Metascore
72

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
Buy On
  1. 100
    Zanki Zero isn't really "new"; underneath the dungeon crawler window dressing it's too similar to its predecessors thematically to stand out as a bold new statement. The dungeon crawling elements work well enough, however, and it's hard to complain that the creators are sticking to their traditions when these games are so intensely intriguing and intelligent. Zanki Zero offers every bit the brilliance that Danganronpa did.
  2. May 21, 2019
    90
    Zanki Zero: Last Beginning oozes both charm and horror in equal measure. It’s a highly enjoyable game that deserves a lot more attention than it’s getting. Perfect for fans of horror, mystery, and dungeon crawling RPGs.
  3. Apr 23, 2019
    87
    Bizarre postapocalyptic fight for survival.
  4. Apr 15, 2019
    85
    A fantastic dungeon crawler that provides an interesting story and allows you to focus on the aspects you enjoy the most.
  5. 83
    Zanki Zero: Last Beginning is a surprisingly good RPG with survival elements, a mature video game able to keep on their toes those who’ll have the patience to tame a rich but demanding gameplay.
  6. Apr 11, 2019
    80
    Zanki Zero: Last Beginning is a very particular Japanese-style RPG, in first person with a strongly symbolic atmosphere.
  7. Jun 2, 2019
    75
    Zanki Zero drops the investigations for average survival RPG gameplay and explores themes of life, death, and rebirth with a sadistic story that goes places that Danganronpa wouldn't dare explore.
  8. Apr 15, 2019
    75
    One of the most unique adventure games out there from the makers of the Danganronpa franchise. Maybe it´s not a game for everyone, but a good one indeed.
  9. Apr 10, 2019
    75
    This mix of narrative adventure and dungeon crawler is interesting thanks to its story and cast, although none of its parts is outstanding.
  10. Apr 9, 2019
    75
    An interesting story and concept that may be too hardcore if you are not an RPG fan, but that may fulfill your wishes if you are that kind of gamer.
  11. 70
    Although it attempts to combine a number of different gameplay mechanics, Zanki Zero: Last Beginning ultimately fails to bring these together in a compelling fashion. That said, it's a great visual novel, assuming you can handle the discomfort.
  12. May 8, 2019
    70
    Zanki Zero’s unique premise and the way it connects to the various mechanics surrounding the game is noteworthy for its ambition and creativity. However, the shaky foundation of its overly simple combat engine and level designs holds it back from greatness.
  13. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    May 3, 2019
    70
    There are great ideas at play, you’ll laugh from time to time, and it’s definitely a story you’ll want to follow to the end. However, where the Danganronpa games are deliciously dark and furiously inventive, Zanki often leans on sexual innuendo to entertain when it really doesn’t need to, like a fire juggler who keeps making boob and willy jokes. [Issue#162, p.82]
  14. Apr 29, 2019
    70
    Zanki Zero is a meltin 'pot of genres, influences, ideas and theories, where each element has its own importance in the gameplay context.
  15. Apr 16, 2019
    70
    Zanki Zero: Last Beginning is a game with lots of good ideas, some well done, others less convincing. By combining multiple genres together, the risk is not to full satisfy anyone, but despite all of these problem, it has all the potential to not be easily forgotten.
  16. Apr 16, 2019
    70
    It’s the game’s zany but gripping narrative that’s the real star of the show, though. If science fiction interwoven with tales of family, loss, relationships and survival sounds like your thing, then Zanki Zero is worth a look.
  17. Apr 16, 2019
    70
    Obtuse inventory aside, there are too many systems in play at the same time to fully enjoy the first class plot and characters of Zanki Zero - Last Beginning. tone down the difficulty to enjoy a great visual novel from the creators of Danganronpa.
  18. Apr 8, 2019
    70
    Zanki Zero is a really entertaining blend of visual novel and survival RPG gameplay. The story is just as eccentric and zany as the Danganronpa series and features that grittiness fans have come to expect. The combat system is a little simplistic, but the human cloning makes it a really unique experience. However, the title doesn't quite hit the same deliciously dark heights as Danganronpa.
  19. May 1, 2019
    65
    Zanki Zero: Last Beginning is a credible and entertaining adventure, but its potential to stand alongside its developers' best works is hampered by its systems and story's inability to come together and elevate the experience beyond the sum of its parts.
  20. Apr 9, 2019
    64
    Zanki Zero is a fun dungeon crawler set in the remains of Earth after a catastrophic event took place with a plot that feels like it belongs in the Danganronpa series. The story and gameplay will keep you curious for most of the campaign, especially if you're comfortable with the inherently disturbing subject matter and occasionally frustrating dungeon traversal.
  21. Apr 24, 2019
    60
    Zanki Zero doesn’t offer as wide of an appeal as it could, but it will still likely be able to find a dedicated following that appreciates the layers of challenge it offers.
  22. Apr 10, 2019
    60
    Uniqueness is one of Zanki Zero's biggest selling points, but its myriad ambitions and ideas aren't enough to obscure the elements that don't work as well. While the novelty of the game, its interesting story, and engaging exploration do a lot to carry it, it falters in some crucial spots that drag down the whole.
  23. 60
    I was all set to jump into Zanki Zero and have a good time uncovering a mystery, crawling through dungeons and even seeing what I could pull off after several rounds of surviving, dying, and using that cloning loop to get ever stronger. Instead I found a bunch of tedium fueled by disparate systems not playing well with each other, disappointing combat, and a story that constantly tried to disguise how shallow it was via torturing its characters.
  24. Jun 11, 2019
    35
    Zanki Zero: Last Beginning is a bit of a disaster. It looks nice on its surface, but the initially-promising setup soon devolves into complete drudgery thanks to inferior dungeon crawling, poor combat and a cast I had no empathy for whatsoever. My interest in the overall mystery got snuffed out long before it was solved.
User Score
6.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 24
  2. Negative: 8 out of 24
  1. Apr 11, 2019
    10
    Another outstanding game from the creators of dangan ronpa. The story is captivating and the characters are very interesting.
  2. Apr 9, 2019
    8
    I only played about 8 hours and reached chapter 3 (or stage 3) so my review is obviously incomplete, but those 8 hours went so fast I barelyI only played about 8 hours and reached chapter 3 (or stage 3) so my review is obviously incomplete, but those 8 hours went so fast I barely noticed: the game surprised me despite its rather weird concept and the story and characters hooked me to discover more.

