Zone Zero is not just about fighting; it involves solving puzzles, interacting with NPCs, and making strategic decisions. The game features different types of Hollows, each with unique challenges and secrets to uncover. Some Hollows require players to use switches and blocks to navigate, while others might have breakable walls or hidden paths. The variety in these exploration segments keeps the gameplay fresh and engaging.

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Daily and Weekly Activities

The game offers a plethora of daily and weekly events, bounties, and challenges, all rewarding different currencies. These activities include Investigator Logs and Records to level up Agents, enhancing W-Engines, and various side activities like selling videotapes in your store. The game’s sheer volume of content ensures that players always have something to do.

Daily and weekly events help keep the game dynamic and provide consistent rewards, encouraging players to log in regularly. These events often introduce new challenges and missions, keeping the gameplay experience exciting. Additionally, the bounties and challenges are designed to cater to different playstyles, whether you prefer combat, exploration, or completing side quests.

Story and Characters

Zenless Zone Zero is rich in dialogue, with characters interacting frequently in various settings. The game’s story, while complex and sometimes bewildering, promises ongoing updates and new content. Each Agent has unique missions and storylines, adding layers to the narrative. The world of ZZZ is meticulously crafted, with detailed animations, character designs, and voice acting enhancing the overall charm.

The narrative is delivered through a combination of in-game cutscenes, dialogues, and missions. Characters converse on the street, before Commissions, after Commissions, before you go to bed, in the shops you visit, when they come to the store, on the phone, via text and email – and there’s an entire worldwide web analogy called the Inter-Knot, which you’ll need to earn levels in to advance the story, and can surf when you like to see news on in-game events, or explore the lore of the world.

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Visuals and Sound

One of the standout features of Zenless Zone Zero is its visual and auditory presentation. The game boasts gorgeous animations and character designs, with a vibrant color palette that brings the world to life. The character models are detailed and expressive, and the environments are rich with detail, making exploration a visual treat.

The sound design is equally impressive, with a dynamic soundtrack that complements the action and exploration. The voice acting is top-notch, adding personality and depth to the characters. Each line of dialogue is delivered with care, making interactions feel authentic and engaging.

Combat System

Combat in Zenless Zone Zero is a highlight, characterized by its fluidity and dynamic nature. Players can unleash basic attacks, special attacks, and EX attacks, chaining them together to create powerful combos. The combat system is designed to be accessible yet rewarding, with a variety of moves and abilities to master.

The ability to switch between Agents mid-combat adds a strategic layer, allowing players to adapt to different enemy types and situations. Each Agent has unique skills and playstyles, making it important to assemble a balanced team. The reactive dodge mechanic adds a layer of skill, rewarding precise timing and positioning.

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Community and Longevity

Zenless Zone Zero is designed to be a “forever game,” with ongoing updates and new content planned. This ensures that the game remains fresh and engaging, with new challenges and rewards to keep players coming back. The community aspect is also emphasized, with features that encourage player interaction and cooperation.

HoYoVerse has a track record of supporting its games with regular updates and events, and Zenless Zone Zero is no exception. Players can expect new Agents, items, and story content to be added regularly, keeping the game evolving over time. This commitment to ongoing development ensures that Zenless Zone Zero will remain relevant and exciting for the foreseeable future.


Zenless Zone Zero is a testament to HoYoVerse’s ability to innovate and create engaging experiences. It offers an abundance of content, quality-of-life features, and a unique blend of gameplay elements. While it may be overwhelming for newcomers and grind-heavy at times, it remains an incredibly fun and captivating game.


  • Immersive and detailed world
  • Engaging and fun combat system
  • Rich narrative with ongoing updates
  • Abundance of content and activities


  • Complex story may be confusing for some
  • Heavy on grinding and multiple currencies
  • Extensive dialogue might deter action-focused players

Verdict: Zenless Zone Zero is an incredibly good time, bursting with activities and presented with confidence by a developer that knows its craft.


Q: What platforms is Zenless Zone Zero available on?
A: Zenless Zone Zero is available on Android, iOS, PC, and PlayStation 5.

Q: Who developed and published Zenless Zone Zero?
A: The game was developed and published by MiHoYo.

Q: What is the release date for Zenless Zone Zero?
A: Zenless Zone Zero was released on July 4, 2024.

Q: What kind of game is Zenless Zone Zero?
A: Zenless Zone Zero is an urban combat and social game with elements of exploration, strategy, and a rich narrative.

Q: How does the Gacha system work in Zenless Zone Zero?
A: The Gacha system in Zenless Zone Zero uses Master Tapes to unlock new Agents and W-Engines, which enhance combat abilities. These can be earned through gameplay or purchased.

Q: What are Hollows in Zenless Zone Zero?
A: Hollows are spherical pocket dimensions filled with hostile creatures called Ethereals. They are valuable sources of Ether, a precious substance that players collect during their adventures.

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Q: Who are the main characters in Zenless Zone Zero?
A: The main characters are siblings Belle and Wise, who are Proxies operating from New Eridu. They run a video store named Random Play as a cover for their secret Proxy business, Phaethon.

Q: How is the combat system in Zenless Zone Zero?
A: The combat system in Zenless Zone Zero is engaging and dynamic, involving combos, special attacks, and team switching. It offers a balance between accessibility and depth, making it enjoyable for players of all skill levels.

Q: What makes Zenless Zone Zero different from other HoYoVerse games?

Zenless Zone Zero stands out with its urban setting, complex narrative, and blend of combat and social gameplay elements. It offers a unique experience compared to other HoYoVerse titles like Genshin Impact and Honkai Starrail.

Q: What kind of content can players expect in Zenless Zone Zero?
A: Players can expect a variety of activities, including main story missions, side quests, daily and weekly events, bounties, and exploration of Hollows. The game also features extensive character customization and a dynamic combat system.

Q: Is there ongoing support and updates for Zenless Zone Zero?
A: Yes, HoYoVerse plans to support Zenless Zone Zero with regular updates, new content, and events to keep the game fresh and engaging for players.

Q: How does the day and night cycle work in Zenless Zone Zero?
A: The game’s day is divided into four segments—morning, afternoon, evening, and night. Each segment offers different activities and interactions, contributing to the dynamic and immersive gameplay experience.

Q: Can players customize their characters in Zenless Zone Zero?
A: Yes, players can customize their Bangboo companions and enhance their Agents with W-Engines, which provide various combat abilities and bonuses.

Q: What is the Inter-Knot in Zenless Zone Zero?
A: The Inter-Knot is an in-game analog of the internet, where players can surf for news, explore the lore, and advance the story by earning levels. It adds an additional layer of depth and immersion to the game.

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