| Violence, Language
| The Good
Music and voice acting better than most
Best use of true 3D battlefield
| The Bad
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).
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.