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The Matrix Online


JoeyN
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I watched the preview from the dvd this morning. The game looks like Enter the matrix. The game sounds intresting though. keeping the matrix story going, new missions, being able to interact and work for movie charectors. Hopefully its pretty good. may give it a shot

 

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I have to say that I have my doubts this game will see light of day. Ubi recently bailed out on publishing the title and little has been heard on it considering they are shooting for a 2004 release. Mind you I have no basis for saying this but I feel its success was directly tied into the success of the Matrix sequels (perception not financial) and considering the beating the sequels have taken I just have the feeling its not right time to release this (and more importantly I think Warner will also fall into this line of thinking eventually).

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They're not hurting over there at Monolith

 

I never thought they were. Monolith is a strong studio with some excellent talent and they make great games (NOLF, NOLF2, AVP2). With that said I still don't feel this game will have any impact in the overcrowded MMO market. For better or worse I think the critical slamming of the Matrix sequels and public perception of the license in general will inevitably hurt The Matrix Online, not too mention that the game looks terribly generic to me at the moment.

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I, for one, am interested in the game. While I thought the shots from the preview looked a little bland, I like the idea of continuing the Matrix story online. Of course, I am one of the people that actually enjoyed both sequels (although not as much as the first) and am still pretty excited about the Matrix universe in general. If this does see the light of day, I will probably play it for at least the inevtiable "free" period.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...

Some news on the Matrix Online front from Gamespot:

 

http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/10/29/news_6111900.html

 

To that end, and in the spirit of "capturing the authenticity of the Matrix films", gamers can expect the likenesses and voices of most of the trilogy's cast to surface in the game: Lawrence Fishburne appears as Morpheus, Monica Bellucci as Persephone, Mary Alice as The Oracle, Lambert Wilson as The Merovingian, Harold Perrineau Jr. as Link, Harry Lennix as Locke, Nona Gaye as Zee, Collin Chou as Seraph, and Tanveer Atwal as Sati.

 

The more exciting news however is:

 

In addition to pulling from the Matrix trilogy's acting ranks, Warner also snared Don Davis, who composed all three films' scores, to compose the music for the game.

 

 

There had better be an OST available.

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  • 3 months later...

Well thanks to my Fileplanet account I got access to the Matrix Beta. It was originally just a stress test but the developers have decided to give all stress testers full access to the beta until the game ships. I'm installing right now and will be trying the game out tommorrow more than likely. My hopes are not high as I've never been terribly interested in what I've seen of the game. Of course I could always be pleasantly suprised. ;)

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I'm a tad too tired to throw up a full on blow by blow of my play time as I spent a majority of my evening with Guild Wars (which is far exceeding my expectations thus far despite some issues) but the short and skinny of it is that the Matrix Online is not something I'd consider buying nor would I play it if someone gave it to me.

 

Monolith definitely tried to put the license to good use but it all comes tumbling down the more you play. The initial impression is good as the character creation follows Link (voiced by Harold Perrineau) through the real world trying to find your incubation pod and rescue you. You have to help him pin down your appearance, attributes and name. Once he locates you, you will arrive at the construct (which is the all white room with the two couches and the TV) where you will be offered the blue pill or the red pill by the captain of the ship that rescued you. I haven't taken the blue pill to see what happens but the red pill will start your character as "awakened". I'd imagine if you take the blue pill you will be in the Matrix unaware of your real life standing.

 

After creating your avatar you run through a quick tutorial area that tries to explain the game mechanics to you but the fighting system remains overly complicated at first and to be honest with you, ends up feeling really crappy even when you do get a handle on it. All of the canned animations look terrible and it's just really uninteresting. If you do this type of game based on this specific license the fighting needs to feel as though it's taken right from movie, regardless of whether you are in full real time control or not (which you are not in this game, it's all turn based and decided by random number generation). In reality it's all very generic kung-fu type action and the gun play is even more uninteresting as it continues the type of turn based affair that has a number dictate whether you land your shot regardless of the range. It just doesn't feel right.

