As a launch title for Playstation 2, Zone of the Enders impressed gamers with its mind-blowing gameplay and giant mechanized robots. Only one sequel, Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner, was released years later and was received with much fanfare. Both Silent Hill and Metal Gear have received the HD treatment, so it seemed like a natural progression for Konami to re-release Zone of the Enders in a similar collection.
Zone of The Enders places you in the role of a young Leo Stenbuck, a colonist from the planet Jupiter. As Leo’s colony is attacked by the forces of BAHRAM, he stumbles across the Orbital Frame Jehuty. Against his better judgment, Leo quickly learns how to pilot Jehuty and engages the enemy.
Despite its age, Zone of the Enders feels as fresh as it did when it launched for Playstation 2 on March 1st, 2001. Your objective is to deliver the Orbital Frame Jehuty to Mars before BAHRAM and its leader, Nohman, destroy it. Gameplay consists of you piloting Jehuty through different districts on the planet of Jupiter and liberating them from BAHRAM and its forces. Certain levels contain ‘programs’ that enhance Jehuty, but some of these programs are locked inside pillars and require a passcode that only certain enemy Orbital Frames have.
Missions are difficult and require the player to keep innocent causalities and environmental damage to a minimum. When you’re not fighting BAHRAM, you’re flying over the colony looking for the next area to liberate. Boss battles haven’t lost their appeal either. Encountering the first boss of the game, Tempest, brought back so many memories.
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner takes place two years after the events of the first game. As the story quickly unfolds, a group of ice miners on Jupiter’s moon, Callisto, are attacked by BAHRAM forces. Dingo Egret, an ex-BAHRAM Orbital Frame pilot, stumbles across Jehuty while his fellow miners are being attacked. Dingo takes control of the legendary Jehuty to engage the BAHRAM forces and save his comrades.
2nd Runner’s gameplay is linear compared to the original game. For starters, the world map system has been omitted in favor of piloting Jehuty through different stages while battling enemy Orbital Frames and other mechanical enemies. The player can also use objects in the environment as either melee or projectile weapons. Additionally, bosses will drop sub-weapons when defeated — a feature that was not present in the original game. With changes aside, 2nd Runner still contains the basic core mechanics of the original game.
Gamers who fondly remember the Playstation 2 era will enjoy this collection on nostalgic value alone. The remastered HD graphics breath new life into this decade old franchise. And if you’re among the unlucky few who never owned Zone of the Enders or 2nd Runner on Playstation 2, now is your chance to experience some of Kojima’s best work since the Metal Gear Solid series.
Platform: Xbox 360
ESRB: M (Mature)
|ZoE's graphics look fantastic in HD despite being over a decade old.|
|Loud explosions, iconic mechanized sound effects, and memorable voice acting.|
|Whether you own the originals for Playstation 2 or not, Zone of the Enders HD Collection is a must-have for any hardcore gamer.|