Zone Of The Enders
The day the Mechs won.
One of the most awaited Ps2 games for this year, Zone Of The Enders has finally hit the shelves of Europe and U.S. If in Metal Gear Solid 2 ( no need to say that a playable demo of the game is included in Z.O.E. ) Hideo Kojima dresses again the role of manager, in ZOE he is the producer. By his side Nobuyoshi Nishimura (one of the creators of Gundam series and already active with Kojima among the artists of Metal Gear Solid) that conceived and drew the characters, Yoji Shinkawa (designer of the characters of Metal gear Solid) that drew the marvelous robots of the game and Noriaki Okamura (one of the greatest and sensitive writers in the world for videogames) that wrote the story behind ZOE. If you want to have more information about the characters and the story of Z.O.E. check our "Z.O.E. - Story, Characters, Mechs" page.
Zone Of The Enders is much more than a “simple” mech-fighting game. Your actions during the fights will cause some changes in the behavior of Jehuty thus leading to a different end of the game. FMV worthy of the best Japanese animation will alternate your actions and they will reveal the destiny of Leo, Celvice and of their sad antagonist, Viola. In the game you have to fight in the middle of enormous and populated futuristic 3d cities. Every building, every car, every single object that you see can be destroyed by the power of the mechanical monsters that you will face and pilot.
If you make an error, you will risk to cancel with your hands the life of thousands of innocents. For this reason you always have to be careful to dose the strength of Jehuty. It is not enough in Zone Of The Enders destroying the enemy, because what's important here is not your fame of fighter but the destiny of mankind. With these elements this title from Konami reveals a clear strategic component, without denying the action. In fact, the most surprising things for the ones that have played ZOE, is the unbelievable speed of this game. Never a game for console has reached the rhythm of the fights of ZOE. If you have seen the battle scenes in Neo Genesis Evangelion you can have an idea of what this Konami title looks like.Then, the speed seems not to compromise the controls of the mechs. The genial developers conceived a wonderful configuration for the Dual Shock 2 that will allow you to enter the core of the gameplay in few minutes and will give you the feeling to be straightly connected to your mech in a sort of virtual reality simulator. Zones Of The Enders is probably the first game for Ps2 able to give new emotions to the player.
When you meet an hostile orbital frame you can hook it with the lock on button. Then, the camera will be positioned in order to always give you the best view on the enemy. With the left analogical stick you can move your mech on a horizontal plan. In other words if you will push in the stick, you will approach to the enemy, while pressing it in the opposite sense you will go away from it. The triangle and X buttons will allow you to move vertically. However, during the game the computer will help you with some little adjustments to the position of your mech, absolutely necessary to succeed in fights that are unbelievably fast. It works as if the artificial intelligence of Jehuty is working to support the pilot.
Anyhow, there are two thing that prevent this game from being a true masterpiece. First of all, Zone Of The Enders is a short game. You'll finish it in about five hours without having the time to think about the characters or the development of the story. Like it happened in Capcom's first episode of Dino Crisis, in Zone Of The Enders there are few types of enemies that you'll have to fight. Leaving aside the five bosses of the game, there are three types of mechs that you'll meet for about 90% of the game, and most of them are Raptors mech. This could make Zone Of The Enders a repetitive game, if only the replay value was a bit longer. Sometimes, playing the game, you can feel like this is just an introduction to the anime series based on the mechs of Zone Of The Enders, that should be released in Japan this April. The other bad point consists in the stupid, easy puzzles that you have to solve during the adventure. They look a lot like Resident Evil puzzles more than the tricky ones that we've found in other Konami titles like Silent Hill or Shadow Of Destiny.
Overall, Z.O.E. has many incredible, next-generation features. If the puzzles were a bit more intriguing and the replay value just a bit longer, I would have given this game a 10 for its gameplay. Maybe next time.