 

Once you get out of the tutorial area you are greeted by a message from Morpheus (voiced by Laurence Fishbourne) and then you are off to get your groove on in the "matrix" city. First of all, the game performance is less than optimal. I tried several resolutions and detail settings and even at the "highest framerate" option there would be fits of terrible framerate slowdown (not internet lag). Make sure to disable aniti-aliasing as for some odd reason this is turned on by default. If you come upon a large group of players, be ready for some serious hiccuping. This could be system dependant of course but I've run Guild Wars, Half Life 2 and Doom 3 at higher resolutions and at more detailed settings with no trouble at all. (I'm running a 3.06gig P4 with an ATI 9800pro and 768mb of ram)

 

There are other MMO's on the market who's performance can be less than satisfactory even on high range machines but in those cases (Star Wars Galaxies, Everquest 2 etc.) the engines used are certainly worth it. These games for the most part look stunning. The Matrix Online looks anything but. The screenshots you have seen of the game....don't lie. The words "bland" and "generic" come to mind yet again. There is a decent amount of detail in terms of texture quality but everything just looks identical and lacks any of the grandiosity that makes you want to explore these types of games. Also, character models look pretty good with some nice facial features but thier animation is terribly stiff and rigid (much like the combat).

 

There are a bunch of different statistics to play around with on your character including combat skills and "code" specialties. You can eventually acquire the "hyper-jump" ability (I saw one player pull the move off when I got to the rooftop of one building and "whoah" wasn't my response.) as well as several other skills. One of the main goals of the game is to outfit your character with better clothing that you can buy from merchants (along with the aformentioned skills). There is a nice large variety to choose from. Judging by the different vendors I spoke too and the merchandise I samples, it looks like this is one thing the game got very right. Lots of leather, cool glasses, fancy suits and more!

 

You can do a couple of things in the Matrix once you arrive. (As an aside, once you physically enter the world the game starts out with all of the environments, NPC's and player characters in green matrix code. The effect comes off kind of neat but it ends up looking a bit too much like a bunch of static green lines instead of the "moving" code you are used to from the films.) You can take on random thugs that creep along the street to gain experience and what not or you can call your operator to get a new mission. Missions are automatically updated to your map and a waypoint is set which is very easy to follow. Anyone that has played City of Heroes/Star Wars Galaxies etc. will be right at home here. I've played through about four missions and they are your typical meet this person, take this item here, kill 13 of these guys etc. The execution is not bad overall, and the proceedings might be compelling if it weren't for the feeling that you are just playing some generic MMO instead of feeling as though you are IN the Matrix. That may sounds harsh but even in flawed games like Star Wars Galaxies, when you ran across the dunes of Tattoine or explored Naboo for the first time, you felt as though you were in that world. Maybe it's just because the Matrix is nothing but an urban environment but MxO just doesn't hit the mark in the atmosphere department.

 

There's a bunch more I could talk about but suffice it to say I couldn't see myself playing this. The beta will more than likely be uninstalled from my machine soon. Also I wanted to say that I realize this is a beta and final judgement should never be made until launch but that day is only a mere month away. When you have power house titles like City of Heroes, World of Warcraft and Guild Wars on thier way or already sitting on store shelves that do everything this game is trying to do but just happen to do it so much better......well, you get the point.

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Figures..Seems to go along with the other reviews I've seen.

This could be system dependant of course but I've run Guild Wars, Half Life 2 and Doom 3 at higher resolutions and at more detailed settings with no trouble at all.

I wonder how high you can push EQ2 up to then. I know Kelly is having a hard time with it.

. When you have power house titles like City of Heroes, World of Warcraft and Guild Wars on thier way or already sitting on store shelves that do everything this game is trying to do but just happen to do it so much better......well, you get the point

I would also add EQ2 to that list. Plenty of good choices to play right now in the MMORPG level.

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I wonder how high you can push EQ2 up to then.

 

I've played EQ2 plenty during it's beta period and I ran the game just fine with pretty high settings. You just have to spend a good deal of time configuring the game for your system (there are just an enormous amount of graphics options). Only time things ever got a bit choppy was during my time in the larger cities and that is a common occurrence in the game as it is.

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You know Kelley, I just hopped on to test that and you are right. Selecting the blue pill gives a "Disconnected from the Matrix" error and pops you back out to the desktop.

 

I forgot to mention the games soundtrack by Don Davis which is about the best part of the game. Alot of the central themes in the previous Matrix films make thier way into this game along with some new cues that are pretty enjoyable. Overall the music is bit less sparse and more atmospheric than the soundtracks in the feature films but it's good stuff nonetheless. Hopefully an OST is released.

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  • 3 months later...

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