Enter the Matrix
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  • Atari
  • Atari
  • Adventure - Maze/Puzzle/Explore (example - Zelda,Tomb Raider)
  • May 2003
  • 1
  • hard drive
  • 1
  • $50.00
  • Teen
7  |  Enter The Matrix Review (XBox)
larsoncc , 5/16/2003 11:52:09 AM

Title ScreenEnter The Matrix is simultaneously one of the most, and one of the least, ambitious video games ever created.  In what I'd consider one of the boldest moves by Hollywood yet, new movie footage was shot, just for this game.  True Matrix fans will want to push themselves through this game, just as they've religiously downloaded every Animatrix as soon as it came out. 

Cut SceneIn other words, the god-awful game play is so rewarding, that you'll have no choice but to play through this crap till the end.  Wait a minute...  Did I just say that the game is bad?  Well, yes.  And no.  And...  Maybe.

See, the game is about exactly what you'd expect from a movie license - the same old crap, with one "license-exclusive" crappy addition, to make brand new crap that's just a little less craptastic than the last crap that was dumped on us.  On the other hand, you have to keep in mind HOW MUCH crap has IMPROVED since it was first extruded.  Basically, Atari's crap doesn't stink half as bad as it used to.

I think I've said this about an XBox game before:  "If you've played Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you've played..."  And it's true - many of the controls and general way of doing things have been lifted directly from our blonde and beautiful friend, including:  idiotic switch pulling / puzzle solving, alternative weapon selection, slightly mushy movement, some control difficulty, and great hand-to-hand combat.

Enter the Matrix's derivative, played-out, half-assed design aside, there is a lot to love about Enter the Matrix.  Really, there is!  The level designs take you through the movie in ways that you haven't imagined - you're at different locations right after or right before the main characters arrive.  Hey, it's gimmicky, but it works, like no other game out there.  The combat is fantastic, and the addition of "bullet-time" gives Enter the Matrix a unique play element - in fact, by itself, bullet-time will pull you into the game.

Fighting 1 Fighting 2

There are some cheese-ball elements to the game, which may or may not distract from play - you be the judge.  For instance, less than 5 minutes into the game, you get a Poweraid advertisement.  If you turn the right corner, you'll get an "oh so refreshing" glance at a Poweraid machine (which I've never seen in real life).  It really makes me thirsty.  Thanks, advertising tools.  What can you say, though - movies have sponsors.  Games have has sponsors for years.  Ah, whatever.  It's not like its a terrible distraction.  Something else that I found pretty funny while I was playing was references to "the new cover sheets on the TPS reports."  Ha!  I wonder which corporate drone was allowed to put the Office Space reference in!  I thought that was pretty funny.

Remember how I said that these games have been improving?  Well, they have, and more than in a general sense.  Specifically, there is even detail in your player's hair.  I mean, it's very, very good.  The shading and rooms have a nice greenish tint, very Matrix-ish.  But the real payoff for Enter the Matrix, though, is the story.  Period.  And there will be plenty of people that get sucked in by that.  It doesn't matter that the play is redundant - it's stylized.

Still, I can't see why there was at least 6 months worth of hype about this game.  Call me cynical, but it's not like there is something here you haven't seen before.  I give Enter the Matrix a 7/10 (good, but not "the One"). 

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