Zenless Zone Zero’s most divisive feature is now totally different

3 weeks ago 65

If there’s one game I’m seriously excited about, it’s Zenless Zone Zero. While I never quite ‘got’ Genshin Impact, I loved the sci-fi aesthetic and turn-based combat of Honkai Star Rail. Yet I’ve always wanted to see something a little more gritty from HoYoverse, something akin to the dark, dystopian cyberpunk aesthetics of Scarlet Nexus. ZZZ has all that and more, and as a result has piqued the interest of millions of pre-registered players. With the final closed beta test relegated to the history books, we ask producer Zhenyu Li what the team has changed post-CBT, and thankfully the answer includes Hollows.

If you’ve not had the chance to try out Zenless Zone Zero yet, Hollows are effectively dungeon instances that you can complete solo or with a team of AI companions. Much like other RPGs, you can collect resources and gear to level up your characters. Unlike those games, however, there’s quite a lot of busy work involved.

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During the last beta test, Hollows had two different phases: exploration and combat. The latter is relatively straightforward, but exploration involved figuring out a series of different puzzles before you could dive into the action. At the time, players complained that the exploration sections were slow, convoluted, and lacked meaningful gameplay.

This is something Li echoes, admitting that he “felt tired” playing through the Hollows over and over, noting that it wasn’t because the Hollows “weren’t fun” but that “the experience was excessively protected [by the puzzles]. I realized this experience was not ideal.”

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When we ask how Hollows will look when the Zenless Zone Zero release date rolls around, Li tells us that the team decided there was a “problem with the product [Hollows]” and has since worked to improve players’ “freedom to choose” between exploration and combat.

“During the previous closed beta test, we realized there was a ton of users who didn’t like the [exploration feature] because they didn’t find combat features in it, but a certain group found the feature to be fine. This gave the team a sense of inner conflict: who do we satisfy? The Hollows are one of our selling points.”

Yi tells us that the team has settled on a system that allows you to bypass the exploration missions if you want to. “We separated the Hollow exploration into two types of mission: explore and combat. With combat, you can go and dive directly into the combat without any further actions or explore missions. We want to let the players choose what to play.

The team also identified issues with “the pace and flow of general missions in the Hollows,” which has similarly been addressed.

A huge black orb overtaking high rise buildings in a futuristic looking city

With less than a month until Zenless Zone Zero’s launch, make sure you check out our rundown of the Zenless Zone Zero codes function to give you a head start. We also have an in-depth guide to the latest Zenless Zone Zero banners that you can expect at launch – give me Ellen, please.

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Additional reporting by Nat Smith.

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