Matrix game pushes the limits of the electronic spectacleThe Wachowski brothers have proved that there is more to them than artistic genius. With “The Matrix Reloaded,” the co-directors of the revolutionary “Matrix” films have not only catalyzed the way movies are made but how they are marketed. First, they released the nine-episode animation compilation “The Animatrix” on DVD. Second, the brothers developed “Enter the Matrix,” a game that is the only one of its caliber.
Gamers assume the role of either Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) or Ghost (Anthony Wong). Along with their operator, Sparks (Lachy Hulme), they comprise the crew of the hovercraft Logos.
Staying true to the idea of tying the film, the animated series and the game into an intricate knot, the story line of “Enter the Matrix” picks up where “Final Flight of the Osiris” (one of the Animatrix episodes) leaves off. Your first mission is to retrieve a package that the crew of the Osiris placed in a postbox.
Scenes from “Reloaded” keep surfacing, played from different perspectives. For instance, the hall of doors that Neo enters appears throughout the story, as well as Merovingian’s chateau and the highway chase debacle. Players even visit the Oracle (Mary Alice) a few times at crucial points in the plot.
Of course, the most stunning aspects of the game are its special features. Represented by a meter on the right side of the screen, “focus,” or “bullet-time,” can be activated for certain periods of time, transforming your character into a walking weapon of mass destruction. Ghost and Niobe perform every trick in the cinematic stunt book with incredible proficiency. Plus, a nearly full-length movie accompanies the game, rendering “Enter the Matrix” into a film in its own right.
In fact, the game’s only drawback is that it can only be played once as Niobe and once as Ghost.
Enter the Matrix
Platform:PC, Xbox, Playstation 2, GameCube
Rating: * * * *
by Phil Chang