The statement I’m about to make may cause some of you to shake your heads in disapproval but, considering I’ve forewarned you, I accept no responsibility for any whiplash which may occur.
You see, I’ve never played a Zone of the Enders game before today. Not the first one, nor the second one and definitely not the one that came out on the Game Boy Advance.
In this week’s Ian’s VR Corner video you can watch me end my Enders drought when I play through the early stages of Zone Of The Enders: The 2nd Runner – M∀rs. Check it out in the video below.
So yes, along with bringing full 4K resolution to the ‘flat’ ZOE experience with this remaster, Konami did something admirable and actually gave the entire game VR functionality. This means series fans can finally discover exactly what it feels like to sit inside the cockpit of an Orbital Frame.
As a newcomer to the series I feel like I might have been missing out on a huge dose of nostalgia here. I can imagine that people who hold the Enders games close to their hearts will be overjoyed to be able to play ZOE 2 in a different way, but to me the game felt a bit bland and dated (sorry!).
Thankfully there’s a lot of VR comfort settings to play around with in ZOE 2 because, as you’ll be able to see in the video, the mech-to-mech melee combat can get rather dizzying indeed. Movement and attacking from range is fine and with the cockpit wrapping you in lots of stationary objects, I think it provides a pretty smooth ride that even VR novices would find comfortable.
It’s only when you go in close that things can get troublesome. When you rush in to attack a target with Jehuty’s laser sword the lock on camera will rapidly jerk around, especially after you land a killing blow and your viewpoint snaps to the next closest target.
It’s not a design choice that makes the game unplayable by any stretch. After about 20 minutes I was fine with it and suffered no nausea at all, but I expect it may be a bit too much for some VR newcomers.
Whatever your views on Konami right now, it’s still worth applauding them for taking the time to include full VR functionality in this remaster. The majority of games that do include optional VR modes rarely offer anything more that smaller, bite-sized experiences, so the ability to play through the entire game in VR is a real treat. If only this type of practice was industry standard!
Maybe one day…
If you enjoyed this episode of Ian’s VR Corner, you can catch up with my previous adventures over on YouTube in our VR playlist, where I get silly with Kona VR, Salary Man Escape, The Exorcist: Legion VR, Killing Floor: Incursion, The Persistence, Detached, Pixel Ripped 1989, Rec Royale, Arizona Sunshine and Transference.