Zone of the Enders
Game Info
Playstation 2
Mech Action
ESRB Rating
Violence, Language
The Good

• Excellent visuals
• Music and voice acting better than most
• Best use of true 3D battlefield

The Bad

• Repetitive gameplay
• Weak story
• Needs more enemy types


ZOE is the story of a young boy, Leo, whose colony (a space colony named Antilia orbiting Jupiter), comes under attack from a group of mech-using mercenaries. Running from the onslaught, Leo comes across an unmanned mech named Jehuty. From this point, Evangelion/Robotech-like madness ensues. The main basis of ZOE is flying your orbital frame from area to area, fighting enemy orbital frames and finding new items and passcodes.

ZOE is gorgeous. The cities and orbital frames look great and run smoothly. The cities are extremely detailed and you can move around through the streets while engaging or avoiding combat. The interface of the game is smooth and easy to move through. FMV and in-game cut-scenes are well-done and have an excellent style.

Never will you move around in a full 3-D battle arena with as much speed and responsiveness as with this game. Battle can quickly go from one-on-one to you versus a whole pack, but still you retain a vast amount of control. Not only can you move back and forward, left and right, but up and down, giving the player a full range to dodge and weave around the enemy. Also, once you complete an area, you can go back at any time and fight enemies to gain more ammo for your sub-weapons or metatrons to heal your orbital frame.

The music for ZOE is better than most games and really helps give the game a good ambiance of futuristic action. The voice acting is fairly decent, although at times it can get to be a bit annoying (Leo gets a bit tiring with his whining).

The Bad
Where ZOE hits a snag is the the fact that once you've played the game for an hour, well.. You've basically played it all. Except for a handful of bosses, there really are only three types of enemies which just get progressively get harder. Also, with only one attack button, the fighting consists of hitting that button as much as possible. Granted there are a couple types of attack, depending on your range, it still just becomes nothing more than a button masher. Of course, there are you sub-weapons, but most of those just seem to be a liability more than anything. Coupled with a story that doesn't seem to get much development, the basic gameplay seems to drone on after a while. Also, a large number of story segments are told from inside the cockpit looking out at the cityscapes while you listen to voiceovers of the conversation. This wouldn't be bad if these segments were short, but they sometimes tend to drag on, killing the feeling of high-speed action.

Don't get me wrong... ZOE has some possibilities. You can choose to pick your battles, sneaking around until enemy squads are away from allies before attacking them. It's just when you get into a fight, you're stuck hammering one or two buttons to survive. Zone of the Enders is a great looking game, but it may grow tiresome to those who want a lot of variety in their gameplay.

- - kinderfeld

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