PlayStation VR2 still has plenty of content to offer and this MMORPG is clearly one of them
For fans of role-playing games as well as MMORPGs, here is something very interesting: Zenith: The Last City, published by Ramen VR, is now also available on PlayStation VR2. Get ready for action, exploration, and a pretty interesting futuristic-looking game.
Warrior or wizard? Make your choice!
In the world of MMORPGs, it is important to take into consideration the importance of vast worlds, often open worlds, filled with monsters, missions, towns, and villages crowded with NPCs as well as dungeons, raids, and tons of collectibles. This is what Zenith: The Last City offers you from the start. Climb, jump, glide, fight, farm, and more in this multiplayer role-playing game.
Often when the time comes to think of a virtual reality MMORPG, we always think of the anime Sword Art Online, the famous anime about Kirito and thousands of people stuck in a massively multiplayer role-playing game called Sword Art Online in which every player can die in real life if they die in-game or if their NerveGear is unplugged in the real world.
Many think of SAO because it has the perfect context to be a full MMORPG for our generation’s VR headsets, if not for the fact that they don’t take full control of our in-game bodies through the system connected to our brains. On the other hand, its style and complexity would make it an excellent game today.
Zenith: The Last City has promises, promises
Anyway, I let myself be carried away by SAO to draw a certain parallel with Zenith: this game, which celebrated its first anniversary on January 22, is really very pleasant to play but unfortunately lacks content in most of the spheres it offers.
First, you only have two character classes: the warrior, called Blade Master, and the wizard, called Essence Mage. Among these two classes are three classic categories in MMO games: the DPS, the Tank, and the Healer. The DPS class, whose acronym means Damage Per Second, is the one that is used to inflict the most damage possible on enemies. The Tank, on the other hand, is the one that controls the enemy’s aggressiveness and deals with the majority of the damage the party should be getting. Finally, the Healer is the category, as you can imagine, that takes care of the health of the other party members. So you just have to choose the main aspect of your character: do you prefer to fight melee or ranged? Then it will be to see if you want to inflict maximum damage, protect your comrades, or heal others. It is unfortunately a very limited choice, especially knowing that the game was released more than a year ago.
Add to that the low choice of avatar customization we have, which means that players in the game almost all look the same at the expense of hair or eye colour.
The other thing that bugs me is the concept of “flight” in the game. As mentioned at the outset, it’s more about hovering or gliding. You place your arms fully extended on both sides so that your body forms a “T” and you glide. Tilting your wrists forward will make you speed up and backward to regain some altitude and slow down. I understand this is a feature that allows for faster travel and avoids fall damage but I believe it could have been presented better. Even Richie’s Plank Experience offers better in its superhero training workshop.
A world worth exploring
On the other hand, the Zenith game shines with its gameplay and its universe. Getting around in this vast universe is pleasant and having the possibility of being able to climb almost any structure to see what is even further away is very satisfying. Being able to interact with other players cross-platform is also really great since it allows you to play with people on Meta Quest 2, Steam VR, PlayStation VR, and PlayStation VR2.
The possibility of being able to create our objects, to make event attacks alongside other players who are not in our group, the story, and the quests bring us back the essence of a true MMORPG, but in virtual reality. The fact that cooking is placed so much in the foreground since it is the main way to heal ourselves, really adds a nice layer to what we have to do. These are really good points to me and will be appealing to many of you, I’m sure.
The battles are very good. Difficult to understand at first because, I should say, it’s a bit poorly explained, but in the long run, you get used to it. The only thing I still criticize to this day is the way you throw your sword away to do area damage on certain enemies when it lands on the ground. My God, it’s difficult to properly target the place where we want to toss our weapons. I feel like a right-handed three-year-old trying to throw a toy at a target with his left hand!
As for the menus, it leaves something to be desired. The user interface is very different from the visual style that the game offers us, so much so that we wonder if it was not made for another game and was not simply implanted there to make it easier and less time-consuming for developers.
As much as I loved the visuals of the game, I can’t keep for myself all the times I’ve seen objects popping into the screen or visuals changing and distorting in weird ways while walking around, not to mention the countless number of times the game crashed and took me back to the PlayStation 5 interface, asking me to report the error to the developers.
As for the soundtrack, it is pretty but nothing more. The music as well as the sound effects are good but, at the same time, very generic. Unfortunately, they don’t leave us with a little earworm compared to what we can hear in other games.
Zenith: The Last City has everything it needs to eventually become a very good MMORPG. The gameplay is quite good, the controls are quite easy if we forget the concept of throwing weapons, and the playground offered is very vast and fun. Having a good variety of enemies offering great fights and quests galore, you probably won’t see the hours spent playing it, unless the game crashes in your face.
Alas, the lack of choice of classes, customization, sad and bland menus as well as the technical problems caused by the game will probably discourage some. That said, a small 13 employees studio like Ramen VR that offers such a vast MMORPG so rich and not empty at all, it’s a great job!
If you’re an RPG fan and have VR, Zenith: The Last City is a game to play. Admittedly far from Sword Art Online, don’t create too many expectations: just enjoy the moment and, like me, hope that a good batch of content will eventually be available.
[A copy of the game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]
Reviewed on: PlayStation 5
Far from Sword Art Online, Zenith: The Last City is an MMORPG to play but that needs more content and customization.
Vast and rich world
Visually good looking
Visuals issues every now and then
The gliding system
Controls sometimes, especially when tossing your weapons