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The Matrix: Path of Neo

As the second Matrix title prepares to launch (the original Enter the Matrix came out three years ago and sold 5 million copies worldwide), I had that opportunity to sit down with Atari and Shiny and play the game.

In this game you play as Neo through what resembles all three movies but has scenes added and scenes deleted. The game is the movies and it isn't. It's an expansion of the movie world. Scenes and situations that were only hinted at in the movie are in the game. The original music score is very good. The Wachowski brothers were deeply involved in the design process. Atari promises a surprise ending.

You start as Thomas Anderson. Actually, that's not true. In an innovative level setting scheme, the game has you start off in the dream lobby and test your skills. A progression of bad guys come after you, from security guards to the riot squad and agents. The game bases the difficulty level on how well you handle this battle. It is from here that you would have to become The One and replay the game to unlock everything that's hidden.

Then you start as Anderson with no skills. It's important to do exactly as Morpheus says because you have no skills. There are different ways to escape the building and the game unravels differently depending on how you meet each challenge. There are six training missions to prep you for combat, and then off you go.

I found the game fun to play, a step up from a button masher. The timing of my attacks seemed at least as important as the attack itself. Attacks can be upgraded over time in RPG fashion. And the story certainly is compelling.

The Matrix: Path of Neo will ship on November 8, 2005 for PS2, Xbox and PC. It it rated T for teen.

You may view the trailer here

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