Developer: Shiny |
Publisher: Atari
Players: 1 Player Game |
Genre: Action

Release Date: 11/07/05

Looking back on the past five or so years of gaming, it is rather
difficult to find a reason to get excited about a game based on a hit movie. Most superhero and Disney films see a parallel game hit the shelves about the same time the movie hits theatres, just to make a quick buck while the movie is hot and all over television. And working with that I idea, I have come to my own conclusion that Shiny Entertainment is doing a great thing to take the time to ensure a quality product. The Matrix: Path of Neo will be released very soon, and I think it is safe to say that this one is going to be all about the game.

Now don’t get me wrong, the game is still very closely-related to its
movie counterparts, as it draws inspiration from all the Matrix films
including the Animatrix. In fact, this time around you will actually be controlling Neo through over 48 confirmed levels, that all relate to some scene or area from the movies. The story follows Neo on his path to becoming the “one,” so there is plenty to get excited about if you are a fan of the trilogy. However, it doesn’t end there. Shiny entertainment has put in every effort to make the game an enjoyable experience for those gamers who have standards for their visuals and game play.

The Matrix: Path of Neo is looking fantastic so far. Normal-mapped geometry and stylish atmospheres have the levels looking as real as possible. All the character models are nice and detailed, with smooth animation. This ties in to a nice fighting system, where attacking in a certain direction will, instead of having Neo automatically just face that direction and have a repetitive attack animation, he may swing a limb in that direction or you will actually see the shift of weight in the animation. And that is just icing on the cake, as the combat system has been tested and forged into a very solid piece of game play. It is basically a combo system with a menu of moves to choose from that tie together to create fights you wish you had seen in the movies. Neo starts off in the game similar to how he started in the original Matrix. He doesn’t know much about the Matrix, and has a limited amount of combat
skills. But as the game progresses, you learn more advanced techniques to the point where you can perform nearly every move seen in the films and then some.

Controlling Neo takes place from a third-person perspective. Hopefully the camera system turns out to be as solid as the rest of the game, and we will have nothing to worry about. There weren’t many complaints about the earlier Enter the Matrix release, and Path of Neo looks to be shredding everything the last console Matrix had to offer. Neo will be able to jump and run up and on almost all the geometry, and gains more access to abilities as he “learns the Matrix” throughout the course of the game. It seems like the Wachowski brothers have made sure that nothing gets left out of this game.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is a step in the right direction for any company that has a license for a movie-base game. The anticipation for Matrix: Path of Neo is more attention than other games of this breed will see in all their pre-production throughout their shelf-life. And that is regardless of the fact The Matrix hasn’t seen a theatrical release in quite some time. Definitely setting a good example, we will have the final reviews and thoughts on The Matrix: Path of Neo shortly for you readers out there.

This article appeared in the August 2005 Issue of CVGames. You can view this Issue by clicking here.

By Keith Schaefer – 08/17/05
ESRB Details: Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence

Screenshots for The Matrix: Path of Neo