ZRun dashes onto PS Vita this summer

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ZRun dashes onto PS Vita this summer

ZRun on PS Vita

Hey, it’s Alexey from Beatshapers! I’m here to present our new game from E3 2013, ZRun – a third-person beat’ em up coming this summer to PS Vita.

The player assumes the role of a young, vacationing college student, who finds himself in the middle of an outbreak. He’s not a hero; he just wants to survive and escape this nightmare.

Game features

  • Non-stop running action. Run and avoid obstacles – hitting obstacles hurts you and makes you an easy target for zombies.
  • Evade or attack zombies – if they attack you, you’ll get hurt and die.
  • Watch your stamina – every action costs some. If a player fights too much, he may end up not having enough stamina to jump over an obstacle when needed.
  • Use objects as weapons – bats, tubes, machetes, guitars, swords, axes, etc.
  • Use firearms (guns, shotguns, automatic rifles) to get rid of zombies quickly and effectively — but watch your ammo.
  • Multiple characters, each with their own distinct melee attack. It’s not shown in the trailer, but the current hero has a special side-kick which is handy for longer distances.
  • Explore the city and find the way out. New areas are unlocked after a successful run. Players may obtain useful items/abilities at newly unlocked junctions.
  • Upgrade and customize your character.
  • Campaign and endless survival mode.
  • Compete and collaborate with your PSN friends with street records scoreboards and using “near” to exchange useful items.

ZRun on PS Vita

The player will attempt to complete runs between junctions. Junctions serve as checkpoints – when one is reached, it’s considered ʺunlocked,ʺ which will allow the player to access new missions. Players may start any mission from any unlocked checkpoint. Effectively, by unlocking new junctions the player will explore the city and move toward their final goal — escaping the outbreak.

Before starting a mission, the player can choose his equipment (items and weapons). Mission statistics (including friends mini-leaderboards) will be also available at junction checkpoints to give the game a competitive feel. Also, the dead “friends corpses” turned to zombies will be presented in levels as milestones where they died: the player’s name or PSN ID will be shown above it.

Progressing through missions yields points and money. After accumulating certain amount of points, the playerʹs level will increase. Leveling up gives the player upgrade points, which can be spent to upgrade stats and abilities. Money can be spent to get items, weapons and ammo. Items restores health and stamina, and cure poison and burning. Weapons are breakable blunt weapons (bats, pipes, planks), firearms (with limited ammo) and blades (knives, swords).

ZRun on PS Vita

Obstacles are roughly divided into three groups: ones you can jump over, ones you need to slide under and ones you just need to avoid (full-height stuff like buses and trucks on the roads). Certain obstacles are hazardous, and will inflict burning, electrical or toxic damage. Hitting an obstacle inflicts some damage to character (HP loss) and may add poison/burning status.

The game is controllable via physical buttons, touchscreen and motion gestures, or a combination of both.
There are many comments comparing ZRun with modern endless runners, but let’s be clear: first, it’s not an endless (the player has a goal to reach) and second, it’s not a runner – it’s a beat ’em up at its core.

We are pleased to work with Vladimir “MoozE” Frey, an award winning composer (known for music for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, Men of War: Vietnam, Firestarter) – he created an amazing main theme for the game. Check out his Facebook page.

For more information, watch our trailer, check out our website and follow us on Twitter.

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10 Author Replies

  • looks better than DR3 :)

  • Looks like it could work better has a mobile title.

    • Well, its not possible. Current mobile unable to render animated 50 zombies at 30 fps. We have such a scenes. Only PS Vita able to it from current handheld devices.

  • Got bored just watching the trailer -_-

    When will Legends of War enter PSN? Can’t wait to get my hands on that game!

  • Love the trailer it’s F2P right?

  • It’s nice that we are getting a few of these cheap throw away titles on the platform but the iphone just got XCOM…. like a full blown version of Xcom. And Deus Ex is coming soon.

    Remember its quality not quantity Sony.

  • OH MY GOD!!


  • Oh my god, a generic endless runner for Vita. Just what I always wanted! Not!

    I wish people would keep these phone quality trash titles off the Vita :( The Vita doesn’t need them.

  • I watched the trailer again… and yup, generic endless runner. But I guess zombies is the highly original secret ingredient that will propel this game beyond the vast ocean of endless runner games (why not try an endless swimmer?) Swim… through an ocean of zombies.

    Sorry to be such a cynical old fart, but I find endless runners to be an affront to gaming. They represent the complete absence of creative thinking and are merely “let’s bash something together quickly” game design. They’re fine for a “let’s learn to make games” basement project, but hardly fit as commercial products.

    When I was a kid, we also worked on simple games with overused ideas. Only, we didn’t try to sell them to anyone but kept them on our Amiga floppies.

  • Looks pretty good fun and perfect for quick blasts on boring journeys though I don’t yet have a Vita.

