The Matrix: Path of Neo - Xbox

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Also for: PC, PS2
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Shiny Soft. Co.: Warner Brothers
Publishers: Atari (GB)
Released: 11 Nov 2005 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+, BBFC 15
No Accessories: No Accessories


The Matrix. For many of the more nerdily inclined among us it was the biggest thing since Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Retailers of tight black t-shirts around the world rejoiced, and makers of long leather trenchcoats and many-buckled boots were no less jubilant. They weren’t the only happy ones though, as videogame publishers everywhere took no time to notice that the hit film’s imaginative universe and shared demographic made it perfect fodder for a game cash-in.

As keen gamers themselves, creators the Wachowski brothers were keen for the project to go ahead, and the first product on this union of merchandising was Enter The Matrix, an adventure game with a plot running concurrently with the second Matrix film. The game’s indulgent bullet time, kung fu and arsenal made it popular with fans of the film, though it was less warmly received by critics. Second up was an MMORPG, the Matrix Online, which deserves credit if only because it must be the most ingeniously ironic game ever created: a game where people play in a meaningless, virtual world, based on a story in which mankind are imprisoned in a meaningless, virtual world. Priceless.

With a little more time to think about it, Atari and developers Shiny entertainment have realised where they have been going wrong. The Matrix was a phenomenon because it flattered the geek within all of us: the idea that an apparently marginalised and irrelevant individual could in fact hold the key to the emancipation and righteous Renaissance of mankind is a very attractive one. Neo in the Matrix films is even more central a character than the most heroic of protagonists. A game of a film about one man saving the world should, by rights, let you play as that ‘One’.

That’s exactly what you get to do in Path of Neo. Play as Neo himself, from the moment Morpheus recruits you to the time you can truly be called ‘The One’. That’s right, all the way through the entire trilogy. The game makes full use of the assets used in the creation of the movies, with new moves as choreographed by Yuen Woo Ping, extra footage from the cutting from floor, new music, characters and locations, and all-new cut scenes directed by the Wachowski brothers themselves. All this and gameplay that not only allows you to dodge bullets and run up walls, but also fly, perform telekinesis, and see the virtually constructed world as Neo sees it.

Let’s face it, if you’re a hardcore fan you’ll buy this anyway, but if you’re just considering it, this is the Matrix game to end all Matrix games and what it’s predecessors should have been.