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My Thoughts on Enter The Matrix

Chris F

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I'm reposting my post from the HTF here, just in case anyone missed it....


Ok, after about one hour of playtime, here are my experiences and thoughts.


Firstly, my Xbox crashed HARD three times when I first put the game in. One was during a FMV scene, the other two times in-game, but during cutscenes. I shut off my Xbox, and retried, I actually skipped over the cinemas, so I don't know if they'll be a recurring problem, but I was able to play the game finally.


So far it's fun, but underwhelming. The menu screen is straight out of The Matrix. I found it kind of no-frills and simple. Standard menus are Load Game, New Game, Options. Finally there is a Hacking option, that I assume lets you do cheats via a pretty nifty DOS based system. I couldn't do anything with it, but it seems like a cool idea.


You start up a new game, and you get a nice FMV sequence introducing Ghost, Niobe and some operator guy, I don't remember his name. For some reason "Splatz" comes to mind, but I know thats not it. Game then goes into an in-game engine cutscene explaining what you have to do, etc. I won't spoil the story, so I'll just go into graphics, sound, etc. now.


Now, bear in mind I don't have an awesome home theater like some of you, so I can't talk about 5.1 sound, 1080i mode, or whatever.


Graphics are so-so from the levels I've seen. Everything has that greenish tint to it, like the movies which is cool. Texture work is ok I guess. Nothing stands out really. It looks like a game that's been ported to all systems with no features to take advantage of each systems graphical abilities. The characters and enemies look good in game, but the in-game cutscenes look weak at times. They're not detailed enough (faces are good, bodies aren't), and they look kind of disjointed.


Character animation is generally good, but there's some weird transitions between some moves at times, so it looks pretty weak at certain points. The "Focus" aspects (The Matrix slow-mo stuff) is a cool effect, and there are some cool moves you can do a la Max Payne. My favorite move so far is jumping out from behind a wall and gunning people down while in Focus.


The levels seem kind of sparse at times, not Oni kinds of sparse, but you just get the feeling there should be more there. The level design is kind of linear, at least in the parts I saw, and there's this huge Crazy Taxi style arrow that points you in the right direction. The rest of the HUD is minimal, so you get a nice wide view of everything going on and nothing is hidden behind anything.


The camera is downright BAD at certain points. You have no control over it I don't think, and cocasionally it just picks a weird camera angle t play from. It usually resets to something better after a second or two, but it can be annoying.


Control is a mixed bag. It's VERY simple, perhaps too simple. One button for kick one for punch. There were times when I pressed a button, and it did a move that should have been on another button. For instance, I used the Action button and Niobe ended up kicking a guy. I was just running around levels, seeing as how I felt no reason to walk anywhere. You can just run from point to point. I'm not 100% sure there's strafe action, although I didn't pick up the instructions before I played.


Sounds is straight from The Matrix so it's good. All the obligatory Matrix-y sounds - Focus, title screens, etc. are included. The voice acting is well, good I guess. I can't wait to get my 5.1 system for my living room so I can try it out in 5.1.


The story is well, minimal at best so far. I didn't really do anything but follow the green arrow and kick ass for the duration of time I played. It'll be cool to see how the game fits into the movie when it's released this week.


All in all, it's very... Average. The license could be huge if they made a great game out of it, but for now, it's enjoyable at best, especially if you're a Matrix fan. But it's really nothing special. It doesn't suck, but it doesn't kick ass like it should.


I guess thats about it for now. I'll play more tonight, hoping that it doesn't crash on me again. I'll sit through the opening cinemas as well, to see if it does. Maybe it's my Xbox, I don't know. I have been meaning to pick up a new one for my room though.


If you guys want to know anything, jst post your questions in here, and Ill see what I can find out for you.


I just realized I was paying the game on Easy. The arrow is NOT there when playing on normal difficulty

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If you have the Reloaded soundtrack/score album CD, there's actually an infinate ammo cheat in the liner notes for the game. Happy to pass that on if you want to try it...


Nice to finally have a review, even if it does confirm the Box version is really no better than the underwhelming playtest reports of the PS2 release. I'm still planning to get it at the 29.99 pre-order I got it for at Amazon UK... I still expect it to provide at least a bit of fun.


Can you do backflips off of walls?

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I wouldn't say they "screwed" it up. Some parts just seem VERY rushed. Like if they had a year or so more to do it, it would ROCK.


I am enjoying it though, but it's far from perfection.


ANd yeah, you can doo backflips off walls and such. I don't quite know how to do all that stuff yet, but I'm working on it.

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Yes, so long as I get a bit of "I'm in the matrix" type enjoyment out of it, for the price I am paying I doubt I will be overly let down. Hopefully goings on in The Matrix can progress in videogame form in the future, and that in a couple of years they can mabye take the blueprint they have here and improve it and get it just right.


How's hand to hand combat?


Can you run your own music off the Box's hard disc in this game, or are you left with the in game stuff (which I understand is mostly variations on Don Davis' scores for The Matrix and Matrix Reloaded, so thats a-ok with me).

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It's very... Simple.


