Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner - PS2

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Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Combat Game: Space
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Konami Soft. Co.: Konami
Publishers: Konami (GB/GB)
Released: 26 Sept 2003 (GB)
Unknown (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+
Features: Vibration Function Compatible
Accessories: Memory Card, Dual Shock Joypad


Viewed by many as the game that came bundled with the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo, the original Zone of the Enders sat idle on most people's shelves until the playable level of Kojima's much anticipated stealth-em-up sequel had been thoroughly exhausted. When its turn finally came though, ZOE actually proved to be a solid mech-based adventure, featuring both an involving storyline and a heavy focus on high-powered combat. Two and a half years on we have a sequel, the 2nd Runner. Again, the team behind it includes the god-like Hideo Kojima and, again, this mech-combat title delivers a host of impressive intergalactic 3D action.

The story behind the game sets the scene in the year 2174, at a time when the authoritarian BAHRAM military organisation is using its new Orbital Frames mech-robot technology to complete the suppression of Mars and Earth. Commander Nohman, leader of the attacking forces, is now looking to the destruction of the struggling UN Space Force charged with defending the two planets. As Mars burns under Nohman's gaze, however, resistance and revenge are being plotted. Seizing control of the Jehuty Orbital Frame - the most powerful of its kind - you take to the action as the last hope for the stricken planets, using its advanced technology to strike deep at the heart of Nohman's evil army.

In true sequel style, the 2nd Runner uses the model from the original and builds upon it, introducing a wealth of new features to the proceedings. Gone now is the one-on-one combat system of the prequel - the battles now rage against multiple adversaries. There is also a wide selection of new moves to get to grips with - which ultimately give you more control of the machinery at your fingertips - such as new throwing moves, shield devices that double as weapons and teleportation systems.

The 2nd Runner also benefits from expansive and fully interactive environments. As such, while the super robots battle it out, the surrounding landscapes really take the brunt of the explosive combat, with buildings crumbling and forests being laid to waste.

An even more intense experience than the original, ZOE: The 2nd Runner is a welcome addition to Konami's respectable catalogue, nicely recreating the Japanese art of over-exaggerated robot wrestling.