You must defeat Anubis to stand a chance.
- System: PlayStation 4, Steam
- Publisher: Konami
- Developer: Konami
- Release Date: September 5, 2018
- Pricing: $29.99
- Rating: T
- Genre: Anime, Mecha, Action, Hack and Slash
- Player: Single Player, Multiplayer
- Official Website: https://www.konami.com/games/us/en/products/zoe_mars/
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner M∀RS - Debut Trailer (Full version)
Who it Caters to
Back when mecha related titles were all the rage (and they still are, just not as much), Konami and gaming mastermind Hideo Kojima gave birth to the exciting third-person action title known as Zone of the Enders (ZOE). The title became a massive hit among fans and spawned sequels, which eventually led to 2003’s release of Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner for PlayStation 2. Fast forward to today and the title has received a cosmetic makeover, providing players with a 4K experience along with improved visuals and with VR support, for those who truly want to feel in control. Known as Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner M∀RS, the title still maintains the action-packed greatness that many have come to know and love, with just a touch of flare to appeal to the modern audience. Anyone who enjoys anime and mecha-style battles will most certainly fall in love with the game, and because Kojima is the man behind producing it, you’re surely in for a wild ride.
What to Expect
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner M∀RS is pretty much the exact same game from back in 2003, full of non-stop action and comedic dialogue that never disappoints, all fully remastered. It’s fast-paced and frantic but defines the mecha genre incredibly well, illustrating the wild and insane airborne combats, futuristic style weaponry and overall design. Die hard fans will feel right at home with their favorite Orbital Frame Jehuty, and all the constant action that takes place throughout the entire game. The fluidity of character movement is one to marvel at, and it’s quite clear that Kojima’s hand was at work on this title because you can certainly feel aspects of Metal Gear Solid within the root of the game. That of course is a major plus and is why we absolutely recommend this title to those who not only enjoy mecha combat, but have a strong affection for Kojima himself and want to pay their respects.
The plot of Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner M∀RS takes place roughly two years after the events in the original, and focuses primarily on new pilot Dingo Egret, a former member of the powerful BAHRAM military organization. After discovering the Orbital Frame Jehuty, he is attacked by BAHRAM forces who were out to retrieve it, and this gives Dingo the impression that he’s been betrayed. Col. Ridley "Nohman" Hardiman is then confirmed to be behind all of this controversy and so Dingo, along with his newfound comrade Ken Marinaris (an Orbital Frame Runner) and Leo (Jehuty’s former pilot), must work together to put a stop to Nohman’s scheme and destroy Anubis once and for all.
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner M∀RS has received a visual upgrade from its previous iteration, being remastered and allowing players to experience the game in full 4K along with VR support. While the gameplay is still very much the same, everything looks a lot more fluid on screen, but what’s really great is how they maintained the classic anime style that the series is known for. It’s certainly very reminiscent of the early 2000’s anime and you can see it in how the characters interact, but just their overall design is very nostalgic. The quality is blurred at times but it’s fairly understandable, simply because trying to take a 480p cutscene from 2003 and stretch it into a more high definition presentation isn’t easy. Nevertheless, everything looks leaps and bounds better than both the original PlayStation 2 version or the PlayStation 3 one.
The sound department for Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner M∀RS is —once again— very much the same as its predecessor, but with numerous upgrades to ensure that the game appeals to the modern audience. It now supports surround sound allowing for a more immersive experience, and with VR enabled it truly adds a new dimension to the gameplay that anyone can enjoy. The music is impactful and compliments much of the fast-paced action happening on screen, applying just the right tones to evoke emotion out of you when things go sour. The voice acting department is funny for the most part since a lot of the responses are quick, straight to the point, and don’t trail off in random directions. Dingo is just a sarcastic nut who just doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, and his rapid fire comebacks during serious moments is comical. We would’ve liked to see more emotion come from the actors playing the roles, seeing that the Japanese version really sold the audience with its striking performance, but it still delivered in its own unique way.
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner M∀RS is all about hacking and slashing your way through the enemy, with successive attacks and swift movement. The camera does a splendid job of staying with the character most of the time, with some odd slip-ups that occur here and there. Gameplay feels fluid most of the time especially when dodging and weaving between enemy attacks, and piloting a super cool-looking mecha is everyone’s dream. Not many games come close to the level of detail and accuracy that Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner M∀RS provides, so it truly stands out in its own way. For every major battle that you overcome, Jehuty receives new abilities under the term of “sub-weapons” that can be used to engage in battle more effectively, such as using the Gauntlet to take out incoming enemies from afar, or using Homing Missiles to eradicate a horde of Mummyheads who constantly barrage you from every angle. With a plethora of tools at your disposal it really gives you all of this control to take advantage of, and with its fluid control scheme in place it just makes things more enticing.
When taking damage, you’re able to restore Jehuty back to max health with Metatron, a sort of healing device that allows you to gain back all the meter you need to keep on fighting. While tackling the main missions, you’ll also run into extra missions (or EX Missions, as they’re known in game) allowing you to take part in other events that can help you to level up faster to defeat tougher boss battles ahead. During main missions you’re graded by letter, and depending on your overall performance Jehuty’s capabilities can change over time. In spite of being a linear game, Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner M∀RS still feels very free in the sense that, you can fly around and style on the enemy without feeling too restricted, and create an enjoyable experience from start to finish. It’s by no means a long game, but it certainly provides players with an action packed array of options that you’ll only find exclusively in this series.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
The team at Konami delivers on its promise to make Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner M∀RS an awesome remaster, and the added VR support (you can play without it) just adds more depth to the experience. In spite of a few instances where the camera couldn’t keep up with all the movement of the character and some corny voice acting lines, Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner M∀RS is a must-have mecha combat title for those who adore the genre. Its well designed characters, map design, and overall story really capture the essence of what the distant future would be like, and Kojima’s ingenious way to put it all together in theatrical fashion is superb.
- Fabolous artwork.
- Wonderful character design.
- Fast paced and frantic mecha-combat.
- Control your Orbital Frame in glorious 4K and VR!
- Versus mode is a nice treat for those wanting to duke it out.
- The English voice acting could’ve used a little more work.
- The anime cinematics were blurred and could’ve used some more polish.
- A bit on the short side.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner M∀RS is officially out now, and we encourage you to go out there and scoop it up either on PlayStation 4 or Steam. We reviewed the PlayStation 4 version and to be honest, we didn’t suffer any significant problems other than the ones mentioned. Be sure to check out our other recent reviews and leave your comments below! Follow us on our social media accounts in order to stay up to date for all the gaming news! Shoutouts once again to Konami for the title!
As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.