Zone of the Enders Preview
You've read about him on the internet, seen him in magazines, and vice versa. Hideo Kojima, the mastermind behind the Metal Gear franchise, is at it again! He got us, the PS2 owners sitting at the edge of our seats anticipating what may very well be the greatest videogame ever, and it doesn't take Einstein to know that I'm talking about Metal gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. But what's this? Hideo is also working on a non-Metal Gear related game? Zone of the Enders or, 'ZOE' for short, is this new brilliant looking mech-robot fighter that will send a gamer into an atmosphere of infinite freedom and navigation. Check out this preview along with 39 real-time gameplay screenshots.
Yes these are real-time screenshots guys and gals, and it is very obvious that Hideo and the whole Konami team don't enjoy computer animated cut-scenes that much. To start off lightly let me mention that currently ZOE's visual performance is unrivaled by any other game out there, although it would be a very gruesome battle between The Bouncer and ZOE. The mechs look prodigious, Konami is spending a lot of time into making these bots look as awe-inspired as possible. As apparent as it is the game uses an absurd amount of polygons per mech, my guess-timate would be 4,000-5,000 polys per mech, possibly even more. Basically what's not to like about these character models? The environments will allow access to nearly infinite amount of exploration, and during some battles you can't help but notice cars driving beneath your deathmatch, now all I want to know is whether or not the loosing bot drops to the ground after the coup-de-grace is delivered by the opponent. Judging by all of these screens, some from an early version, others from recent version, it's obvious that ZOE will be one of those games that will really showcase the PS2's visual capability, much like GT3, The Bouncer, MGS2, Final Fantasy X and Dark Cloud will.
SolidSnake (no not me!) obviously looks like a man in his thirties, correct? Well imagine playing as a lead character that hasn't even hit puberty, well okay he isn't that young but close though. Our main protagonist is Leo Stenbuck, he is a 14 year old boy who lives around Jupiter on a colony called Antilia. As Leo's partner Celvice Klein is also 14 years old and lives on the same colony, but she helps out the less and fortunate. And Viola, she is 22 and a member of the Z.O.E military. She has got a suicidal tendencies of some sort, which is not caring about her own death during a battle. All of these characters are portrayed under the anime visual, so point noses, big eyes and mouths are what you will see. Throughout this game you will be visiting planets such as Earth, Mars and Jupiter. While I'm not entirely sure why havoc starts on Jupiter, I know that the year is 2172 and Earth's United Nations are planning on occupying Antilia, and so the Enders start a revolution, or something similar to that. There is no doubt about it, ZOE will in-fact be one of 2001's best titles, and may be remembered as a classic, after all Hideo has never let us down now has he? We will try to update this preview in the future with some more storyline details, but in the meantime make sure you give these luscious screenshots a whirl. ZOE is currently slated for a March release here in the US of A, and will ship with the MGS2 demo!