|Version Reviewed: Play Station 2Based upon the popular movies Enter the Matrix is a unique type of cinematic action game which thrusts you into a side story of the events which occur in The Matrix: Reloaded time line. Enter the Matrix succeeds in bring a new look at the Matrix universe without throwing you into the same situations as the characters from the movies forcing you to re-experience them as with most video games based on movies. Instead you are exposed to a new story that ties into Reloaded with both story elements and characters with minor parts in the movie. As the script was not completely laid out by the events of the movie the game was refreshing and exciting in the respect that I did not know for certain what would happen next or how the end result may turn out.
There are only two playable characters in this game, both of which are in Matrix: Reloaded. Choose from either Captain Niobe or Ghost of the Logos, each with a semi-unique set of missions and abilities. The missions vary greatly in difficulty as the game fluctuates back and forth from easy to hard back to easy like a roller coaster. The mission themes also jump around in the same fashion, going from action packed kung fu and shoot outs to more tedious tasks like defending important characters and running through fairly empty maze like areas. Each mission does realistically reflect things that you’d experience in the matrix such as: running away from Police, SWAT, or Agents; having shoot-outs full of slow motion diving and flipping then running away; slow motion kung fu fighting then more running away; or vampire slaying and then yet more running away.
While the alternate story to the movie is quite innovative and pleasant it seems they have completely forgotten about play control. Using focus (which is like a Jedi’s ability to “use the force”) you can preform all the cartwheel stunts, diving, flipping, and impossible hand to hand tricks that Neo and the gang preformed in the first Matrix movie. The novelty of focus wears off pretty quick. Since you must rely on it heavily to effectively advance in the game you will find yourself constantly in unexciting slow motion shoot outs and Kung-Fu fights, until your focus meter becomes low to which hiding behind objects or running around waiting for it to replenish enough to return to slow motion becomes standard practice. Character movements are awkward and the hand to hand combat consists mostly of mashing the punch and kick buttons and don’t really require any sense of skill or timing to land any particular attack and as mentioned before, focus adds to the poor combat design by throwing in slow motion and added power making blocking dodging and counter attacking easy even against agents. Similar problems also exist within the shooter aspect of the game. When you engage in shoot outs you will constantly be presented with two horrible choices: use the third person view for better control at the cost of any kind of accuracy and waste massive ammo, or switch to first person, and lose the ability to dodge bullets or move at all other than side stepping for improving accuracy at the cost taking massive damage and dying.
The downside to this game is that the other characters and their sayings can get VERY VERY annoying. With their taunts and rambling it makes you want to quickly jump out of your car and shoot out their tires. Another downfall is that it can get a little repeditive. As with most racing games, there’s only so much driving through a course than one person can handle, and this brings nothing new to spice things up.
Had they kept in mind that Enter the Matrix is first and foremost a game, and kept their attention on the game play before the movie aspect I think this game could have been quite enjoyable. However as it is, unless you are a die hard Matrix fan it is pretty average, and barely even worth a rental.