Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner: M∀RS VR gameplay at E3

Since its debut in 2003, Konami’s Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner was praised for its graphics, sound design and storytelling in the mech action genre. The re-mastered release of the Zone of the Enders HD Collection in 2012 showed much more improved features. Now, Zone of the Enders is releasing its second re-mastered with a new title and set in VR for PlayStation 4 called Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner: M∀RS. Nerd Reactor got to play the VR demo during E3.

The plot of the game is exactly the same as the original Zone of the Enders 2. Set two years after the events of Zone of the Enders, we find ex-BAHRAM member Dingo Egret battling his former BAHRAM colleagues. After his former boss Ridley ‘Nohman’ Hardiman defeats Dingo, Ridley asks Dingo to come back and work for him. Dingo refuses and is shot. He is saved by double agent Ken Marinaris by connecting his body to Jehuty and therefore, having him work to defeat BAHRAM.

The original game was played in third person, but it has been changed to first person during VR gameplay so the player can play as Dingo in the Jehuty. The player is inside the suit and we get a full visual of the cockpit. As the player moves their head, they can also see a larger universe while playing. Navigating took a little getting used since it depended on head movement and using the controller, but fortunately, there was a tutorial to practice aiming and firing.

The graphics are absolutely remarkable, but the VR was not perfect. There were moments when the close-range battles felt a little confusing, especially when I had to battle multiple tiny drones. It was best to keep shooting rather than attempt to attack with his blade. During the demo, we went through different levels that became more difficult in VR, including picking up random scrap metal to attack the main bosses. After finally getting the hang of it, I was able to pick one up and impale the main boss. It really just requires getting used to a VR first-person setting. Fortunately, the game does provide a navigation compass and makes it easier to follow in VR. You can just move your head in the direction of the indicator and follow it easier.

Overall, the game was much more interesting to play in VR. It was really cool to be immersed into the world of Zone of Enders. After getting used to the settings and controls, the game was much more smooth for me.

I did not get to try out the regular game, which was remastered in 4K, but I think after testing out the game in VR, it would be hard to go back to third player mode.

Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner: M∀RS VR will be released on September 6th.

Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner: M∀RS Official Synopsis:

It’s been two years since Leo Stenbuck watched in horror as BAHRAM, an anti-terrestrial force based on Mars, launched an attack on his home of Antilia, a Jupiter-based colony located on the edge of human territory.

Dingo Egret, an ice miner working on Jupiter’s moon Callisto, gets a strong Metatron reading near the surface. It turns out to be a dormant humanoid
weapon—the giant Orbital Frame, JEHUTY. Moments later, the mining operation is attacked by BAHRAM. As if guided to the frame by fate, Dingo enters JEHUTY’s cockpit to survive the onslaught. His ensuing screams activate the frame’s combat AI system, A.D.A., which in turn begins to fully awaken JEHUTY…

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