Enter the Matrix

Overview

It has been a long time since I have seen a game hyped up, and talked about as much as Enter the Matrix. It seems like every ten minutes there is a commercial advertising the game. I can also see why so many people have been convinced into purchasing the game, because on the commercial the game looks amazing, and hey that’s just good marketing on Atari’s part. I am a huge fan of The Matrix movie and hey like the million of other people out there I was really looking forward to the game. It’s just too bad the game didn’t do a better job of living up to all the hype.

Gameplay

If you have read any of my reviews on games based on movies, I always seem to repeat the fact that they never seem to turn out to do justice for the movie. It just seems as though the games never can re-create the magic on the screen. Shiny Entertainment, the developers of Enter the Matrix had a tough task trying to re-create all the magic that the first two movies had created. Enter the Matrix takes place right along side of the latest Matrix movie The Matrix Reloaded. The story throughout Enter the Matrix is supposed to fill in some of the gaps that The Matrix Reloaded didn’t have time to fill. You can see the attempt is there but the story just doesn’t have enough to it to make much sense by itself.

When you first start up Enter the Matrix you will be able to choose from two characters Niobe and Ghost. Yes you read that right there is no Neo or Trinity in this one, which will probably disappoint a lot of you. So once you get over the fact that you are not going to be fighting as "The One", you are still going to be able to pull off some great bullet time maneuvers and the ability to slow down time is a key factor of success throughout the game.

Enter the Matrix is played in a third person point of a view and play’s just like Rockstar’s Max Payne, which was released a year back. The two actually do have a lot of similarities when concerning the bullet time but Enter the Matrix adds the genre of a beat ’em up to give some variety in the game. Throughout the game not only will you be able to dodge bullets and run up walls, you will also be able to do some serious fighting with not only your fists but also some great weapons.

The one thing that plagued X2: Wolverines Revenge (another beat ’em up title) was that the computer AI was just horrific. You would have enemies running through walls and doing all sorts of crazy stuff. The same is also found in Enter the Matrix where it seems like the enemies don’t really have much common sense. Basically if you need to regain life it is not hard to get away from enemies and stand there and regain health. What this does is takes away all of the hardships of the game and makes an easy escape to easily get through levels.

Enter the Matrix is not a title that will grow on you after time. It is actually a game that starts off great and loses its momentum as the game flies by. When you first start the game you will most likely be overwhelmed with all the great moves you will be able to pull off. As the game starts out you will find that each move looks so cool that you want to do it over and over again but in fact after an hour or so you will be sick of it and ready to move on.

There are two big problems that seem to hurt Enter the Matrix the most. The first major problem would have to be repetition. There is only so much you can take of fighting the same SWAT or Police officers over and over again. The second big problem is that you never get to finish the big parts of the game, but instead get to watch them happen. It would have been much nicer had you been able to finish levels. Instead you get to do all the dirty work leading up the climax of the level and then once you complete your part you get to watch the rest on the screen. I don’t know about you but I wasn’t a big fan of that deal, when I work on the dirty work I want to be rewarded by being able to complete the whole level.

Graphics

It must have been quite hard for Shiny Entertainment to try and recreate the magic from the first two movies into a video game. When the first few screenshots came out for Enter the Matrix I along with a lot of others were quite impressed with how the game was turning out. As the screenshots kept piling in it looked like Enter the Matrix was going to be a good looking game. Well now that the game has been released and the pieces of the puzzle have been put together, the game fails to put a winner on the board.

The character models of Enter the Matrix are probably one of the more impressive portions of Enter the Matrix. Each character accurately depicts the actor/actress you see on the screen. Everything on the character models are nicely done with great details. The environments on the other hand just don’t seem to be very creative. It seems like the setting of the game never changes so you will playing through the same thing over and over again.

The one thing that I have found that really separates the good games from the great games is the camera. In Enter the Matrix the camera can become quite an annoyance throughout the game. The camera is not awful but it seems like when you get into tight corridors or heavy fighting scenes the camera starts acting up and gets stuck leaving you out in the dark.

The last portion of the graphics I would like to discuss are the bullet time effects. This has to be where Enter the Matrix is at its best. The effects not only work nicely they also look great. You can see the ripples of the bullets flying by you as you dodge them, it’s just a great feeling!

Fun Factor

When you first pick up Enter the Matrix you will probably feel like you’re in the ride of your life. I did and was really amazed with how the game started out. But once you give the game an hour you will immediately find that all the flaws in the game start out weighing the positive. The camera is probably the biggest negative that really started to damper all the fun that would have been possible, but was pulled to a crashing stop. The beat em up style of gameplay does stay quite fun throughout but the lack of challenge really holds Enter the Matrix back from being a game you would want to play more then once.

Overall

Here is another example of a movie license not used to its true potential. Enter the Matrix has a lot of things going for it but it fails to be a game that I could recommend to anyone but the hardcore Matrix fans. Otherwise I would stick with this as a rental and nothing more then that.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.