As well as the now much publicized Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, Konami also announced Zone of the Enders 2: Second Runner in its pre-E3 financial report. And this morning, alongside a light-hearted look at MGS2: Substance, the company is also serving up a video of ZOE 2, weighing in at a slightly larger 18Mb. Unfortunately we don't have a direct link for this from Konami, but IGN is currently serving the file from here. Beware though, their Windows Media plugin was clever enough to crash both Netscape 7.0 and IE6, so you might want to get in there, nab the download link and close the browser before it takes over your computer and destroys your life. [Bit melodramatic, maybe? - Ed] At five minutes long you'll have to spend more time with ZOE 2 than you did Substance, and it's a lot more serious, with Orbital Frame Jehuty laying down the storyline. BAHRAM has started armed suppression against Martians, and Martian liberation activities against Earth's oppression have surfaced. BAHRAM's forces are, of course, overwhelming, and Mars falls to them with ease, which is where you come in. Encased in your orbital frame and on cardiopulmonary life support to boot, you have to go in and destroy BAHRAM's military fortress, in much the same ways you went about fighting the battles in the original ZOE. Graphically it looks a lot nicer, reminiscent of the recently released Xbox shooter Gun Valkyrie, but with far more aerial combat in the traditional ZOE style. The graphics in the game were always anime esque, but now it's doubly so, with the sharp angled bodies of the Jehuty and its compatriots brightly coloured and fleet of foot, or jetpack. The whole thing could just be a big interactive CG cartoon by the looks of it, with ornate visuals highlighting every angle and detail of the orbital frames right down to the shimmer of electrical current washing over them, and the game looks to consist of a typically elaborate Japanese storyline, and a stirring soundtrack. If you like big mechs, the idea of martial arts in a mech with MGS2-level presentation, directed by the careful hand of Hideo Kojima, bathed in a graphics engine which looks like a cross between the cel-shaded worlds of Jet Set Radio and the action-packed confines of the original game, then you want to download this video. And if the game delivers in the same way the first one did, we'll be laughing come Christmas when it gets its release. Hopefully with an MGS2: Substance demo.
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