Enemy Zero Soundtrack, Michael Nyman, 1996
Few video game auteurs have left an oeuvre as intriguing – and divisive – as Kenji Eno. Eno fittingly came to prominence during one of experimental game design’s heydays – the mid 1990s. His company Warp became best known in the West for its D series of horror games: D, Enemy Zero and D2. Only very loosely connected with each other, these games proposed innovative gameplay and story ideas – arguably to various degrees of success. However, these titles did ultimately cement Eno’s name in game history for their unbridled audacity.
It’s certainly not Enemy Zero’s story line that is its most innovative component. The game’s narrative – a spaceship is overrun by murderous xenomorphs – takes entire portions of Alien and mixes in bits and pieces of other sci-fi classics such as Blade Runner. Far more interesting is the game’s central game play mechanic. The rampaging aliens are invisible and the only way to find and shoot them is to rely on a sonar-like system that indicates their location through changes in pitch and frequency. It was an ingenious idea that some reviewers found was implemented less smoothly than it should have been, making for one hell of a difficult game.