The moves are kind of cool, but where they got this 4000 moves ro whatever, I don't know. Granted I've only played an hours worth of it, so maybe I've only scratched the surface on the moved Ghost and Niobe can make.


There's really no combat per se, as the minute you whoop on someone, they're pretty much toast. It's not like a fighting game, if thats what you were looking for.


And no, no custom soundtracks. You get music straight from the movie(s). Which in itself, isn't that bad.

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No, I wasn't really looking for a fighting game per say, just a healthy mix of blast em up and hand to hand as delivered evenly in (at least) the first film... There really wasn't much gunplay defined in the first movie, it's just that when there was, there REALLY was (lobby scene) and everyone remembers it... I was more partial to the more physical stuff.



You get music straight from the movie(s). Which in itself, isn't that bad.




Review and answers most appreciated.

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Quick addendums after a few more hours of play:


1. I'm starting to like the game more than when I started.


2. The directional arrow is not there all the time on Normal difficulty level.


3. There IS a strafe function, as well as a lock-on mode.


4. The story has picked up a notch, so I'm getting more into it.


5. The driving scenes seem sort of tacked on, but they're decent.

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I was all hyped about this game until today. Prior to today I totally overlooked the fact that this is a Shiny game. I thought the phenomenal amount of press this game has been getting was just because of the license and because of the supposed budget...now I know better. It's the spawn of David "I promote everything like it's the second coming" Perry.


Now I'm not so sure.

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Now I've grown to like the game even more than when I originally posted my thoughts on it.


I've just figured out how to dodge bullets, strafe/shoot, and a few other cool things.


Do I think it's a great game yet? No - but it's definitely fun, and even more so if you're a Matrix fan I think.


It's getting me jazzed for Reloaded, that's for sure.

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Well, someone brought the PS2 version in today.


Nowhere near as dreadful as some fanboy comments have made it out to be. Combat looks very fun. Definitely has potential and made me want to sit down & play the Xbox version.


That's all I'm going to say on it as I think it's unfair to comment in any depth on a 40 min watch of someone else playing it.

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Just got done playing for about 3 hours straight. I'll say this, the graphics certainly improve when in 1080i!(Yes I bought the Xbox version). Texture quality is still rather low in places but the games character models look really great and the high definition image is very impressive.


The biggest drawback I can noticeably see graphically are the overly plain environments. There are many corridors and areas that look very sparse and others that are rendered with very little detail. Let me clarify however that this is not always the case. The opening lobby where Niobe first begins her mission is modeled nicely and has a nice "sheen/reflection" effect that was immediately pronounced. Later in the game there is a really fantastic chase sequence that has our heroine "focus" jumping from rooftop to rooftop trying to escape an agent. I personally think it looked grand! I must also give a thumbs up to that scene in particular as it perfectly captured the feel of the Matrix for me. The driving sequence has an interesting "assist" mechanic where you can summon "ghost" to ride shotgun and fire at your enemies. These sequences move fast, but again suffer from the lack of detail I mentioned earlier. All is certainly not bad graphically here. Let me emphasize again, the difference between playing this on a regular set or even 480p as compared to 1080i is readily apparent.


In terms of framerate, Enter the Matrix runs very smoothly on the Xbox and I saw no framerate problems on a normal screen or in 480p. There are however some small framerate inconsistencies when the game is running in 1080i. Thankfully these issues are very minor and do not interfere with the game nor would I consider them anywhere near unplayable. In general the game runs at a brisk pace even when put to the test on an HD monitor.


Staying within the graphics arena, the animation is really a mixed bag. The fighting looks really great but simple moves such as climbing a cage or going up a ladder look very disjointed and served to pull me out of the atmosphere the game was trying to create. Furthermore the way in which the main characters run (and other NPC's in general) looks very awkward. Whether they be moving forward or backward, it just looks very stiff. You would think with the work that went into animating the intricate fighting moves they could smooth our these rather small wrinkles but in the end this is a minor complaint.


The gameplay on the other hand is fairly solid and the characters control well. I feel the hand to hand combat could have used some work here and there. Especially in regards to the camera as there were times when I was able to have Niobe/Ghost pull off a really great looking move but the camera was just going so haywire I could not get a good vantage point. This can at times make hand to hand combat a bit frustrating. Also on a good note, it is worth mentioning that the fighting system is very open ended and deceptively simple at first. Once you learn how to use the focus meter along with your hand to hand and weapon skills you will be pulling off some nice looking movie-like sequences.


The games presentation is high quality and the much touted film footage that was shot specifically for this release pulls you right in from the start. The transitions from movie to game happen very nicely and if there is one big compliment I can give Enter the Matrix it is that it very definitely has a great flow. Finally I cannot complete this mini-write up without mentioning Don Davis' wonderful score permeating through every pore that is Enter the Matrix. It simply would not be The Matrix without his themes playing throughout and adding that much more to excitement to every scene you experience.


All that you say and you have yet to find out if I think its fun? Well, Yes I do. The first level starts out quite slow and I was feeling the Matrix blues but once the shootouts and focus attacks began I found myself looking forward to the next fight. The graphics are not phenominal and the game is not the second coming of movie license titles but so far I am finding a lot to like and I'm having a good time. We'll see how the game holds up until the end...