    Zanki Zero is a sort of blend between Zero Escape and Danganronpa - both games made by Spike Chunsoft themselves - so the style is somewhat similar when it comes to setting or at least the mentality behind the whole game: 8 people are stuck in a place called Garage Island and, supposedly, they are the last survivor of the human race and they have to help save it by using the Extend Machine in order to complete their missions. At first, they think it's a game but soon they discover that everything is more than real when two of the cast dies.

    Zanki Zero is an RPG but to be honest it has barely any RPG elements in it: leveling doesn't actually grants status bonuses but only unlocks better proficiencies and stats like better attack or cooking, meaning that you won't be grinding any levels and instead you'll be grinding mats and food for your survival. It's better to say that ZZ is more of an action adventure game, where you'll fight enemies in dungeons while also seeing cutscenes, mostly with grunts, and proceed with the plot.

    I want to start with the combat because I heard really bad comments on it, saying that it looks like etrian odyssey or other dungeon crawler RPGs...well they're partially right but it's closer to games like Dungeon Master or Legend of Grimrock instead: you don't have random battles and you can move freely during combat, which is on grids, and it's important to be able to move around while attacking or else you can die in this game. And yes, you will die...which is probably the weirdest mechanic of the entire game.

    I said that there's no progress from leveling, but that's because it's tied to the Extend Machine and its Shigabane system, which essentially rewards you for...dying. Literally.
    Whenever one character dies, their death will be recorded into the machine and the next body they'll come out will have perks that increase their stats: dying of old age grants a general buff to all stats but, for instance, dying from a physical attack might reduce the damage next time, or dying from stress or lack of sleep might give you more stamina, and so forth. In other words, you must die, a lot, in order to get the good stats and you might be grinding deaths in order to get them since there's over a hundred of them!

    Unfortunately, it's not infinite: you need to use your SCORE to clone your new body and while not expensive at first the more shigabane you get, the expensive it gets. You get SCORE from beating enemies and thankfully they do respawn, although randomly and not always timely so you can grind those score points.
    Add the fact that your characters will die after 13 days, you'll eventually have to understand the system and manage its perks properly.

    But honestly, what draws me into the game it's the story: the 8 characters aren't exactly well defined at first but the more you play, the more you want to know about them. Each dungeon is, supposedly about sin and each character is their representation, which means that not only you'll get to know them in depth but you'll also be playing from their PoV!
    Yep, each chapter (or stage) will make you play from the perspective of another survivor and you'll get to see their feelings, thoughts and mental process: you're not going to stuck with the "main" protagonist like most VN games but you'll keep jumping to each character until their story is complete. It's interesting and really hooks you in because you know what they're thinking and the game will show each part of their backstory in stylized scenes with dark figures and no voicing, which is both weird and fascinating. I played 8 hours straight because I just wanted to know what's going to happen, why did this happen, or if that character did something wrong, or why is something wrong. Even though they really don't seem to grow a lot afterward but maybe it's too early to say it.

    So, do I recommend it? Honestly yes, I do, but you must realize that this game is a little different than your usual jrpgs and it requires a little bit of patience to understand its system: the combat is simple, extremely simple, but it's also extremely simple to die from enemies (2-3 shots and you're dead) and the Clione mechanic makes the game about high-risk high reward, but that's something I haven't fully tested as of now.

    The best I can describe it is, Zanki Zero is an action adventure game with semi-survival elements and visual novel hints too, that while not perfectly flawless they make a rather intriguing and bizarre mix that I can't wait to discover more about it!.

    And considering Danganronpa and Zero Escape were already weird on their own, I hope to get the same here!
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 18, 2019
    10
    this game is heavily underrated, it's a bit tough to get into, but once you do, you're in for a wild ride.

    the combat system is unique, and
    this game is heavily underrated, it's a bit tough to get into, but once you do, you're in for a wild ride.

    the combat system is unique, and it works well with every other element in the game.

    but the best selling point, is the story and character design, it will stick with you.
    Full Review »