The year is 2174 and the despotic BAHRAM military organisation is using its new Orbital Frames mech-robot technology to complete the suppression of Mars and the Earth. Seizing control of the Jehuty Orbital Frame - the most powerful craft of its kind - the player acts as the last hope for the stricken planets, using its advanced technology to strike deep at the heart of the BAHRAM army. European gamers, however, face a greater task than that of their Japanese or US cousins, with the European version of the game benefiting from exclusive stages, added battle sequences, and new graphical demos, and several key new modes.
An all-new opening sequence with a remix of the main theme tune heralds the introduction of three new and two significantly redone levels, and seven graphical demos. In the European version of Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner 'the train destruction event', 'the Mars melee event' and 'the carrying up Ardjent event', can be played either as part of the main game or separately via an 'Extra Mission' mode from the main menu screen. Similarly, the developers have also implemented two new difficulty modes to the game - European Hard and European Extreme - while new polygon models allow players to play the new missions with assorted versions of the Jehuty unit.
These additions further enhance a game already recognised as one of the greatest space opera titles to date. Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner already includes battles that now rage between the player and a number of adversaries, replacing the one-on-one scenarios of the first PlayStation 2 game. Likewise, a wide selection of new moves also give the player greater control over the Jehuty unit, with new throwing moves, shield devices that double as weapons and teleportation systems contributing the mech's incredible abilities.
Likewise, Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner also benefits fully interactive environments. As the towering armies go to war, buildings crumble and forests are laid to waste. The game also has a new cast of characters infusing the epic saga with a twisting and dramatic plot, while the plot is enhanced via freshly added movie sequences and weaponry icons.
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner will be released for PlayStation 2 in September; price TBC.