The Matrix: Path of Neo
Distributed by: Atari
Reviewed by Ismael Manzano
The Matrix: Path of Neo, is the latest in the string of Matrix oriented games. As the title suggests, this game follows the path of Neo, and only the path of Neo. If you’re a big fan of Morpheus or Trinity or anyone else in the movie, this is not the game for you. This is a strictly Neo-centric game, trimming out all of the fat of the three movies and combining it into one, action-packed game.
For those of you who’ve seen the three movies, you know the plot of the game already; Aside from a few added and ultimately unnecessary levels, the game pretty much follows the movie to a T. For those of you who haven’t seen the movies, here’s a run down of the game plot. You’re a computer hacker named Mr. Anderson (code name Neo), who is on the hunt for a famed hacker named Morpheus, who holds the secret to the Matrix. For all your searching, Morpheus finds you and agrees to tell you what this elusive Matrix is. He gives you a choice: take the red pill and learn the truth or take the blue pill and forget about the Matrix forever. And yes, they actually give you the choice in the beginning of the game. Just for fun, take the blue pill.
If you wish to progress in the game, you have to take the red pill. Suddenly, you’re thrust into a world that doesn’t seem real, but unfortunately is just that. You learn that A.I. robots have taken over the world and use human beings as batteries. Morpheus and a few like him have broken free and are trying to take down the robot army from within. The Matrix is the program that the robots keep all humans in so that they don’t realize that they are all slaves.
In the Matrix, now that you’re free of its restraints, you have the ability to do the impossible: run faster, climb walls, dodge bullets, learn anything they can jack into your head at lightening speed, etc. You’re mission is to train yourself to be the perfect weapon or ‘the One’, liberate as many potential allies as you can, save everyone’s butt, and stop the robot army once and for all.
The game itself is great: fast paced, interesting, inventive at times, and for the most part true to the movies. As mentioned earlier there are bonus levels that never happened in the movie designed to extend the game play a little longer. These aren’t so bad. In fact, most are exciting. Some, on the other hand—like the upside down maze world with giant kung-fu fire ants—are downright stupid.
The graphics are pretty basic, nothing new or improved from any of the other Matrix games, but they’re decent enough to make the grade. The fighting however, is where the game really earns its stripes. As you progress you unlock new and better moves, and some extra abilities that will aid you on your quest. There are literally dozens upon dozens of combos you can use if you know how to do them. The focus meter allows you to slow down time to inflict more damage and do some of the cooler and more difficult maneuvers without breaking a sweat.
With all that said, there’s a disclaimer for all you diehard Matrix fans. They changed the ending of the final movie. There’s a pointless, 2-bit (I’m not kidding) intro with the creators of the movie just before the change takes place, warning people ahead of time and explaining why they did it. And while I agreed that the ending of the movie would not have worked for the video game, I still think they could have done better.
For those of you that would enjoy this, there’s a hilarious outtake reel, in the vein of Red vs Blue.
Over all, a great fighting game, fun to play for the short amount of time that you have, filled with fantastic moves, great graphics and loads of challenges to keep your mind guessing. I don’t know whether it’s worth buying because of the time factor, but I wouldn’t mind owning it. You decide for yourself. Enjoy.