<%@ Language = "VBScript" %> Enter the Matrix or... Turn and Run?

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Enter the Matrix or... Turn and Run?

 

    When purchasing Enter the Matrix, I was a bit leery.   The industry is filled with games that take advantage of what the average person loves.  With the second movie out for the trio, companies would know that an opportunity to take advantage of people comes around only once... well, every time a blockbuster movie comes out.  Fortunately, Enter the Matrix wasn't as bad as most games based on movies are.  I just couldn't help but notice who paid for development though.
    The storyline was written by the Wachowski brothers.  hovercraft_small.jpg (6883 bytes)That's a good thing obviously because they kept the game fast paced and answered  the questions developed in part 2 of the movie trio.   There were tons of movies, and you end up watching them after almost every level.   The acting was done by all the real actors in the movie except for the Oracle.  I found myself looking forward to the end of levels to watch the next sequence.
    There's no multiplayer action in the game, and I didn't find reference to any being developed on the Enter the Matrix website.  Every company should know by now that multiplayer in a game is a must!  I was extremely disappointed to find out that I wouldn't be able to have a kung-fu fest online.
    The game's difficulty is perfect.  I found it challenging but not absurdly hard on the normal setting.  There weren't any stupid "luck jump" challenges at the end of a long level that make you start from the beginning either.   If normal is too easy for you uber-shooters, there is a hard setting for you.dive_and_shoot_small.jpg (7184 bytes)
    FPS games to me are based a lot on the graphics, and Enter the Matrix's graphics were just average.  With such steep system requirements, I expected the graphics to be mind-blowing, but they were on-par with Max Payne.  Recommended system requirements are a 1.2GHz processor, a GeForce 256/Radeon 8500, 256MB RAM, 4.3GB Free space on 7200RPM hard drive, a Sound Blaster Audigy 2, a 4X CD-ROM, and DX9.  My system was an Athlon 2100+, a GeForce4 Ti4600, 512MB DDR RAM, a 7200RPM hard drive, a Sound Blaster Audigy 1, 48X CD-ROM and DX9, and with everything enabled, the game got bogged down.   The more options I had enabled, the more pauses (in the middle of gameplay) I was forced to endure.  This was frustrating because in the middle of a kick/punch combo, the game would pause and throw off my momentum.  There were also problems with the shadow effects.  Not only were shadows cast on walls, they went right through me!  Also, Niobe and Ghost's outfits both weren't displayed correctly.Looking around a corner
    One big plus for Enter the Matrix was the ease of game play.  I didn't have to read a 5000 page manual and program 101 hot keys.  There wasn't much of an aim required to play either.  Just look in the general direction of an enemy and fire to take em down!  Want to see who's around the corner?  Just look around it.  Fighting was a cinch; Only two buttons required.  Driving was a simple matter of hitting the accelerator and steering.  Despite the controls being simple, I did find a few problems with the controls.  You have no control over a grenade.  You just throw the grenade and hope it goes where you want.  When using Focus mode surrounded by railings or on ledges, Niobe and Ghost had uncontrollable urges to somersault over the edge... constantly.  My final complaint is that the hovercraft control is clumsy, at best.
    Enemy AI was decent.  Cops would come diving from behind cover, shoot and go find more cover.  The best display of enemy AI was when I was running away from a swat team and one of the cops chased me down a ladder.  Trapped against a wallWhen driving the car, one cop car would turn sideways in front of me and another would ram me from behind, effectively trapping me against a wall.  Once they had me trapped, their guns blazing, I was dead meat.  Agents were deadly when next to a ledge, they would just toss you over the side.  The problems I noticed with the enemy AI were when a cop would be aiming in another direction and the bullets would take a 90 turn directly out of the gun barrel and head straight for me, and if I shot a cop with a sniper rifle at a distance, they wouldn't respond except to die when I shot them a second time.
    Enter the Matrix's real saving grace was the level of fun.  Focus mode made the game more fun because it makes you powerful and fast enough to take down anyone, with the exception of an agent.  At one point, vampires have you captured and you need to beat them senseless and drive stakes through their heart.  Driving was a blast, dodging and weaving in and out of traffic, down the wrong way of the freeway, and helping Morpheus.  Staking them vamps!Levels were constantly changing.  One scene I would be running from agents, the next I'd be trying to rescue a friend, and the next I'd be trying to escape from a building.  I never knew what was next.  That alone would have kept me from falling asleep, but there were the cutscenes to entertain me too.
    There is almost no replay value in Enter the Matrix.  There are two characters to chose from, but the missions and cutscenes are the same.  Even the fighting moves are the same.  I expected to play the part of Ghost keeping the Agents away in the driving scenes when going through the game with him, but you switch over to Niobe controlling the car.  Why do they even give the option of playing with Ghost or Niobe?  Just to say the game has that additional feature of course!
    Overall, even though Enter the Matrix was fun and easy to play, I have to give it an addiction level of 63.  The lack of multiplayer, the numerous bugs, the hovercraft's clumsy control, the steep system requirements and almost no replay value bring the rating down dramatically from what could have been an outstanding game.

Review by: Guntario


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