Zone of the Enders is a 3D combat game based on the concept of ‘Mecha’ (big, Japanese robots). It was published by Konami for the PlayStation 2 in 2001.
You play a kid called Leo who can pilot a battle Mecha called Jehuty, and whose job it is to protect a colony around Jupiter from attack by a rogue military force. You move from district to district looking for trouble, engaging enemy when you find them.
Combat takes place mostly (but not always) in the air and mostly comprises of a mix of hack-and-slash and shooting action. You can lock on to targets; find suit enhancements as you progress; get bonuses for protecting buildings and civilians – you can even grab and throw enemies if you can get close enough.
Every time you beat an enemy you get experience, and as your experience accrues you level-up – extending the suit’s abilities. So the game has RPG elements too.
Zone of the Enders was co-designed by Yoji Shinkawa, the character and mechanical designer for the Metal Gear series, so has some pedigree. It’s an excellent game – well worth a play – and certainly has its fans.