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Genshin Impact maker reveals its new game, beta signups are now open

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The new game from the creators of Genshin Impact has been unveiled as Zenless Zone Zero, an action-RPG set in the last outpost of civilization following a world-ending calamity.

The end of civilization was wrought by a supernatural disaster that created the Hollows: "disordered dimensions" that appear out of nowhere, crawling with mysterious monsters called the Ethereal. The citizens of New Eridu were able to survive by acquiring technology that enables them to extract valuable resources from the Hollows. Over time, this enabled the city to explore and even expand into the Hollows, industrializing and monetizing it—a progression that has led to increasing tension between the city's "monopolistic enterprises, gangs, conspirators, and fanatics."

Amidst this chaos, players will become Proxies: Professional guides for people who seek to explore the Hollows, protecting them from enemies, assisting on their missions, and learning more about their stories.

Zenless Zone Zero will feature a "fluid, cinematic action-oriented combat system," with multiple characters offering different skills and combos, said developer HoYoverse, the new "metaverse brand" of MiHoYo. There's also "a roguelike gameplay mechanism that awaits exploration," and while I'm not at all clear what that means in this particular context, my guess is that ventures into Hollows will be randomized to some extent.

The good news is that we shouldn't have to wait too long for a proper look at what it's all about: Anyone interested in taking it for a spin can sign up for the closed beta at zenless.hoyoverse.com. A start date for the beta will be announced later—for now, you can get more details on what to expect from the beta in the Tuning Test FAQ.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.