Enter The Matrix (GameCube) Review

By JEbUS 26.05.2003

The Matrix is considered by many to be one of the best films in the world, incorporating mind blowing camera angles and gravity-defying fight scenes. Finally, after a ludicrously long wait, we are able to jack into the Matrix, and experience these events first-hand. To add a twist to the game's significance, it is not the game about the Matrix, it is the game that runs parallel with the films, and to obtain a full Matrix understanding, you have to see the films and play the game.

The first thing that strikes the player is the copious amounts of Matrix code (the green figures that tumble down the screen). Although it does add that little bit extra to the experience, rather than engulfing you in the Matrix, the sight of it will irritate you in no time. That wouldn't be a problem if there wasn't a loading/save point every few minutes, which causes the game to feel somewhat disjointed, just when you're getting into the flow of things.

When you first stick the game in, you are presented with a choice of two characters to play as: Niobe or Ghost. Niobe is the Captain of the Logos ship, a focused woman with beautifully detailed hair and a stunning leather jacket. Should there be a driving scene, Niobe will be the driver, while Ghost will be the gunner. Ghost is the First Mate of the Logos ship. Leave him with a sniper rifle and watch the bodies hit the floor. The bright ones among you have probably realised that Neo, Morpheus and Trinity are not playable characters. The reason for this being, as stated above, this is not the game of The Matrix, so the activities of these people cannot be replicated.

Screenshot for Enter The Matrix on GameCube

However, the game has to be seen to be believed: with exceptionally fluid fighting animations and Focus moves that could put Neo to shame. Focus is the game's equivalent of the Bullet-Time effect used in the films. It slows down time allowing the player to get the edge on the SWAT team shooting at you by allowing you to see every bullet, but it does so much more. A combination of buttons sends the chosen player to cart-wheel across the screen, shooting any enemies as he/she does so. Comparisons to Max Payne at this point are inevitable, but Enter The Matrix's Focus system is extremely well implemented.

Screenshot for Enter The Matrix on GameCube

Some may find the controls rather difficult to get to grips with, but they soon become second-nature, and running up and around walls to kick a police officer in the face is much easier than it sounds. Of course, the fight scenes are the game's strong point. Using a different direction on the D-pad in conjunction with A or X (punch and kick respectively) results in a different blow to your opponent, but a great move follows when you press both the A and the X button to perform a throw. Although the fighting animation may be first-rate, the general character animation is rather poor, giving a seemingly wooden effect to the characters when running, which is highlighted when climbing ladders and fences. The camera angle is also slightly poor, a common feature in most third person games. Unable to change the view you are presented with, you are forced to either jump around or mash the pad in desperation.

Screenshot for Enter The Matrix on GameCube

Unfortunately, the characters seem to be the only thing that have been really well designed, as the rest of the people are fairly pixelated, while the environments are simply bland, with flat textures and dull colours to boot. Most missions consist of running from point A to point B, with the odd enemy along the way. There are certain levels, most near the end of the game, that are genuinely enjoyable, and the driving scenes add a nice diversion to the kicking and shooting, even if the car handling is slightly weak, and as Ghost (the gunner) you really do feel that your shooting is not affecting the outcome of the mission whatsoever. But what is a redeeming feature is the fact that the story differs depending on which character you chose at the start. As I have stated, Niobe does the driving while Ghost does the shooting during the driving scenes, but there are little alterations throughout. The difficultly levels have been aptly named Easy, Normal, and Hard. The differences between these are the rate at which your health and Focus meters replenish, and the help given to you by the computer.

Once in a while, the player is treated to a cut-scene. The in-game cut-scenes aren't too bad, with voice acting that has been provided by the real actors from the film, but the best bit is when you see an extract from the footage, either from The Matrix Reloaded, or...did I forget to mention there's over an hour of extra footage in the game that can't be seen in the films? When you see the film, you will find things are much more comprehensible if you have played the game.

The game's biggest letdown must be it's brevity. An average gamer should be able to complete this in under ten hours, with the only replay value being the option to play as the character you didn't pick the first time round, just so you can experience both sides of the story. Sadly, the ending to the game is very disappointing, possibly something which could put players off playing it through again.

Screenshot for Enter The Matrix on GameCube

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

If you're a Matrix fan, you should pay close attention: either rent the game, or dive straight in and buy it. There's a lot of fun to be had with this title, and it's strangely addictive. Even if you aren't a Matrix fan, and you're looking for a pick-up-and-play third person shooter with a complex plot, my advice is to give this one a go. That's if you can leave it at just one go.

Developer

Shiny

Publisher

Atari

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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