STAFF REVIEW of Enter the Matrix (Xbox)

Monday, May 26, 2003.
by kitt

Enter the Matrix Box art Enter the Matrix, indeed. This game manages to take you down the rabbit hole and then some. To be quite frank, this is an unbelievably good game and I will explain why in a second, but first let?s get one thing straight, this game is for true Matrix fans only. I have to admit that there are third person action games out there with better graphics and better controls, but one thing is for sure, those games don?t have the ability to immerse you in a Hollywood phenomena. From the get-go, this game was built with the fans in mind. It comes with all the teeth punching, gravity deifying moves that has made the Matrix legendary. This is great and all, but the real reason I consider this to be an amazing game is due to the fact that the game makers had a vision to make this more then a rehash of the movie, rather, they created something truly unique, a side story related to the movies, but not shown in the movies. It?s not mandatory, but this game does require you to view the Matrix Reloaded to get a better idea of who the characters are what the story is about. In Enter the Matrix, you assume the role of either Niobe or Ghost, secondary characters in the Matrix Reloaded (especially Ghost) to complete a variety of missions. With movie based video games having a notorious reputation of being pathetically bad, this game was necessary in order to flip kick this genre in the ass. Enter the Matrix, without a doubt has raised the bar on the movie based video game genre.

This game offers a variety of gameplay including first person sniper shoot-outs, car chases and 3D Kung fu fighting. As expected all the Matrix special moves are present in this game, everything from wall flips, cartwheels even wall running. Special moves can be executed in slow motion or bullet time with ease using your ?focus? button, but overall, the controls in this game take a little getting used to and are one of the weakest aspects of this game. This is the first game I have played where the default fire button is set to the black button. Luckily you have the option to adjust controls. This game offers an equal amount of gunplay and hand-to-hand combat. At your disposal is a lovely arsenal of weapons, explosives and killer kung fu moves. What really sets this game apart is the fact that this game offers tons of original movie footage from a different point of view that ties in seamlessly in to the Matrix Reloaded plot. Also included is the chance to play in some of the movies most thrilling scenes and environments as well as a load on new ones. A must for any Matrix fan.

This is a multi-platform game, so don?t expect any Xbox exclusive graphics. Don?t get me wrong, the graphics in this game are good, in some instances they are amazing including the look of the marble in the mountain mansion, but truly, this game does not offer Xbox capable graphics. What you can expect are PS2 level graphics including flat environments, boxy objects and weak lighting effects. I also found this game having difficulty keeping pace loading background environment details. What did impress me are the great cut scenes and fluid character actions during gameplay and fighting sequences. Some of the camera angles are unique and in some instances the game will take over during a fight sequence to execute an amazing finale. What causes a problem are the combination of these unique camera angles and odd controls to sometimes make you lose your view and perspective of what?s around you. Even though the graphics in this game are not perfect, it has so much more to offer.

Just what you would expect from a Matrix product, booming instrumental scores blended to perfection with adrenalin pumping electronic tracks. The sound effects are excellent including the gun and fight effects. What I did tire of though were the driving sound effects, which did get repetitive and sometimes during gameplay your character will say something, a hint what to do, but at times it is difficult to make out what was said. Other then that, the sound in this game is excellent.

Add a multiplayer feature and the ability to play as some of the more popular characters?oh wait?nevermind! Ignore that last part. The hacking option is truly a unique and amazing way to add additional interactivity into the game as well discover bonus content.

Overall: 10.0 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


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