I know we’re a little late with this one, but A New Zero is definitely worth a look for the three readers we have who don’t also read Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Also, due to the fact that it’s in a constant state of improvement, my impressions might just be different from all the others have written. And not just because the game I’m playing is different. I’m special, you know.
There are a few big hooks that A New Zero has. Firstly, the levels are all procedurally generated, which means the game is supposedly going to be different each time. While that is somewhat true, the basic setup of the game means that it can never deviate too much, but at the same time the procedural nature means that Alex Austin, the developer, was able to keep the file size down to just 432kb. It’s pretty bloody amazing it’s that small really, what with the fact it’s online, and contains quite a complex set of units/buildings.
Also, the art style is deliberately simple, but also very appealing. It’s all big blocks and hard shadows, and the somewhat pixelated sky works perfectly. I’m not entirely sure about having a day/night cycle in the game, but it certainly makes a clever pause in the combat; suddenly everyone is staying very still, especially the fighters, trying not to crash/die. Of course, I did both. It doesn’t help that the vehicles don’t exactly handle that well.
It’s a problem that’s pretty fundamental to the game. There seems to be a delay in the controls that, while it could easily just be me, makes driving/piloting as much guesswork as it is skill. It means that you’re constantly trying to preempt the enemy, which could create a clever dynamic if you weren’t also having to preempt with your guns; all the bullets travel in real time, have gravity affecting them and move at a set (rather slow) speed.
It’s certainly worth a look though, and as you can see in the below video, there is a lot of potential for fun. Just don’t go in thinking it’ll be a twitch vehicle deathmatch; it’s far more calculated than that, and definitely manages to hold it’s own in that respect. You can download it here.