I’ve been on quite a Matrix kick as of late. Maybe it’s the whole being confined to my dingy flat for months on end thing, but the idea of plugging my noggin into a new world feels quite appealing. I’ve watched the three movies, and even dipped into the Animatrix.
Given just how influential The Matrix has been, it’s surprising there haven’t been more video game adaptations. It seems like a no-brainer for The Matrix to spin off into video games, but other than an online game and a Max-Payne homage called Enter the Matrix, there’s not been much. But there was 2005’s The Matrix: Path Of Neo.
The Matrix: Path Of Neo is the best Matrix game we have, and to be fair it’s bags of fun. You play through a strange hodge-podge of the plots from the movies and Animatrix, though only from Neo’s point of view. That means cubicle stealth sections, kung fu training and even that bit where Neo fails to leap between two buildings like a right novice.
Then there’s the moment the Wachowskis (or the digital representations of their mental selves, as they’re keen to clarify) appear on screen to explain the game’s upcoming ending. It plays out differently to the movies, better suiting the narrative established over the last few hours of gameplay. In their own words: “the Jesus thing, in a video game is well…lame, really lame”. This new ending features a bunch of agents fusing into a sort of Megazord for you to fight.
You’ll learn to dodge bullets, pummel bad guys with samurai swords and even fly around combat arenas. It’s all a bit trashy, what with cutscenes from the movies awkwardly tying the plot together, but if you like it when Neo does slow-mo flips in floaty black dresses, you’ll find a lot to like here. Sadly, it’s not on your favourite digital storefronts (which is why the top image is a pretty low rez crop of the game’s cover) but you can find it kicking around on sites like Amazon and eBay, if you fancy indulging your nostalgia.