Enter the Matrix

In 1999, the Wachowski brothers created The Matrix, a film that enjoyed critical and financial success and unsurprisingly became a franchise that included two sequels, comic books, and videogames, among them being Enter the Matrix, made with the direct involvement of the Wachowskis, and taking place between the first and second films. The game proves to be a mixed bag, with plenty elements going for and against it.

Enter the Matrix for the most part features linear mission-based, third-person shooter gameplay, with a choice of one of two heroes: Ghost or Niobe. Whomever the player selects can use variety of firearms, although either can engage in melee combat with the enemy; each hero can also “focus” to slow down the action and do things such as leap farther. The game is fun at first, although there are a few spikes in difficulty, even on the easiest mode, that might drive the player to implement cheat codes via a Hacking mode, which actually makes the game tolerable, although in some missions it’s still easy to die through things such as falling off steep edges and failing to protect an ally from losing all their health. In the end, the gameplay is okay, but could have definitely used more balance and fairness and been more tolerable without cheating.

The controls work decently for the most part, with a linear structure of missions, no problem with the general game controls, and an arrow that for the most part points the player in the direction necessary to advance the game, although in-game maps would have certainly been welcome at times. There’s also the matter of poorly-spaced save opportunities, with the player needing at times to repeat large chunks of the missions if they somehow die. In the end, interaction works decently at best.

The story is perhaps the strongest part of the game, decently tying the first and second Matrix movies, with plenty of original footage. There are some minor grammar errors in the dialogue, but otherwise the plot helps the game far more than hurts.

The voice acting and sound effects for the most part top-notch, with some orchestrated music as well albeit many silent parts.

The graphics also look nice in spite of some distracting darkness in dark areas such as the sewers, and the live-action footage is of high quality.

Finally, either protagonist’s mode is short, taking less than ten hours to complete, with the choice of heroes, the ability to hack into saved files for purposes of cheating, and secret areas providing decent replayability. In the end, Enter the Matrix is a half-decent game with some good parts such as the music, graphics, and story, but also some annoying parts such as many areas of the gameplay. Diehard Matrix enthusiasts will be the ones most likely to enjoy the game, while mainstream gamers probably won’t get as much out of it.

The Good:
+Decent aurals and visuals.
+Cheating can make the game fun.
+Nice story that ties into the Matrix trilogy.
+Two different characters to play provides replay value.

The Bad:
-Can be hard even on the easiest difficulty.
-Dying can be easy at times.
-More save opportunities would have been nice.
-In-game maps would have been good as well..

The Bottom Line:
An okay trip through the Matrix universe.

Score Breakdown:
Platform: PlayStation 2
Game Mechanics: 6/10
Controls: 7/10
Story: 9/10
Music/Sound: 7/10
Graphics: 7/10
Lasting Appeal: 8/10
Difficulty: Adjustable, Still Hard on Easy Mode
Playing Time: Less than 10 Hours

Overall: 7/10

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