Overview

Zone Of The Enders is set around a story containing giant mech warriors called orbital frames. As if the people didn’t have enough of them by now. You are Leo, a young boy caught up in a war on his home, a space city on Jupiters’ doorstep called Antilia. He fears death and runs aimlessly around after witnessing the death of a group of children. After a while he finds himself in an orbital frame called Jehuty. The story begins, you must get jehuty to mars and save your home and friends making some nasty rivals on the way. it really is quite a top story filled with action, war and emotion. You’ll see a great development in Leo’s character and everything feels involving. More characters wouldn’t have gone a miss though but It’s all presented very well.

Gameplay

Another Bouncer issue? Nearly. The frames move like nothing else. Every fight is frantic fun, hacking, launching and propelling at your enemies. Truely a 3D mech game, up down around, flipping foward into opponents, pulling away and launching bolts of blue energy at them. They are fantastic movers and even very begginers can get right into it a pull off some amazing things but experts will find it satisfying. The problem is though that all the enemies can be killed by holding the boost and hitting square a few times. You’ll download drivers for new weapons and gain them of other frames but ultimately they are useless. Another problem lies with the range of enemies and time though. If you know what you are doing you’ll be able to complete this in under 3 hours. There are princibly 3 types of enemy. Orbital Frames with dustbins which take a few more hits of square to kill, short range fighting frames and long range fighting frames. One that likes to punch and another likes to launch weapons. Ocassionally you’ll get the big head with the massive bots and you’ll also spark off a rivalry with a frame not unlike your own (In the detail way, all the others are bland). Lucky for this though, it doesn’t matter which enemy you fight and if they are all the same, each fight is no holds barred fun. Seeing the explosions and flying round like a bluebottle on the razz is good enough. After a while though, fighting those dustbins with guns can become a little tedious, why not just create a different frame to fight eh? why!? I mean know doubt it is fun for the first 30 mins, but the next thousand frames you have to kill, in exactly the same way as all the others, gets insanely boring. Yet another problem is the lack of a 2-player option straight off. It’s unlocked on completion of the single player which only takes around 5-7 hours to complete the first time, but this seems too long due to your brain going stale. So you could say, totally another Bouncer issue.

Graphics

The graphics on this game are simply outstanding! This is what PS2 gamers have beeen waiting for. The characters have a manga cartoon style to them and look great, it does a better job than Oni that’s for sure. The orbital frames look wonderful and there’s some great lighting effects. Jehuty can be seen in all its glory when the vidoes kick in, radiating with blue energy and weapons which light up the screen. Flying fast into a building creates a mamouth explosion where you can really see what PS2 is capable of. This is nothing short of the graphics which can be seen on the MGS demo. The only thing which does become a bit of a pain is the darkness. Sure it makes the explosions and weapon launches look great, but when there’s no light it can be hard to see. Play it in a dark room, it’ll look great. Play it with the curtains open and you wont be able to see a thing. Really all the towns and cities look exactly the same and after extensive play it becomes irritatingly dull. Anyways....Not a niggle in sight, no bugs, at least none which I have witnessed. Being so fast paced it would be appropriate to asume that the camara might be a bit of an arse. You’d asume wrong though, it follows the orbital frame perfectly. You have the control to lock on to a target, which lets you keep it in vision from behind or to the side of your frame. You see the camara isn’t restricted to behind the frame, this gives you great views of action at all times and doesn’t let your target drift from sight.

Fun Factor

I think the fun factor of this has already been addressed several times. Flying into a mech at top speed, flipping away and launching a burst attack to finish him off. Bliss for the first 10 times, but the other million, well......

Overall

Overall you have another disappointing PS2 game. Another one to show off to your mates, after all the graphics are stunning. This is simply not enough though, repetitive gameplay, a grave lack of variation and a rubbish door stop. Does this game have anything else? Sadly not. It doesn’t make a bad MGS2 demo case though and ZOE is a nice extra. That’s exactly how this game will be remembered, it’ll be remembered for the MGS2 demo, rather than being a great game.

Former owner and editor in chief of Darkstation.com