  • I would need to see the end product to decide as i did not like how the runner moved in the trailer, looked slow and kinda odd moving.

    There does seem to be lots of endless runners these days and adding in an attack mechanic does not make it less generic, teenage mutant ninja turtles runner has action sections, temple run brave has shooting sections.
    The only runner game i have played that did not feel like a runner was the Rayman one thats on iOS.

    I wish you luck with this one hope it turns out well.

  • It’s such a shame that these types of games keep getting released on the Vita. I’m sure the guys involved with this have done a good job but this isn’t what I got my Vita for.

    What happened to “console gaming on the go”?

    It appears to be Indie & ports of games that nobody really cares about on the go now. I like some of the indie titles that have made their way to the Vita but when I forked out over £200 for my bundle at launch, this really isn’t where I was hoping the console was going.

  • Man people on here are so rude! So much disrespect towards the developer who has taken time to make a great looking game for Vita and actually talk to you on this blog.
    Such a bunch of entitled whiney gamers. Don’t like it then don’t post!
    I want AAA goodness on Vita as much as the next guy but I also appreciate all indie support.

  • I think people are entitled to a bit of a moan after spending a substantial amount of cash on a device that has a larger library of indie games than the console experiences promised when the Vita launched.

    I also appreciate the indie support but as stated before it’s not the direction I’d hoped the console would be take. Almost all of the indie games can be played elsewhere. Usually at a more reasonable price too.

  • @Rancid_Undead

    Yup, I am in the same boat as you.

    What I actually find to be the greatest frustration is the output of Sony’s own releases recently. Ratchet & Clank: QForce, Jak & Daxter trilogy and Epic Mickey 2 (Sony ported and published this) are all extremely disappointing on a technical level. Some of these games have incredibly bad frame rates that render them almost unplayable to me. I wouldn’t mind to play Jak & Daxter on my Vita, but the ports are atrocious. Sony tries to plug the holes they have by not developing enough original titles by giving us ports. Good ports are fine, imo, but I don’t know why they butcher these old games with horrible ports that no person with a little integrity would pass along as quality work. They are THAT bad.

    If they butcher the God of War collection for Vita I am going to explode with rage. Those are masterpiece classics. Those games deserve native resolution and a minimum 30 fps, rock solid. If they can’t do this they should not bother at all. If they release them as subnative resolution slide shows it will be the final drop.

    • Just give us a chance :) Its really hard to judge based on video/screens.
      Sony are not involved to process – its all about 3rd party publishers and developers.
      We have cool full scale PSV title in production, just need to finish with smaller ones.

  • I’m sorry if my comment caused any offence at all, however i hope it is a good game as i will give it a go.

    After watching the film Indy game story on Netflix i can appreciate that its frustrating to come to forums and see people bashing these games your pouring your time into.

    Appreciate your time and wish you success with this and your full scale vita product

  • i’ll be giving this a go..
    i appreciate the article and your patience in dealing with the comments.
    some people are never satisfied and want to blame the wrong people.
    their frustrations get vented wherever they happen to be at the time.. and at whomever will hear.
    it’s mostly due to immaturity..
    and hardly anything to do with your game.

  • Thanks guys, i appreciate that.
    We will have another small PSV title announce next week, stay tuned.

    Have a great weekend.

  • This looks like fun!! Can’t wait to try it out! Will there be trophies for this? I’ll be glad to support this title and look forward for future titles by these guys on vita :3 don’t understand why people are complaining, more Vita support is always a good thing!!!

  • A f2p endless runner with a zombies theme? I would agree this looks like a junky mobile game but even on iOS it would be hard to be this creatively bankrupt.

    I don’t want to critisize you but come on – you obviously have a powerful engine with good graphics so why not make a 3rd person zombie game with a level structure, bosses, different objectives etc? You could sell the game cheap and offer cosmetic IAPs.

    You’ve obviously started off well here but this is nowhere near a console standard game. We all like indie devs being given the chance to step up, but stepping up just to release mobile games with improved graphics and more enemies on screen is not what anyone wants and is missing a golden chance to release a worthwhile game that will go down as a Vita classic like so many other indie games of past present and future on the device.

    I look forward to your reply. Please confirm you will at least hold a management meeting to discuss taking a path that will do Vita and yourselves justice?

  • People saying complaints about this are nothing to do with the game are sounding like children who aren’t capable of seeing the big picture. This engine with a real action and level based game instead of an enhanced mobile game would be great but this has no place on a console and the Dev knows it deep down. Endless runners show their true colours on console as shallow, boring restrictive games. Free movement, exploration, immersion should be the minimum goals.

    Don’t drag a great console to iOS level. As good developers you know you are capable of better than this. Please at least consider doing Vita and yourselves justice – you must know there is a good reason endless runners weren’t created and popular even during 8 bit computing days? It’s just not console quality and you must feel ashamed to bring this to Vita when you could do so much more?

