New VR MMORPG launching soon – Zenith: The Last City
The VR MMORPG Zenith: The Last City promises many hours of fun and long-term motivation. When will the VR game be released and what does it offer?
Almost three years after the announcement, a Kickstarter campaign and two beta phases, the time has finally come on January 27, 2022. Then the gates of the online VR role-playing game Zenith: The Last City will open, in which – if you believe the statements of developer studio Ramen VR – players should be able to lose themselves for many hours.
The VR MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) is meant to attract as many tastes as possible. The wide-ranging fantasy-style mix ranges from valleys with pre-industrial hamlets to mystical temple complexes and futuristic skyscrapers. Nier: Automata, Final Fantasy, and Sword Art Online serve as models.
An important prerequisite for a sufficiently populated world is cross-platform support, thanks to which users of all VR systems can play together. The game supports Meta Quest (2), Oculus Rift, Playstation VR, and SteamVR. The price is $29.
But what exactly is behind the floating islands, futuristic cities, and archaic monsters?
Zenith: “Thousands of players” and exciting battles?
According to the developer studio, “thousands of players” can be on the move in the world at the same time. For the technical underpinnings, a partnership was formed with the British company Improbable, which provides a cloud-based infrastructure for open worlds with numerous participants.
The implementation of action and locomotion could make the title interesting even for previous MMO muffleheads. Simply stretch out your arms and game players glide through the air from heights – almost like in the stomach-saving Population: One. Similar to the battle royale shooter, you can climb skyscrapers and rock faces to find hidden treasures.
In between, pirates, snake creatures, and ice monsters cavort, whose glowing blue patterns are reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Battles focus on combinations of sword and magic attacks. Blows can be parried with a blade, blocks, and throws can be applied, or attacks can be strengthened with the appropriate timing. Every so often you’ll smash a mage’s staff to the ground, a short time later you’ll torch combos or launch evasive maneuvers as arrows whiz through the air.
Intuitive controls and free classes
All of these skills benefit from sufficient practice, but newcomers should still not be overwhelmed with complexity. Instead of formulas and damage values, the gameplay focuses more on intuitive movement and choices.
The roles are not tied to a specific class: If you want, you can give the tank as an “Essence Mage”. Or you can take on the role of a healer as a “Blade Master”. Guilds, raids, and changing world events are supposed to provide long-term motivation.
If the developers find the right mix, the action-heavy role-playing game principle could certainly work. Already in 2019, Asgard’s Wrath by Sanzaru Games proved how much more direct the battles of a classic role-playing game can feel in virtual reality. I’m eager to see if Ramen VR can make a similar mark in the MMORPG space with Zenith.
The story of Zenith: The Last City remains vague
The narrative framework is quite general. Several generations after the cataclysmic event “The Fracture”, players have to fight against humans and gods to prevent another catastrophe. Thanks to the magical “Essence”, they become more powerful as they adventure together and encounter a colorful mix of champions and villains.
By the way, those who want to get involved with the world before the full version is launched can start a text adventure about the MMORPG Zenith on the official website. It revolves around a worried mother, her missing son, and the communication technology of the so-called “Sky Wave Transmission”.
On the official website, you can apply for Zenith playtests via email or join the official Discord. The second and presumably last beta phase has already started on Jan. 13, 2022.