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Alex Lotz, Managing Producer of Ziggurat Interactive — Interview Series

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Slave Zero X Promotional Art

After a couple of decades of idling in the shadows, Slave Zero has finally made a glorious comeback with a brand-new layer of content. That’s right, developer Ziggurat Interactive has just released Slave Zero X, a prequel for the acclaimed 1999 2.5D third-person shooter. To learn a bit more about it, we decided to reach out to Ziggurat Interactive's Managing Producer, Alex Lotz.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Before we jump in to discuss Slave Zero X, would you mind telling us a bit about yourself? Who are you, and what position do you currently hold at Ziggurat Interactive?

Alex: As Managing Producer at Ziggurat Interactive, I support and collaborate with our development partners in creating great games, as well as with our publishing partners in bringing those games to market.

Ziggurat Interactive clearly has an undying love for retro and cult classic video games, too. Tell us, what is it about this portion of the world, in particular, that draws you in?

Alex: Due to constant technological changes, many games worth playing (and worth preserving) become difficult to access as time passes. We seek to make the experiences and ideas offered by those hard-to-access games more available, to bring back overlooked games we think deserve another chance at finding a wider audience, and to build on the worlds imagined by the original creators of games in our catalog.

Let’s talk about your latest release, Slave Zero X. What is it, and what can newcomers to the series expect to find in the latest episode?

Alex: Slave Zero X can be called a character action game, a beat 'em up, and (in some ways) a fighting game. The game focuses more on 2D melee combat in a 3D setting, while the original Slave Zero was a 3D third-person shooter. In both games the player can expect to take control of a highly trained warrior in possession of an extremely powerful bioweapon on a path of vengeance against formidable enemies in a brutal biopunk setting.

Slave Zero X - Available Now

Would you say that an existing knowledge of the Slave Zero series is necessary for understanding the latest chapter? More to the point — could, say, anyone jump in and play their part?

Alex: Slave Zero X serves as a prequel to Slave Zero, so you won’t need to play Slave Zero to understand the story or gameplay of Slave Zero X. There are some fun ways in which the two games connect that will become apparent after you play them both, but it is not necessary to play them in any particular order. In terms of the gameplay’s accessibility, if you are new to character action games, we’d recommend viewing the tutorial a few times and then spending some time in the training room to really understand what’s possible with the tools in Shou’s arsenal. It can take a bit more practice to master the techniques for dealing serious damage in Slave Zero X compared to the average beat ‘em up game. Still, you’ll find it rewarding to learn how to stylishly take full advantage of the mechanics on offer.

Tell us a bit about the Crimson Citadel feature. Are we right in thinking that there’s a bit more to Slave Zero X than a single-player campaign?

Alex: Crimson Citadel is inspired by the Bloody Palace modes of the Devil May Cry series, allowing the player to face waves of enemies across several environments exclusive to this mode. You’ll fight nearly all of the game’s bosses and standard enemies in one session (with a few breaks to restock in the supply pod shop), and if you can make it all the way to the end, you’ll unlock a special version of the SovKhan boss fight called SovKhan 300%. This mode, like all the game’s campaign stages, also features an online leaderboard for those looking to compete for the highest score.

Care to share any tips with those who’ve yet to sink their teeth into Slave Zero X? Is there a “perfect” way to play?

Alex: We have seen many creative play styles since the release of Slave Zero X, and we think it’s a game that can reward creative thinking and exploration of its mechanics. One general recommendation for high damage output (and for survival) would be to keep Fatal Sync active as often as you can, which is easier to do by using Burst as an offensive tool to refill your meter after Fatal Sync has expired (rather than solely using Burst as a defensive tool to repel foes).

With Slave Zero X officially out in the open, will you be looking to cast your eye on another IP over the coming months or years? If so, could you kindly tell us a bit about it/them?

Alex: We have a lot in the works, but we can’t confirm the exact IPs yet. Stay tuned!

So, how can fans of Slave Zero X support Ziggurat Interactive? Are there any social channels or newsletters that we can subscribe to or follow?

Alex: Our YouTube channel is a great place to look through the many games in our catalog, plus videos of the latest announcements and updates. Ziggurat is on X at @playziggurat, and on Instagram and Facebook at @zigguratinteractive. The latest Ziggurat news, our newsletter sign-up link, and much more can be found on our website ziggurat.games.

Any final words for our readers?

Alex: For those who have yet to try it, we think you’ll find Slave Zero X to be a rewarding and satisfying challenge (with an intriguing story and world to boot). For those already playing, we hope you’re enjoying the game! We are continuing to work on improvements to the game across all platforms, and we thank you for your continued support as we prepare, test, and distribute new patches.

Thanks for your time, Alex!

 

To learn more about Slave Zero X, be sure to check in with the folks over at Ziggurat Interactive over on their official social handle here. Alternatively, you can visit the website for additional information here.

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