It is definitely ahead of its time in lighting, effects, and animation, but Atari may have taken it a little too far this time
The Matrix: Path of Neo is obviously based on the film trilogy The Matrix and is a spin-off of The Matrix that was released in 2003. Naturally, the first thing everyone will want to know: is it better? Yes, far better. It plays better and looks better. Path of Neo is much more technologically advanced than most other games even try to be, but then again, in this new generation of games and consoles that is what was expected. It is definitely ahead of its time in lighting, effects, and animation, but Atari may have taken it a little too far this time.
Neo will have more work to do this time
You can kick some agent ass with combinations of only fast fists, feet, and swords
There aren’t many characters, but strangely enough, there are still loads to do. For example, when Neo is trying to escape from agents, before all he had to do was run from one room to another before jumping out a window. It’s not quite that simple this time around. Neo, sorry buddy, but you’re going to have to work a little harder. Now the escape route is more like: tight-rope walk across a ledge, escape both agents and cops on the street, maneuver through a construction zone, sprint down a flight of stairs, and finally speed away with Trinity.
The training levels in Path of Neo have received so much hype, but they really aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. They are actually helpful in learning the fighting techniques and getting used to the controls and the way Neo moves, but they have a tendency to be slow moving, slower than the entire rest of the game. They don’t set the stage for the rest of the game and players shouldn’t expect it to be anything like these training levels. There are six of these levels and none of them cause the excitement that most beginning stages of action games do. They just don’t do justice to the game.
Perhaps the slow beginning is what makes the rest of the game such an awesome experience. Once you have made it past those stages things really start to speed up. One of the most notable features in Path of Neo is the intricacies of its combat system. There are tons of moves borrowed from all over the place that players are able to execute here. At first the system and movements seem unstable (partly due to the extensive animations) but after you get the feel of the controller and the game things pick up. Once you have gotten comfortable with the way Neo moves and fights there is really no limit to what you can do. You can kick some agent ass with combinations of only fast fists, feet, and swords.
The “Focus” gives Neo the ability to perform even more spectacular moves
The “Focus” gives Neo the ability to perform even more spectacular moves, if that’s possible. When these powers are put together with your kicks and punches, swords and hatchets, and a couple of explosives, the outcome is an insane fighting ability that will leave agents with their heads spinning. One other cool thing about the combat in Path of Neo is the fact that everything surrounding you can be destroyed, not just the agents. While it isn’t constructive and you don’t get anything for it, its just plain fun to blow up useless items likes boxes, furniture, and statues.
The “climb” feature in Path of Neo is another interesting feature that is guaranteed to keep you on your toes throughout the game. For every power that Neo gets, the game stays a step ahead of you. For example, you may learn how to dodge bullets in one level then in the next there are overloads of guns.
In between all these actions there are stages of puzzles to figure out making for some interesting albeit pointless game play. For example, one section will have you balancing on top of a little pole in the middle of a big fire. There’s even a helicopter shooting game and escape mission. Some of these puzzles take a while to figure out and once completed, they have no point. They bring no value to the game at all.
One thing that deserves the discussion is the cut scenes in Path of Neo. Scenes from the Matrix films are included here, and the way they are cut and arranged in between levels are very confusing. Even after watching them repeatedly they don’t make much sense at all. If you’ve never seen the movies you might as well not even try to understand, you’re better off just playing the game and forgetting about the story line.
The most noticeable and biggest problem lies in the graphics. Path of Neo is chock full of graphic tricks that are out of this world like depth, light blooming, and normal mapping. Sounds like heaven in a game, right? Wrong. Because there is so much going on at once the frame rate is slowed down tremendously. There are times that you’ll be in the middle of doing something, whether it is fighting or some other kind of trick and your controller will be ahead of Neo because the screen hasn’t caught up yet. It gets pretty annoying.
Matrix fans alike will be lining up to try their hand at taking on hundreds of agents in the shoes of Mr. Anderson
THE MATRIX: PATH OF NEO VERDICT
The Matrix: Path of Neo features all of the memorable scenes from the film trilogy, a nice long adventure, and some good fighting and combat with some of the best and craziest moves ever. The only thing is, when looking at the overall picture, it seems like there are way too many special effects, various game play types, and movie scenes thrown in all at once. Regardless of this, both gamers and Matrix fans alike will be lining up to try their hand at taking on hundreds of agents in the shoes of Mr. Anderson.
TOP GAME MOMENT
Be surrounded by agents and pulling out a series of crazy punches, kicks, and sword action to kick the agents ass and speed away with Trinity.