(Atari/Shiny, May 15, 2003)

Let's face the facts here:
The Matrix Reloaded was easily one of the biggest movies of 2003 and it was also one of the most anticipated sequels ever since a lot of people liked the first flick. It would seem only natural that a movie about a bunch of hackers trying to fight through a highly advance computer program would get its own video game, eh? So here we have this Enter the Matrix video game, a game that was released on the same day as the Matrix Reloaded movie. Since this is the first ever Matrix video game to finally to come to the console market here, this is no ordinary 'cash in on the movie' type of game. In this action game you don't play as the main character Neo but one of two new heroes. So is this Matrix game going to be the next generation of gaming or did they screw up another promising franchise like the old Atari did with that awful
E.T. 2600 game nearly 20 years ago? I'll be the judge of that.

Enter the Matrix is actually an interesting side story to the Matrix films because you play as the movie's supporting casts characters Captain Noibe (played by Will Smith's wife) and Ghost (some Asian dude). It would have been cool if you play as Neo (Keenu Reeves's character of course) instead since the real star of the Matrix but at least you're getting something new, I guess. You must guide either Niobe or Ghost through the Matrix on various missions to save others and solve some of the mysteries of this dangerous programs that enslaves humans.

If the Matrix movies are known for anything, it would be for their stellar and original visual punch. Who can forget the freaky slow motion effects when some of those bullets were flying around or the awesome lightning quick fight scenes, uh? The game still has a lot of that craziness when you use the character's special. The only time you see any of the really cool movie-like moves is during the in game intermissions when everything is already planned. The rest of the in game character animations are smooth at one moment like when somebody is running around and then chuncky and disjointed the next when someone is either climbing a fence or even fighting. Enter the Matrix even has problems with the music and sound effects too. One minute you'll be hearing intense rock music during a big fight or nothing special at all like going in an empty hallway for example. The voices are well done though done and they are by the real actors too which was a nice touch.

Enter the Matrix had received an unbelievable amount of hype for it's big Spring 2003 release. I even remember seeing in some of the ads for the game, they made the stupid statement of: "The History of the Video Game is just that: History!" This type of wording disturbed me in particular because this is pretty much saying that we should forget about gaming greatest legends like the
Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy VII, Pitfall, and so many more better games, just so that we can play this buggy, side story of some weird Sci-Fi movie. Is that what the new Atari wants us to believe? Although the game gives the player some brief background on the sometimes overly confusing movie story lines here you still won't fully understand this unusual universe after it is all said and done. Don't forget the game itself has some very substandard driving and flying scenes, an extremely limited fighting system, and the game is almost too forgiving for its own good. ETM is a good enough game to satisfy those Matrix fanatics but as a video game itself this title is nothing too ground breaking at all and maybe the Walcosisk Brothers should stick with movies instead or play some more Super Mario.



overall rating: 43/100

Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 or 2 players
Rated (T) for Teen

graphics: 4/10
sound: 6/10
gameplay: 5/10
replay: 6/10

(Ryan Genno) 2007

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