Full review will be done for the Xbox version as soon as the game is completed (which should hopefully be tommorrow).

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I didn't get to play it yet, but I watched people playing it for a bit today (we had it playing on both Interactives at work). It looks alright, but kind of blah and the animations for the most part are horrendously bad, especially the running ones (didn't they MoCap these guys?).


Anyway, the game was selling fairly briskly today (We had roughly 80 Pre-orders total for it). I'll be interested to see how close the XBox version sells with the PS2 one. We actually had a few more Pre-Orders for XB (which is not usual for our store) and probably had a few more walk-ins for it as well.

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I'm enjoying it so far. Graphicaly I think Romier said it all, but I am particularly fond of some of the smooth animation touches. For instance, if you go to tackle a SWAT guy carrying an machine gun, you can spin around, pull the gun out of his hands, spin back around and shoot him. There's lots of really neat little movie-like things like that.


Character animation only seems to get a bit choppy when running, climbing and so on...


The camera is a frustration now and then though, especially if you're fighting more than one enemy at once. It's not awful though, but the game could use a dodge button that the camera should be fixed to so you can move around a bit easier keeping you eye on things.


The thing I wasnt expecting was the addition of dance music. The first shoot out in the post office you end up in, the first time it went from Don Davis' score right into Fluke's Atom Bomb I could not stop smiling as it really made for a brilliant moment fueling me to kick some arse.


First driving level was over quickly and rather poor.


Finally I cannot complete this mini-write up without mentioning Don Davis' wonderful score permeating through every pore that is Enter the Matrix. It simply would not be The Matrix without his themes playing throughout and adding that much more to excitement to every scene you experience.


Yes indeed. First thing I checked in the menu when I first loaded up the game was to boost the music levels to maximum. There's stuff from both Matrix & Matrix Reloaded scores here, as well as some of Juno Reactor's contributions to the Reloaded score. It's a wonderful job, in fact the 5.1 is great. Music bleeds into the surrounds, all the sound effects are indeed truly Matrix.


Definitely flawed, but fun. Thus far, by no means a regretable purchase. Now I must try yet again to fend off that SWAT helicopter at the airport... 


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hi everyone, back again after a week off, to find that the game is out, Dan is able to stand as a candidate to be an MP (happy birthday mate!) and the mighty Atom Bomb is on the soundtrack.


Let me get this straight: They are re-using the theme tune to wipEout 2097, and yet not on the driving sections (like X-Men did). Odd...

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Well, I've completed the game as Ghost and all in all, enjoyable stuff. 


I've just begun playing it as Niobe now, and the level structure is different to Ghost's despite the goals being the same (I'd presume some of the cut scenes differ too pending who you play as). This makes for good reason to go back and play the game again as you experience different things and see different parts of levels and so on. Nice idea and worth playing out if you're enjoying the game.


I think any Matrix fan will enjoy it. It has a number of flaws and is in no way groundbreaking. If you're going to buy it, best try to find it for the cheapest price you can. It's worth the price of a weekends rental thats for sure.


Atom Bomb remained the coolest tune on the game's soundtrack. Sadly it only appeared the couple of times in the post office level (playing as Niobe it's in the same place too). Rob D, Andy Hunter and Juno Reactor contributions to the games music too. The sound is definately one of the best things about the game. A lot of nice surround use for effects and music, and up front things are well seperated. Things are not as great as they could have been for the cut scenes.


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Ok now here is a nice thing, pending who you choose to play as, the game takes you on COMPLETELY different paths sometimes. Whilst the objective in the post office levels is the same, you run around different sections of the level for the most part pending who you are controling.... When you get to the airport, EVERYTHING is different which was great. Because Niobe and Ghost run off to do their opwn thing, whoever you play as will see you carry out their part of the story, its not just re doing the same stuff with the one character.


Niobe's airport levels see you having to chase through the luggage belts and through various hangers beforegetting onto the plane to fight an agent. From Ghost's POV, the airport experience is completely different and is followed by you having to chase down the plane by car as things drop from it. I'm currently toward the end of the sewer sections with Niobe, these levels have sadly been identical no matter who you play as.


Really nice some sections differ so completely though!

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Right, well I've completed it as both characters now. It's worthy of a rental. I feel I got my moneys worth, and will revisit some levels here and there for the fun factor. The 29.99 (uk) I paid for it satisfied me enough despite how flawed and uninspiring the game is as a whole.


There are some fun things to be had, the concept was ambitious but a bit rushed and questionably executed in places. If they can take the foundations set out here, and improve things ten fold should there be another Matrix themed game in a couple of years, then they could have a good thing.


Not worth it if all you want are the cut scenes. I am sure they've been ripped form the PC version and stuck online somewhere. Matrix fans will get some fun out of it on the whole though I think. I don't get the sense the developer was milking a franchise, but they definately rushed to get it out and I can think of little good excuse as to why it looks so bloody average.


*** out of *****



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