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Videogames-To-Flix #4


VIDEOGAMES-TO-FLIX is a JoBlo.com column showcasing reviews of videogame translations of Hollywood films (or games soon-to-become Hollywood movies). With both industries getting closer and closer, and videogames, in general, getting so much more popular, you knew it was just a matter of time before we hit that stuff!

The Matrix: Path of Neo


Developer: Shiny Entertainment
Publisher: Atari
Systems: PS2, XBox


The last Matrix-related console game, ENTER THE MATRIX, was so overhyped prior to its release that there was no way it could have stood up to the buzz. What we got was a fairly standard and intermittently creative video game that, while certainly not awful, proved to be a relative disappointment to the movie-turned-game fans. Now that all the hand-wringing and Matrix-centric message board debates have died down, we get THE PATH OF NEO, a game that promises to put you in the shoes of everyone’s favorite leather-clad messiah.


THE PATH OF NEO is basically a long and frequently entertaining series of battles, and nothing more. Those looking for puzzle-type map layouts, or “collect the item” diversions should look elsewhere, because here we get Neo in a chronological series of battles from all three MATRIX flicks. As you move from location to location, your magical matrixal powers will become more amplified, which allows you to unlock certain abilities that you don’t earn throughout the course of the mayhem.

Borrowing much of the battle structure from ENTER THE MATRIX, THE PATH OF NEO allows you to click the right trigger to enjoy some bullet-time butt-kicking, plus there’s an unending variety of combo moves that, honestly, look (and feel) pretty cool…when they’re pulled off correctly. Unfortunately many of the battles can also be won by simply mashing away on the Y, B, and X buttons, which certainly detracts from the strategic side of things.

In between the fights you’ll get tons of video montages from the MATRIX trilogy, but these feel more like time-wasting filler-clips intended to make the game a lengthier experience. Frankly I can’t even tell if there was supposed to be an A to B to C story-line in THE PATH OF NEO, but once you get a few cool combos memorized, there’s some real fun to be had if you’re a fan of the fightin’.

Gameplay: 7.4/10


A mixed bag. The backgrounds and set designs are pretty nifty, plus it’s cool that you can bash pretty much anything into oblivion, but the character designs are rather basic, and, up close, everything gets pretty blocky. A frequently wandering camera adds to some of the confusion, but the game looks flashy enough to enjoy. Certainly nothing revolutionary.

Graphics: 7.1/10


The background tunes are effectively funky, and it does sound pretty cool when you rear back and face-kick Agent Smith into a nearby bureau, but there’s nothing here that’ll melt your speakers.

Audio: 7.0/10


Don’t go in expecting the end-all be-all of MATRIX games, and you’ll probably have a pretty good time. If you enjoy movie-based games in which you’re asked to do nothing more than wander through a series of familiar settings and lay the cyber-smack down on all your favorite Matrix monsters, here’s your chance. But this is only a half-hearted recommendation, and it goes out only to the most ardent MATRIX fanatics. My advice is to give it a weekend rental or pick it up from the Used Games shelf. There’s about 12-14 of worthwhile gameplay in here, but I don’t think it’s worthy of a big-time 50-dollar investment.




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