Zone4 is a free-to-play beat-em-up MMO that features multiple combat classes, six playable characters, and a variety of game modes. Combine attacks and unleash special abilities to secure victory in battles against vicious boss monsters and skilled enemy players.
|Publisher: Game & Game
Playerbase: Shut Down
Type: Fighting MMO
Release Date: August 10, 2010
Shut Down: September 26, 2017
Pros: +Variety of fighting styles and classes. +Classic beat-em-up combat.
Cons: -Input lag issues. -Pay-to-win elements. -Outdated graphics.
Zone4, previously known as Zone 4: Fight District, is a free-to-play beat-em-up fighting MMO that features multiple classes wielding different fighting styles, including Muay Thai, Capoeira, Tae Kwon Do, and Judo. Enter the once-renowned fighting capital of the world to restore it to its former glory, banding together with other players to defeat the corrupt and evil fighters who will do anything to win. Beat up your foes arcade-style with skillfully executed combos, featuring gameplay similar to Dungeon Fighter Online. Customize a variety of characters with battle skills and accessories to customize your gameplay experience, selecting from six playable characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Enter the game's persistent central hub and enter a variety of zones that send you to competitive PvP modes as well as a cooperative story mode that supports up to four players. Zone4 shut down on September 26, 2017.
Zone4 Key Features:
- Varied Fighting Styles – combat your foes with fighting styles ranging from Muay Thai to Judo, offering over ten different fighting styles to learn and master.
- Character Customization – choose from six playable characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, then customize their appearance to suit your tastes.
- Beat 'Em Up Gameplay – go back to the classics with the game's strong combat system that relies largely on combos and player ability, similar to Dungeon Fighter Online.
- Variety of PvP Modes – put your skills to the test in multiple PvP modes that include Team Deathmatch, Free-for-all, Item Mode, and 16v16 Turf Wars.
- Join a Club – team up with likeminded players for tips and team play, and partake in the game's club vs. club Turf Wars for awesome rewards.
Zone4 Featured Video
With Rumble Fighter and Lost Saga, OGPlanet established itself as the go-to place for fighting MMOs. Zone 4: Fight District is their latest brawler, but it manages to do enough differently to stand out. The game offers instanced co-op missions, and lobby-based PvP. Add to that the wide range of supported fighting styles and Zone 4 stands out as an in-depth MMO that’s easy to play, but difficult to master.
Punching Above its Weight
The Zone 4 client is around 500 MB, which makes it easy to download and play. While the graphics aren’t spectacular, the animated style helps smooth over some of the rough edges. The visuals and gameplay in Zone 4 are more ‘realistic’ when compared to more anime-inspired fighters like Lost Saga or GetAmped 2. There are six characters to choose from; three male and three female. Each varies in age and appearance. Some are bulkier than others, but all have the same small selection of appearance customization options. Players can choose from three hair, shirt, pants, and shoe colors. Zone 4 also allows players to chose either black or white as their skin tone. Appearance customization isn’t very in-depth during character creation, but there are plenty of hair styles, clothes, and other accessories available in-game. More importantly, players have to decide whether they want their character to be a Street fighter or Rush fighter. Street fighters focus on crushing attacks and can specialize into Tae Kwon Do, Boxing, or Muay Thai when they hit level 10. Alternatively, Rush fighters specialize in hold attacks and can master Wrestling, Judo, or Hapgido. Each account is given two free character slots per server so players can experiment with both variates. Additional character slots are available.
An optional tutorial explains the game’s controls, and rewards experience and zen (the in-game currency) each step of the way. New players are encouraged to run through the tutorial, but it can be revisited at any. All gameplay aspects are controlled with the keyboard. The arrow keys control movement, and double tapping in one direction will cause characters to dash. The three most important abilities are standard attack (D), grab attack (S), and dodge (A). In addition to these, there are three special attacks: basic (Q), combo (W), and extreme (E). Special attacks consume SP and excel at different situations, which the tutorial explains. Next, players are taught how to attack two enemies at once using a double attack (S) and how to work with an ally to team up against an opponent. Items can be enabled or disabled in Zone 4, but its important to know how to use them. Brown crates containing power-ups spawn across the map and can be picked up and used by hitting the ‘F’ key. Even in games without items enabled, stages will contain various weapons that can be picked up. The final step in the tutorial is to fight a practice round against the AI-controlled ‘Speak Man.’ Completing the tutorial brings a new character up to level three.
The game world in Zone 4 is made up of several districts, each with over a dozen channels. Players are free to move between channels and districts, which are persistent environments. It is from these environments that players access the PvP arena and the instanced cooperative stages called ‘arcades.’ Also scattered around these areas are merchants, storage boxes, ranking boards, slot machines, and other objects to interactive with. The first place new players should head to is the Hunting Zone, marked by a blue icon on the zone map. The Hunting Zone is composed of several large areas filled with AI controlled enemies to grind off of. There’s no real objective in the hunting zones, and it is much easier to gain experience and zen in them than it is to clear arcade stages. It is entirely possible to grind in the hunting zone by spamming D, D, D, D, D, but players should resist that urge. Instead, they should take the time to try out different combos and get a feel for the game. By combining arrow key strokes with different attacks, players can widely expand their available moves. Players can see a full list of available skills in their room which is accessed by hitting F6 or the appropriate button on the bottom right of the screen.