  • Mind is blown reading the developers replies claiming this is not generic or a iOS quality title then stating they went for “truly portable short session gaming” people do not whip their Vita out for a 5 minute wait – that is what their mobile phone is for. You have designed a game for iOS then are releasing it on a console that noone uses for “truly portable short session gaming”

    I’m absolutely stunned that the developer would take the attitude he has with people rightly critisizing this generic iOS game and be so hostile rather than fixing their idea as the OlliOlli team did. I will buy OlliOlli day one and any future output but a studio that thinks bringing this type of game to Vita is something to be proud of is the black side of Sony’s indie initiative. I’m not an idiot demanding AAA games and I LOVE indie games but f2p runners just aren’t a console game. You must realise this is generic mobile rubbish? However you could use what is here to make a great worthwhile game so please do not release as is and turn it into an actual console game.

  • I suggest everyone saying this looks good watch the trailer. It would look awful as a free Android game let alone a Vita title. Jesus Christ guys it looks absolutely terrible. You didn’t even get a native English speaker to rewrite your wording showing how much care is going into this title. Please go back to mobile if you think that is an acceptable console game.

  • I would like to say that the devs appear very proud of this game, however, I shall not be getting even if its F2P. Its a android game for ouya or something. Sorry, nothing original in this, I watched about 1 minute before I thought this is awful (for me)so I pass….even on tablets and mobiles…sorry.

  • @aros2011

    You make some good points. I don’t think anyone’s listening though :)

  • We are listening. I agree with points but: 1.5 years ago we worked on game which exactly what you described with levels, bosses etc. I even posed some prototype images on neogaf, you may find them. Nobody wanted it – we’ve pitched to number of publishers because we unable to cover it ourself. Sony said they have a Dead Nation. Thats why decided to make a smaller game like this.
    I got our feedback, we will improve the game accordginly.

    Again, this is not a mobile f2p runner as you may think of. We haven’t decided yet about f2p at all so stay tuned on future announcements.

  • Thank you for the response – if you are worried about a zombies game clashing with Dead Nation, then keep the level geometry and character art and switch Zombies to a different type of monster? Evil sentient monkeys? You then have the entire monkey family as different type of enemies from the small chimps to giant gorillas. Use the characteristics of real types of monkeys in designing the enemies, such as the ones that are capable of using tools, the ones that steal from tourists all the time (stealing your loot/pickups?)

    You could use bananas as a lure?

    Use the Crash style, into the screen but not too wide levels to avoid having to create huge environments and keep it running smoothly on Vita.

    I’ve never seen a game which uses this enemy type and set up.

    Maybe the final boss infected the world’s banana supply which caused the monkeys to become more intelligent/evil?

    You’re welcome to send me a message on PSN if you decide to use this idea (hopefully you will be willing to credit me in game if you do!) and if you go for this I’ll happily take the task of re-writing all the English text so it makes sense & sounds natural to native English speakers.

  • Maybe the infected bananas also got to some humans as well before the problem could be identified? This would allow you to use the existing character models after slightly re-purposing them, with fruit related t-shirts, hats etc and wild eyes.

    One level could be based in a market with a crowd of normal people that gradually become infected and attack you – the only way to stop this regenerating horde of enemies is to destroy the banana stalls themselves. Are the market traders who run the banana stalls henchmen for the evil mastermind who has started the infection? And therefore mini-bosses that you fight after destroying each of the 3 banana stalls within the market level?

  • Unfortunately, not anyone want to play other monsters. There are number of video games cliche: zombies, aliens, real soldiers, ninjas, monsters, pirates, robots and thats it :)

    But I like monkeys in the 28 days later – very agressive so understand what you talking about. This is different kind of game, and we unable to change it, although we going to improve existing prototype.

  • Well I look forward to trying the final game.

    I’d love to be able to actually build my ideas though, anyone skilled at programming with lots of free time? :P

  • Thanks :)
    Not here for sure.
    We are sending QA to SCEE for one PS Vita game, part of team busy with Zrun and another part with unannounced PS4 titile.

  • Tip for the developer: Don’t react to the ones slagging the game in a ‘no it’s not’ type of manner, doesn’t help prove any points!

    But it looks like it would be fun for five minutes, like the majority of mobile games, but nothing I would personally feel like playing again and again, nor pay for.

    I think what it’s lacking is movement. Sure the main character runs a hell of a lot, but the zombies seem to be retired to just standing in one position.

    I of course do not know the budget of the development team/ developer so perhaps this is not possible, but I can safely say unless this is free, I’m not all that ticked by the gameplay video I have seen of this ( seen a bit on the forums! )

    But good try, and I’m sure some people do enjoy this sort of thing, and if it has some sort of addictive level up system, perhaps it will do well, but I’m afraid I’m not all that impressed.

    ps da hate me.

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