Review By: Christopher
excited about this game when I saw the first batch of screen
shots. I enjoy anime, although I don't really watch Robotech or
Gundam regularly. However, the original screens I saw showed
what seemed to me to be high level graphics, fast and furious
fighting, and rich detailed mechs (orbital frames as they are
called in ZOE) in a 'playable' setting. It was the last point
that got me hooked. Up until the release of ZOE, I didn't really
feel that my PS2 was living up to its capabilities graphically.
But these graphics looked amazing, and they weren't just more CG
cut-scenes, this was PLAYABLE. Well, it didn't hurt that the
game was packaged with the MGS2 demo as well. But I was actually
looking forward to ZOE itself.
When I first
started playing the game, I wasn't the least bit disappointed.
The graphics were dead on. No post-production 'touch-ups' here.
ZOE was the best game, graphically, on the market hands down.
But what about the actual game? Again, no disappointment. The
style and moves that any fan could or would expect are built in,
and the controls are so easy to pick up it's breathtaking.
Within a half an hour of playing the game you'll marvel at what
you can make you're orbital frame do. And the framerate never
seems to drop. My only complaint about the graphics is that they
are TOO fast. I know that sounds weird, but it's such a
beautiful game, I felt like I wasn't able to take it all in.
Sega used to create some games like that. Of course, they were
on inferior consoles, but at the time there were some great
graphics. Take the Sonic games (for example), you spun past at
such a furious speed that you never actually got to SEE
explosions and weapon effects
are enough to
make you cry. The first time you fire
a new weapon at an enemy, only to
have him dodge so the entire building behind him splinters into
tiny pieces, is truly something to be seen. The orbital frames
and backgrounds even 'blur' from the speed, or recoil from a
shattering explosion. The camera zips and turns constantly,
somehow managing always to find the best possible angle to view
the destruction. Buildings crumble, people scream in terror...loads
of fun. Don't have TOO much fun, however. There is a built-in
morality system in place. If you let too many innocent people be
killed, or buildings get destroyed because of YOUR
ineffectiveness in battle, the game keeps track. Be good, or
So, there I
was, playing this incredible game. I was even immersed in the
story: about a lonely boy, Leo, who witnesses his friends being
killed. He wants to run, but stumbles, it seems, on a war being
fought all around him. He has no choice but to defend himself,
and along the way is faced with the decision: save himself, or
save the innocent people being slaughtered in his hometown.
ends. That's it. Bye-bye, thanks for coming out.
credits started rolling, I was shocked! What!?! It can't be
over! I just started! I was playing for maybe 5, 6 hours tops. I
was just expecting it to get good, or challenging, or something.
But it never does, it just ends.
surprise, in the face of utter disappointment, is that by
completing the game, you unlock a 'hidden' (I use the term
loosely) two-player, 'versus' mode.
that game producers have finally come to the realization that
they need to add more features that strictly increase a game's
replayability. Or maybe some are just throwing us a bones for
fear that we may actually stop paying $50-70 for a game that
takes 5 hours to finish, and has no replay value whatsoever.
Either way, more and more games are adding these features. Most
notably ZOE, and Star Wars: Starfighter. Both of which have
two-player modes that unlock after the game has been completed
in one-player mode (both of which, also, have frustratingly
short one-player modes.) ZOE however, advertises itself as a one
or two player game. In the case of Starfighter, it is simply an
extra 'bonus' feature.
mode in ZOE is enjoyable, and the two-player mode even more so,
but it's a bit of a stretch to advertise this game as
multi-player. Now, ZOE is a spectacular game, the visuals are so
far unmatched. The ease of play is incredible, and the learning
curve is very forgiving. But just when you feel like you can
finally put every last bit of power into your battles, the game
ends. It's almost embarrassingly short. Like a writer who simply
decided they 'didn't feel like writing a proper ending.'
this game with the MGS2 demo, AND advertising the game as
multi-player, producer Hideo Hojima and the rest of Konami are
all but admitting that ZOE isn't worth the price of a full game.
Saying: 'we'll try to make it up to you by throwing in a lot of
free stuff.' Everyone likes free stuff. Like when you go to a
movie during opening week, and as you leave the theatre they
hand you a free sample of cereal, or a poster. But I would have
preferred they just made a better movie.
concept that is well executed
concept that is well executed
looked very promising while in development. It even looked very
promising while playing it. Smooth, beautiful graphics. A very
cool, futuristic environment that's sure to please the 'bad-ass
fighting robot' fans out there. But the game is over almost
before it begins, and there is little point in replaying what is
essentially a story-based game (unless you get some kick out of
trying to perfect each level, seems to me a lot like trying to
get a quicker and quicker time on what should have been a 15-20
minute demo [re:MGS2].but whatever floats your boat.) In the
end, buy it for the MGS2 demo.