The next anime action game from the maker of Genshin Impact is coming in July

Zenless Zone Zero characters hanging out in parking lot looking at camera
(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Apologies to anyone struggling to keep track of MiHoYo's anime gacha games because another one is coming out on July 4. This one is Zenless Zone Zero, an "urban fantasy action RPG," which essentially looks like Genshin Impact with street wear and asphalt.

Zenless Zone Zero also isn't an open world game. Apart from exploring a few blocks of its city, New Eridu, you spend most of your time navigating through mazes made out of fuzzy CRTs. They're visual representations of areas in the world hit by supernatural disasters called "Hollows", which normal people tend to stay away from.

The Genshin similarities show up in the crew of characters you lead through the hollows and take control of during its arena combat sequences. Like every gacha game, you'll earn free characters by playing through the story and will be able to gamble for the most powerful ones using a premium currency. And just like Genshin characters, Zenless Zone Zero's each have their own suite of abilities that cater to particular playstyles and team compositions.

MiHoYo has already run a few public playtests to help it balance the game. It sounds like the amount of time it takes to navigate the mazes and actually get to a fight—the game's best part—has been sped up after many players, including myself, found it tedious. I've never been a fan of how much your stamina meter limits you in Genshin's combat, but Zenless Zone Zero just omits that entire concept, instead focusing on combos, character swapping, and last-second dodges. It plays much closer to a character action game like Devil May Cry than Genshin, which is all about teeing up your main hitter.

Around 35 million people have already pre-registered for the game, which is essentially like wishlisting a game on Steam through MiHoYo's website. For reference: Honkai: Star Rail, MiHoYo's turn-based gacha game, reached about 10 million pre-registrations a week before its release. Maybe it's the real-time combat drawing all that interest, or the fact that one of the characters is just a big bear named Ben, but whatever the reason people seem to be extremely interested in how this one'll turn out.

Zenless Zone Zero will launch on PC via the Epic Games Store or its own launcher on July 4.

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.