A Yearly Peek At A New Zero

It's a 30th of a Peggle in size
Every year around this time Google calendar reminds me that A New Zero, Cryptic Sea’s abstract, multiplayer military vehicle sim, exists. It’s so lo-fi that I keep forgetting it’s still in development, and expanding at a very slow but steady rate: I tend to forget games that are under a Peggle in size, even if they’re capable of procedurally generating massive landscapes and battles. My yearly check-in has dug up a few new videos, showing off the work-in-progress infantry additions that will end up powering Hidden & Dangerous style missions co-op missions. Cor.

One of my favourite games is Black Shades, so I’m perfectly content with abstract people firing guns (although these guys are placeholder). As long as it feels nice, which A New Zero seems to have captured. It’s because he’s physically modeled the player’s entire body. I especially like how it works with the analogue cover system.

See some badly animated ballmen make the ultimate sacrifice for you viewing pleasure.

Picking through blog posts, there are things like cities, mountains and rivers being attempted, with developer Alex Austin adding “For the rivers I’m trying to figure out how players will build bridges across them, obviously doing it brick by brick would take way too long”.

Some of that is demonstrated in this difficult to listen to walkthrough: the sound mix is way off, especially with the use of the electronically generated voice. But look: Water, mountains!

The playable version has none of this, and there’s no information as to when it’ll be updated. Just think of this post as a big tease.


  1. Crainey says:

    I got a little addicted last time you suggested this game, fortunately this time I’m behind a college proxy server stopping me from giving into the craving, unfortunately for the developers I will have forgotten about the game by the time I get home.

  2. gropingmantis says:

    That cover system is a work of genius!

  3. MrBRAD! says:

    Does it have even minor lag compensation or prediction yet? It’s meant to be a multiplayer game but last time I played the controls were utterly broken by any notable latency.

    I loved what little I could get out of it, but not living in Europe or the US ruins it.

    • wodin says:

      Agree. RO Classic mode may well bring me back. I will see.

      The videos above have the same level of AI as the bots in RO1 and 2 by the looks of it. Already!!! .

  4. Chaz says:

    I had to chuckle at the Flintstones style jeep.

  5. stahlwerk says:

    fitter. happier. more productive.
    playing indie military sims. bot killed bot. bot killed bot. testman killed bot. bot killed testman.

  6. scut says:

    I’m surprised by this update, both because I had made the assumption that A New Zero had ceased development and also because this is so much the direction I wanted to see the game go in.

    It definitely has the look of a labour of love, but seeing this makes me wish Cryptic Sea could have a small dev team and some funding thrown at them to flesh this out in shorter order.
    This game feels like the Subversion response to ARMA, and I love the style and abstraction.

  7. phlebas says:

    So can you blow up the Tate?

  8. Petethegoat says:

    “Hidden & Dangerous style missions co-op missions”

  9. kizza42 says:

    Its nice ‘n’ all but all it does is delay Pontifex3 from coming out :(