Zone of the Enders Review While it has its moments, Zone of the Enders will ultimately be remembered more for its packed-in demo of Metal Gear Solid 2 than its own accomplishments as a video game i bet whoever wrote that regrets it now haha
While it has its moments, Zone of the Enders will ultimately be remembered more for its packed-in demo of Metal Gear Solid 2 than its own accomplishments as a video game.
There aren't many game designers mentioned in the same breath as Shigeru Miyamoto and Yu Suzuki. But Hideo Kojima is one of them. The mind behind Metal Gear Solid has established a reputation for dramatic cinematics, innovative game design, and attention to detail. Kojima has been working on Konami's new mech-o-drama, Zone of the Enders, in tandem with the new Metal Gear, and it's blatantly obvious which project Kojima has spent the majority of his time working on. The product of neglect, ZOE, fails to live up to the lofty Kojima standards but delivers a technically sound and smooth-playing experience.
ZOE takes place in 2172. Humans have left Earth to reside in space colonies throughout the galaxy. Leo Stenbuck, ZOE's young protagonist, resides in Antilia, a space station orbiting Jupiter. Denizens of such far-flung colonies are tagged as enders and considered the lowest of all the social classes. Normally a sleepy community where its citizens go methodically about their everyday lives, Antilia springs to life when a marauding group of orbital frames invades the colony in search of a hidden mech. Caught in the middle, Leo gets blown into a hangar by a large explosion, but not before watching his friends become slaughtered by the blast. Leo takes refuge in the hangar until he is discovered and accidentally stumbles into the cockpit of Jehuty, the very orbital frame that the enemy mechs are searching for. Leo, after some prodding from the mech's owners, takes on the responsibility of ridding his colony of the stalwart frames.
Piloting the orbital frames in ZOE is a blast, thanks to a near-perfect lock-on function and responsive movement control. You may engage the enemy without worrying about navigating terrain, as well as zip in and out of buildings while dodging enemy attacks at the same time. Jehuty's offensive arsenal differs according to its distance from a locked-on enemy--at a distance, Jehuty's primary attack acts as a projectile, but up close, it lets the frame use its electrified sword to slash the enemies into scrap heaps. Likewise, using the secondary attack from long-range lets Jehuty use its special weapons, and while up close, it will grab the enemy and send it careening into the side of a building--or better yet, into another group of frames. The combat system is smooth and intuitive but unbalanced. The entire game may be beaten on all four difficulty settings using just one attack. You can mix it up if you wish, but there's no fun in knowing that when the chips are down, you can always bail yourself out.
The game design is very simple. Jehuty flies above Antilia in what is best described as an overworld. When Jehuty soars directly over a town, a single button press lets the frame swoop down to the surface. Once on the ground, Jehuty must search for programs, as well as discs that give the frame new abilities. Acquiring the discs is accomplished by destroying certain enemies, finding hidden areas, or shooting floating canisters using a frustratingly erratic aiming system. Many times, you will have to return to previously visited areas to retrieve items and then take them somewhere else for use. The infantile scavenger hunts seem out of place when coupled with the fast-paced nature of the game, and the constantly respawning enemies don't help matters, either. Jehuty must occasionally answer your SOS calls--when it does, you're graded upon how many buildings were destroyed and how many innocent civilians perished. The ratings you earn ultimately determine the ending you receive. After the one-player quest is completed, a multiplayer mode, which lets two players compete head-to-head, is unlocked. It's a nice way to perfect your combat skills, and it accentuates ZOE's finest trait.