Zone of the Enders
Developer: Konami Computer Entertainment Japan
Publisher: Konami Computer Entertainment
Designers: Noriaki Okamura, Hideo Kojima, and Nobuyoshi Nishimura
March 2, 2001 (JP)
March 23, 2001 (EU)
March 26, 2001 (NA)
Zone of the Enders is the first released chapter in the story. In the year 2172, Earth's moon, Mars and the moons of Jupiter have been colonised and new technologies have risen. The game takes a focus on giant mechs that are used for construction as well as war machines. The player gets a hold on the controls of a mech called the Orbital Frame (OF), a giant robot with the ability to fly making it immensely more agile and faster than the ordinary LEV, or Laborious Extra-Orbital Vehicle.
The gameplay gives a totally new experience of playing and the gameplay is absolutely the best part in the game. Surprisingly one just couldn’t get enough of damaging enemy Orbital Frames useless in close combat while the ranged fightings novelty weared off rather soon.
Technically though the playing system does not exactly prefer one certain fighting style and individuals preference pretty much determines how the fights go. As close combat might be more involving and efficient it is also much more hazardouse while as fighting from a distance is a lot more safer although a bit slower style of approach.
The graphics are what one would expect from a man behind hit games such as Metal Gear Solid and it truly shows. Actually in fact Zone of the Enders was more published as a graphic demo for the PS2 and this is why every cut scene is made with anime style CG. However this kind of looks bad it still harbours excellent graphics concidering how fresh hardware the PS2 was when this came out.
Another thing that surely puts the ZoE in a rather ridiculed position is the fact that it was very much used as a vector for the very much anticipated MGS2 demo. Thus the game figuratively speaking was a hit success, but the dark truth is that it was much thanks for the included demo of the upcoming MGS2.
In the end the ZoE hardly brings out anything new, or fascinating to the games industry besides the completely unique and fascinating gameplay and concept.
Although the game was not that big of a success it still should be rather cheap making it a good crunch title for anyone who just wants to play with a excellent gameplay without needing to clean ones wallet completely empty. But for anyone whom is looking for solid gaming experience with great gameplay and at least average story telling then one should skip this one for the ZoE: Second Runner.
--Review by Caldera