Oi, oi, enough laughing at the back. Yes, the robots have their prominent cockpits mounted at crotch height. Done giggling? Good. Questionable pilot seating aside, Zone Of The Enders The 2nd Runner: M∀RS (to give it its full and incredibly clunky name) still looks and plays great to this day, despite being a fifteen-year-old PS2 game under its glossy 4k (and optionally VR) remastering.
Zone Of The Enders 2 (what everyone actually calls it) is a wildly over-the-top anime mecha brawl-o-shooter. The series was director Hideo Kojima’s other big Konami project outside of Metal Gear. Later today, it’ll be available on PC, and while you wait it wouldn’t be a bad idea to try the demo, and sneak a peek at the infomercial-ish trailer detailing the features of this port below.
For those worried, no, you don’t have to have played the original PS2 Zone Of The Enders in order to enjoy the sequel. While a handful of characters return, its a largely new cast, and a new story set years after the original. Not that it matters, as despite a talented voice cast, they clearly can’t make heads nor tails of the bizarre, alien-sounding script they’ve been asked to read. Just enjoy the ride, and a lot of giant anime robots punching, stabbing and lasering each other. Even if you’re not so hot at action games, the new Very Easy mode should let you enjoy the spectacle of it all.
Based on Hexadrive’s PS3 remaster of the game (which already made ZoE2 far prettier), the PC version has a few new quality of life improvements. For those of us without fancy future-goggles, the improvements are mostly minor, but the new ‘Pro’ control layout does seem an improvement over the original setup. A gamepad is very highly recommended for this one, by the by – despite a third-person camera, combat is mostly lock-on based, which should help stop you losing your lunch if you dare to play in VR mode, the big new (optional) feature of this version.
I’m just glad to see one of my favourite PS2 games making it to PC, even if it is fifteen years overdue. It’s a terrible shame that Kojima and Konami had their spectacular falling out, as I think there’s room for more “High Speed Robot Action” in games today. Or maybe I just like huge anime robots beating stuff up with laser swords. Then again, who doesn’t?
Zone Of The Enders The 2nd Runner: M∀RS will launch on Steam in a few hours for £25/€30/$30, while Humble lists it at a far lower £14.58. You can find the demo (with full VR support) on the Steam store page.