ZED is the story of an aging artist, lost in regret and the haze of dementia. Inside the dreamscape of this creative mind, players reassemble the artist's fragmented memories into a final, lasting legacy: a loving gift to his granddaughter.
The game was released on June 4, 2019, for Windows PCs, developed by Eagre Games and published by Cyan Ventures. A native Linux version was released about 3 weeks later. A version for Mac OSX is still to come. ZED supports Virtual Reality via HTC Vive or Oculus Rift hardware.
The creative mind behind ZED is Chuck Carter, one of the artists responsible for the famous Myst games. As in the Myst games, you experience ZED from a first-person perspective. It is what some gamers call deprecatingly a Walking Simulator. For these story-driven first-person puzzle games, I prefer the term Narrative Exploration Game.
The player walks through dreamscapes of an artist, thus experiencing rather unusual environments. The task is to collect momentums of the artist's life, in order to reconstruct his fractured memories.
The focus, gameplay-wise, is set on the story and the atmosphere. The player should take their time to enjoy the beautiful environments, listening to the voices representing different parts of the artist's personality. If the player allows themselves to delve in in this game, they are rewarded with an awesome gaming experience. But those players who are looking for a challenging gameplay will not be happy with ZED.
You can get ZED either on GOG or on Steam. The GOG version is completely DRM-free, which means that you can install and play the game without any online connection nor any third-party client software. The Steam version makes use of Steam's DRM, which means that the Steam client is required to be open to play the game.
The developers have set the game's graphical settings per default to ultra. They explain, that they want to make sure that the players will enjoy ZED the way it's meant to be. But it's possible to lower the settings, to ensure that the game is playable in the first place.
I've played the Linux version of the game, as provided by GOG. My gaming PC uses Manjaro Linux (Kernel 5.1.15) with MATE (version 1.22.1) desktop. It runs on an AMD Ryzen 7 1700x CPU, 32 GB RAM and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card. I use Nvidias proprietary drivers (version 430.26). With the game's settings fully maxed out, I experienced no issues at all. Since I have no VR hardware, I could not test this feature at all.
The official minimum requirements for ZED on Linux are:
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