Further proof that Kenji Eno is a genius.
Enemy Zero is just further proof that Kenji Eno is a genius. A man that makes video games with originality. While his games are not always perfect, they are almost, always unique. Enemy Zero is a game that I can honestly say is perfect. It's definitely not for everyone, but it is a masterpiece in its own, twisted way. It's a game that all true gamers should experience, even if they decide they hate it.
The game, at its core, is pretty much a First-Person Shooter, Myst-style Adventure game, and Interactive Movie shoved into one package. I'm sure the phrase "Interactive Movie" has already scared some gamers away, but the storyline is actually one of the best parts of the game. Enemy Zero, starring WARP's digital-actress Laura, tells a classic, but very chilling and original story set aboard the spaceship Aki heading back to Earth. While the storyline is clearly influenced by Sci-Fi films such as Alien, the story never rips anything off the classic film, and really engages you in the plot and characters. The plot twists are really unexpected and shocking as well. It's definitely a story you'll want to see through until the end, which is unusual in a video game and especially in a video game from 1996.
The majority of the game is played in the Adventure mode, which is similar to Myst in the fact that you move around on predetermined paths. During this mode, your essentially solving puzzles and moving the storyline forward. The puzzles are the only area of the gameplay that could have used a little more work. They are generally easy and, for the most part, consist of unlocking doors, whether its with a key, or a combination, or a lever. With the length of the game being 4 disks long, the puzzles move the pace along nicely, so its not really much of a complaint.
The FPS mode is where the game is really unique and most challenging. All enemies (with the exception of one) in the game are invisible. Your only means of locating the enemy and taking him out is by using your ears. As you approach an enemy, the game uses a variety of high-pitched sounds to tell you where your target is. A high pitch for when your enemy is in front of you, a mid-range pitch for when your enemy is flanking you, and a low pitch for when your enemy is behind you. The faster the pitch, the closer he is to you and the slower the pitch, the further. If that doesn't sound like enough of a challenge for you, your gun also has to charge before you fire it. Charging it up too much also won't allow it to fire either. You also die with one hit from any of these bastards. Oh yeah, AND you have a limited amount of saves. The game is severely challenging, but it ultimately makes the gameplay very rewarding. This isn't some game you can blow through in an hour. It takes a lot of time, but that makes it worth every second.
The gaming industry needs more people like Kenji Eno. People that strive to make unique, challenging, rewarding games. Enemy Zero is a masterpiece and must be played by anyone who has not yet played it. Those looking for a unique gaming experience, which is something lacking in today's gaming industry, need not look any further. Enemy Zero is the game for them.