Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner M∀RS VR First Impressions

Announced back in September of 2017 at the Tokyo Game Show, Konami and mobile/browser game developer Cygames announced they would be remastering Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner for Playstation 4, PC, and most importantly the Playstation VR. Following last week’s announcement of a September 6th release due later this year, Konami has put out a playable demo of the remastered game with VR support on the Playstation Store. And for the most part, this demo does a fine job presenting how piloting a more futuristic anime-styled mecha would be.

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Immediately upon boot up of the demo on the main menu, they give you the option to run through different tutorials to get an idea of the movement which is highly recommended. Plus you get to run through each of the tutorials in VR with first steps into the game’s cockpit view, which is done rather nicely. If any issues with height or wish to turn off any standardized VR handicaps(head movement speed, field of view, etc) in favor of full motion, you can do at will on the options menu. Eventually once finished, you get to progress onto the actual demo which takes place in an early section of the full game itself.

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Standard view within the cockpit

Similar to most other VR titles like Archangel or Wipeout, you get full view of the cockpit which you can see yourself plus different parts around the inside as well. One of the best features of the cockpit view is that you can see a smaller full model of the Jehuty on your right side mimicking the movements your doing with the controller. This especially comes in handy considering that the movements that you do with the Jehuty can be relatively fast-paced once laid in the thick of things. The lock on works with the press of the L2 button to turn on/off at will or by targeting another enemy by looking at them and pressing it once. My preferred method was to quickly snap between targets by pressing it twice to snap the lock onto another nearby target for faster combat. Once locked on, you can move or dash in any direction with the R2 button, as well as use different Burst Mode attacks. One of my favorites was a full laser salvo barrage that attacks nearby enemies and projectiles by holding L2 and manually looking at each of the targets. Along with Burst Mode attacks there’s also ranged attacks which is a blaster, close ranged melee that you can decide which direction to attack your enemy, and the “grab” sub weapon which allows for grabbing enemies and using them for attacks from different ranges.

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Konami has already announced that along with the full remastering of the game itself to support 4K and updated visuals/audio, the full game will be playable in VR. Along with a few new extra modes and a VR model viewer, Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner M∀RS looks to be another unique mecha-piloting VR experience on the PS4.

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