Released in time to coincide with The Matrix Reloaded, Enter the Matrix actually takes place during the same time frame as the movie. Choosing from Morpheus' female counterpart Niobe or 'spiritual martial arts warrior' Ghost, you must help prevent the machines that have ravaged Earth from destroying what few 'real' humans remain on the planet. Naturally, once you're jacked in you'll have access to thousands of authentically choreographed martial arts manoeuvres and, of course, guns. Lots of guns. You'll also experience high-speed driving action and pilot a hovership through the Sentinel infested tunnels of earth's subterranea. Do you want to find out just how deep the rabbit hole goes?
Unlike typical film tie-ins, Enter the Matrix has had creative input from many of the films' key players, both in front of and behind the camera. Jada Pinkett-Smith and Anthony Wong, who play Niobe and Ghost respectively, reprised their roles from the film for both the specially filmed extra hour of live footage and all of the in-game action. Using revolutionary body capturing techniques, the two actors have been recreated to an almost eerie level of detail. And, although you don't get to play as them, Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) all make appearances as the storyline - which actually dips in and out of The Matrix Reloaded - progresses.
Behind the scenes, directors the Wachowski brothers wrote a complete side story to run concurrently the second film in the trilogy and also provided a guidance for the game's direction, both in terms of visuals and gameplay. Fight choreographer Yuen-Wo Ping oversaw the motion capture of literally thousands of fighting moves. Even the set designers contributed to the 'sets' in the game.
You'll spend most of your time cracking Agent skulls (as well as a mysterious vampiric menace) in the game's fast-paced, on-foot action-adventuring sections, using your 'Focus' to activate the infamous 'bullet time' effect and slow your enemies' attacks down to a snail's pace. Occasionally, however, you'll get to jump behind the wheel of various automobiles and engage in thrilling driving sections that are reminiscent of Reloaded's stunning highway chase scene. Back in the real world, you'll have to help protect Zion, the last city of man, from the mechanical-tentacled threat of the Sentinels, piloting the Logos through miles of disused tunnels and blasting the 'droids with the heavy firepower at your disposal.
The simple fact is that Enter the Matrix isn't just a video game set in the film's universe - it's a highly integral part of the multimedia Matrix experience that the Wachowskis aimed to create. Not only do events from the game spill into Reloaded's action, but the film also converges with ETM. If you haven't seen one or played the other, you'll never be able to see the full picture. Which makes it a great relief to find that Enter the Matrix is a hugely playable and highly polished title with amazing production values that isn't so much the game of the movie as it is the game within the movie. The best film tie-in to date? We'll leave that up to you to decide...
- 1,000s of combat techniques, choreographed by Yuen-Wo Ping
- Play as two characters, each with differing abilities and individual story branches
- Over an hour of live footage filmed especially for the game
- 'Hack' into your console
- Meet all of the leading characters from the movies - Neo, Trinity and Morpheus