Not Your Average Arcade
When players are ready to tackle a co-op arcade stage, they must form a party and enter one of the teleporters marked on the map. Up to four players can work together on a stage, and its best to go as a full team. It is possible to play arcade mode alone, but the enemies are actually difficult. Players will find themselves dying often, even on the early stages. Contrast this with Dungeon Fighter Online or Divine Souls where the first half a dozen (or more) stages are a cake walk. Each arcade has its own theme with some of the earlier ones including a hotel, a park, and an inner city district. Each arcade area has a boss and comes with rewards upon completion. As players progress through the game, they will acquire or be able to purchase new clothes and hairstyles. New skills can also be acquired and upgraded using zen. There are a bevy of stats to keep track of in Zone 4, but luckily the game does it for you. There’s no need to manually allocate stat points.
It Comes Down to This
There’s a lot to do in Zone 4: Fight District, but the most important gameplay aspect is still the lobby-based brawler mode. Players can host or join matches that support from 2-8 players. There are two basic gameplay modes, deathmatch and survival. In deathmatch, individuals or teams compete to see who can get the most kills in the given amount of time. Survival is a last man (or team) standing affair. Either mode can be set to single (FFA) or team-based. The room host also chooses whether to allow items, equipment, or neither. While the controls in Zone 4 are simple to understand, getting a hang of things will take a few rounds. The community tends to favor team matches by a large margin, so at least new players will have allies to fall back on. The flip side to this is that two or more players working together will be able to kill an inexperienced player without him or her barely noticing. Luckily, players respawn after a few seconds in deathmatch mode. A larger problem seems to be level imbalances. The game does allow hosts to tick off an auto-balance box, but this doesn’t solve the problem. The guy who is 10 levels higher than you will still pound you to the ground while the high level player on your team is busy harassing someone else.
Polishing a Gem
Zone 4: Fight District is still a new game – at least here in the US. The Korean developed fighting MMO has a few rough edges that need polishing. As it moves from beta to final release, many of these problems will undoubtedly be remedied. Firstly, there is no good reason for a notice screen to pop up every time someone joins the gang (clan) you’re in. Level-based match channels should be introduced, and some of the English translations need work. The gameplay in Zone 4 requires more technique and team work than other fighters, which can be seen as either a strength or a weakness. The fact that there is more to do than just fight other people is a plus, but some of the PvE areas, especially the Hunting Ground, feel mechanical. Who wants to ‘grind’ in a fighting game? Overall, Zone 4 could use a little more direction. Admittedly, these are minor issues and they shouldn’t stop fans of the fighting genre from enjoying an excellent title.
Final Verdict: Good
Zone 4: Fight District is a versatile fighting MMO with both PvE and PvP game modes. Work together to clear stages in beat ‘em up fashion, or take the action to the arena in team-based and FFA brawls. Zone 4 is easy to learn but difficult to master.
Zone4 System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP, Windows 7
CPU: Pentium 4 - 2.4GHz
Video Card: GeForce 5700 / Radeon 9600
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 3 GB
Operating System: Windows XP, Windows 7
CPU: Pentium 4 - 3.0GHz
Video Card: GeForce FX 6600 / Radeon X600
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 3 GB
Zone4 Music & Soundtrack
Zone4 Additional Information
Publisher: OGPlanet, Playpark, Game & Game
Release Date (OGPlanet): August 10, 2010
Closure Date (OGPlanet): May 31, 2013
Steam Greenlight Date: June 21, 2016 to July 13, 2016
Closed Beta Date: November 10, 2016 to November 14, 2016
Release Date: November 20, 2016 (Steam)
Shut Down: September 26, 2017
Development History / Background:
Zone4, also known as Zone 4: Fight District, was developed by OGPlanet and has been published by multiple companies, including OGPlanet, Playpark, and Game & Game. The game was originally released on August 10, 2010 by OGPlanet, a developer known for games such as Rumble Fighter and Lost Saga. After deciding that the game had peaked, the developers shut the game down on May 31, 2013 and mentioned that they were in discussion with another publisher to re-open the game. It appeared on Steam Greenlight years later on June 21, 2016. The game was greenlit by the Steam community on July 13, 2016, eventually making it to the full store with a Closed Beta Test that began on November 10, 2016, and ended on November 14, 2016. The game was released shortly after its beta on November 20, 2016, and has been continually updated with new content.
The game later shut down on September 26, 2017 after failing to attract a large enough playerbase to support itself.