The Delicate Balance of Zenless Zone Zero

The Delicate Balance of Zenless Zone Zero

Zenless Zone Zero, the latest free-to-play game following in the footsteps of Genshin Impact, presents players with a vibrant city hub filled with colorful details and stylish design choices. From a scratchcard stand to a noodle stall and even a bench made out of skateboard decks, the game exudes a sense of aesthetic appeal that is hard to resist. However, beneath the surface of this visually appealing world lies a more sinister aspect – the gacha loop that threatens to lure players into a cycle of gambling.

One of the clever tactics employed by the developers of Zenless Zone Zero is the inclusion of various distractions within the city hub. From a trashcan generating suspicious noises to an arcade machine promising simple minigames, there are plenty of elements vying for the player’s attention. While these may seem innocuous at first glance, they serve a dual purpose of keeping players engaged while subtly nudging them towards the gacha mechanic that lies at the heart of the game.

In many ways, Zenless Zone Zero can be seen as the gachification of Persona 5’s mementos. The optional dungeon trips in Persona 5 served as a way to grind stats and farm personas, much like the gacha mechanic in Zenless Zone Zero. However, the game also manages to capture some of the JRPG’s essence through its exploration of city streets and attention to detail. It is during these moments of quiet wandering that the true beauty of the game shines through.

While the aesthetics of Zenless Zone Zero may be captivating, it is important to remember the ultimate goal of the game – to keep players engaged in the gacha loop. The game’s design, with its invisible walls and dead ends, is carefully crafted to guide players towards this end. Despite the allure of the colorful city hub, one cannot escape the feeling of being led down a path that ultimately ends in chasing after a very pretty scratchcard.

Zenless Zone Zero presents players with a delicate balance between aesthetic appeal and gameplay mechanics. While the game’s stylish design and attention to detail are commendable, it is crucial to remain vigilant against the lure of the gacha loop that lies at its core. Only by carefully navigating this balance can players truly appreciate the craftsmanship and effort that went into creating this visually stunning world.


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