In development for over two years and made with the full co-operation of the Wachowski brothers, who have written and directed an extra hour’s worth of footage exclusively for the game, Enter The Matrix carries high expectations. And it doesn’t disappoint.
We won’t spoil the plot for you, since the story interacts with The Matrix Reloaded, but we will say that players control either ace pilot Niobe or chilled-out gun-master Ghost as they take part in the salvation of Zion. The characters take different paths through the game, so you’ll have to try both to experience everything it has to offer. Only Ghost, for example, will fight Trinity…
Essentially this is a beat-’em-up with some puzzle elements, pitting the player against hordes of chop-socky baddies and hard-as-nails Agents, all in glorious bullet-time. The effect has been seen in other games ever since the first Matrix film made its mark, but the use of motion-capture of the original cast makes
the animation here incredibly fluid. This is not an animator’s interpretation of how the actors move — everything is exactly as they did it on set. The controls are also deceptively easy to pick up, so that in no time at all you’ll be running up walls, cartwheeling and riddling bad guys with bullets, slo-mo style. The fact that virtually all the scenery in the beautifully-rendered environments can be reduced to smithereens with a well-placed bullet or punch is a nice touch. This behaviour may not advance the adventure, but there’s something very satisfying about destroying a nicely-decorated room just for the hell of it.
The hacking feature is a masterstroke, allowing anyone with a passing knowledge of computers to ‘break into’ their console and access new special moves, and even strike up a conversation with Trinity that will lead to cheats on the internet and beyond. It’s details like this that make the game such a welcome addition to the Matrix universe, and absolutely the best film-to-game adaptation since GoldenEye.
Reviewed by Olly Richards
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