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Enter The Matrix Package Art
GENRE
Action
DEVELOPER
Shiny
PUBLISHER
Atari
NUMBER OF PLAYERS
1-2
CONNECTIVITY
no
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Enter The Matrix

The Wachowski Brothers have a lot of time and money on their hands. Using this time and money, they have brought their cyberpunk-esque creation to life in ways never before done in motion picture history. The brothers have carefully crafted a world merged through three movies, several animated shorts, comic books, and of course, the videogame. Enter the Matrix takes you through events that take place around and during The Matrix: Reloaded through the eyes of Ghost and Naiobe, two of the rebels seen in the movie. Enter the Matrix offers an amazing story with great character development between your two main characters, their operator, and several other characters from the movie. After playing this game you will really feel attached to the characters as if you really know them.

visuals

Enter the Matrix is very good looking for the most part. Character models are top notch, anti-aliasing is barely noticable at all, game slowdown is non-existant, and special effects such as bullets whizzing through the air in slow motion and exploding cars look fantastic. What's not so fantastic are the bland levels. Each level, while detailed, is made up of mostly low-polygon environments and objects. Draw distance is great, except in the underground piloting missions, and the only time you see fog is when it is an actual part of the story. The only other noticeable graphical problem is the camera. The camera is great while you are in battle, moving itself to angles that are both useful and cinematic, but when you are just moving around, the camera is mounted over your shoulder a little too tightly; turning around can be a bit discomfitting, almost to the point of dizziness.

audio

There are very few negative elements that can be said about the audio in Enter the Matrix. Orchestrated music is taken straight from The Matrix: Reloaded and even a few original scores are thrown in that all sound amazing. The sounds of the "Matrix," from the whizzing bullets to reving engines, sound superb. There are, however, two sound problems that are so annoying they detract from the overall game. Problem One: The voices in non-FMV cutscenes are way too quiet. Even with voice volume pumped all the way up in options, you can barely hear the actors unless you turn down the SFX and Music (which can't be done from the pause menu.) The second sound problem is the guns of your ship. You have to fire the guns to destroy enemies, yet you find yourself not wanting to fire them because the sound effect is very annoying and very LOUD. Luckily they are only used in two levels.

gameplay

The game modes, and game quality, in Enter the Matrix are highly varied. you will switch between missions on foot, driving missions, and piloting your ship. As Naiobe, your mission will usually be to head straight for the main goal and kick everyone's ass on the way. As Ghost, you indeed get to kick a lot of ass, but you also use his sniping skills to cover the asses of others, often doing the support work in the mission. Naiobe will drive, and Ghost will usually handle the guns in any driving mission. While some of their missions are identical, there is enough of a difference in play to warrant a second playthrough.

The ground missions are handled almost perfectly in Enter the Matrix; the way you control your character and move him/her from place to place becomes almost seamless when you get used to the control, and you truly get the feeling that you are in the Matrix. You can pull off several moves you've seen in the films, all of which were motion-captured. Eventually you'll be running into rooms full of SWAT members without a second thought, ready to take them out. Therein lies the problem. Once you master the games controls, there is really no danger to your character. You have regenerating health, and plenty of moves to buy you the time to regenerate it. The game tries to make up for this by throwing hordes upon hordes of enemies at you, but it only causes you to get bored of killing people and wonder why so many people keep joining the police force. The real challenge comes in protecting other rebels inside the Matrix, who for some reason are almost all complete, bumbling idiots. In one level, you must cover a team of three fellow Captains who fight off SWAT police. It is a job that you could easily accomplish if you were down there yourself, without any help at all. Why does everyone in the Matrix suck but you?

The driving missions are short, but not sweet. They aren't horrible by any means, but are mainly... mediocre. for the most part they involve you driving down a straight road until you get to the goal, with the only obstacles being police and agent cars that you can pretty much outrun anyway. If you're playing as Ghost, you'll have to just sit in the passenger seat most of the time, shooting these obstacles (or anything else.)

Alas, this decent to good game is tainted by the flying missions at the end. I've already spoken on the laser sound effect, but as Naiobe you'll also have to fly down a lot of winding tunnels with extremely low visibility and a very limited sense of direction. It's kind of like the Death Star sequence in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, but with much less Star and much more Death. If you want, cheat to get past these levels. You won't be missing anything.

Lastly is the interesting hacking system. To unlock extras, such as an FMV viewer and character bios, art, and such, you will need to "hack" the Matrix. Enter the Matrix starts you out with an empty DOS prompt and the "HELP" command. Through a little logic and trial and error, you'll be able to open up more drives and more programs, allowing you to make weapons drops into levels, give yourself a sword, unlock training minigames, and chat with Trinity. It's a pretty cool little sidegame that should last you an hour or two, and it has plenty of stuff to mess with. It's the most interesting interface for extras that I've seen in a game.

multiplayer

There is a hidden multiplayer option in this game that can be unlocked by hacking the Matrix. It's two-player only, and an interesting diversion at most. Two players go kung fu fighting each other inside the Matrix. It's fun for a while, but you won't be pulling it out at parties.

overall

Some of the gameplay mechanics in this game are so good that the actual gameplay is very dissapointing. Enter the Matrix has several shining moments, but overall it is plagued by poor level design and artificial challenges. The mediocre game is balanced out by the superb story, however. The acting is incredible. The interactions between characters are incredible. Everything about the cinematics and story in this game is incredible. For this alone, Enter the Matrix is worth at least a rent by anyone. If you are a fan of the Matrix then you must play through at least once as each character. You'll find out new insight on the Merovingian, get to know the hilarious character of Sparks, get a good idea of what's happened to Neo at the end of "Reloaded," and know why some things happened the way they happened in the film. Oh, and of course, you'll get to see Jada Pinkett-Smith and Monica Bellucci lock lips in one of the FMV scenes. Because of all this alone, Enter the Matrix lies on the exact border of good and bad, at the peak of the mountain waiting to tumble in one direction or the other. That's why I rate it exactly in the middle of our review scale.

final score 5.0/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Paul Pace
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"THE RED AND BLACK ATTACK!"


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