Why Stylish PS5 Slasher Slave Zero X Could Be Essential for Fans of Action and 90s Anime | Push Square
12.02.2024 - 23:58
Slave Zero X first caught our eye last year, with a trailer that practically screamed cool 90s anime sh*t. Fortunately, the game was later confirmed for a PS5 and PS4 release (it's coming on the 21st February), and so we simply had to pick the brains of the people behind the project.
We asked both publisher Ziggurat Interactive and developer Poppy Works about the game itself, its development, and its inspirations.
Push Square: To start with, can you give us a brief overview of what kind of game Slave Zero X is?
Cole Law, Marketing Coordinator at Ziggurat Interactive: Slave Zero X is a fast-paced 2.5D character action brawler in the futuristic dystopian world of Slave Zero (1999).
Wolfgang Wozniak, Co-founder at Poppy Works: Hi~! I’m Wolfgang Wozniak, co-founder and one of the producers on Slave Zero X. Slave Zero X is what we’d call a “high-action” style brawler. We took a lot of inspiration from world-class 3D action games and fighting games to put our spin on things.
Slave Zero X is set in the same world as 1999's Slave Zero — an action game that's gone on to be remembered as something of a cult classic. Why did you decide to revive that property all these years later?
CL: This revival happened unconventionally. We wanted to work with Poppy Works, and we knew they had a prototype of the gameplay you see in Slave Zero X. While talking about the games in our archives and exploring the history, Poppy Works became enamored with the history of the original Slave Zero and what the original dev team initially wanted for that release. These discoveries were really a catalyst for the creative teams mechanically, visually, and narratively. And it really felt like two halves of a whole finding each other… as cheesy as that sounds. It really just felt right.
WW: That’s exactly right! We were approached to do some work with Ziggurat’s catalog of classic games, and one thing led to another, and here we are!
The original Slave Zero is obviously a very different kind of game to Slave Zero X, featuring fully 3D environments and combat that revolves around ranged weapons. Why did you decide to do something so different in terms of core gameplay?
CL: While the team at Poppy Works was very much inspired by the original concept art of the original Slave Zero, it also felt like the original Slave Zero — being the now cult classic it has become — had such a wealth of potential story and world to be discovered. While giant mecha are awesome, I think the pivot in gameplay allows for a different perspective of the Mega City and more stories to be told — particularly more human stories — and more sinister ones at that. And that’s not to say the world of Slave Zero can’t ever be again… anything is possible, but we wanted to