DDGC - Path of Neo Highlights

March 01, 2006

Everyone loves to diss Shiny/Atari's Enter the Matrix, but I was one of the 6 million people who bought a copy and played it through to the end. It never pretended to be anything more than a game for non-gamers - people who bought it to watch the then-exclusive footage from The Matrix Reloaded. Therefore, it was easy - easy to do cool Matrix-moves, and easy to get through to watch said footage. I liked it.

That said, I wasn't interested at all in The Matrix Path of Neo. I believed (and later found out to be true) that it would have one or two must-play levels (the scenes from the films) and the rest of it would be slow and dull (based the stuff that wasn't interesting enough to be in the films). But I did eventually play it, some months after its release, when I learnt that the game had a new ending compared to The Matrix Revolutions' ending. As a fan of films, any mention of 'alternative ending' always peaks my interest.

Path of Neo is better than Enter the Matrix, but not by much. Gameplay-wise, it's okay. Not earth-shattering, but enjoyable enough. But there are two specific bits in the game that I must write about, simply because when they happened, I was amazed/intrigued/speechless. It's the same feeling you get when you play any Metal Gear Solid game - a weird combination of, "That's cool!" and, "WTF??!"

  1. The boss fight against Seraph. As Neo, you fight Seraph in the room with the long tables. At a certain point in the fight, both of you go through a wall. On the other side of the wall is a cinema, and you have just made a hole in the movie screen. Guess what movie is playing? The Matrix Reloaded. Guess which scene is playing? The fight between Neo and Seraph. You continue the boss fight in front of the movie screen as a guy in the audience shouts MST3K-esque quips.
  2. The last boss fight. You're fighting Smith on the street with the rain falling and the other Smiths lining the sidewalk (the almost-last scene from The Matrix Revolutions). You defeat Smith. A cutscene plays. Two chairs appear and two 2600-style pixel characters sit down: the Wachowski brothers. A funny conversation follows, where basically they explain that they had to think of a new ending for the game because the movie ending (where Neo "dies") wasn't cool enough for a video game. So what is cool in a video game then? Two words: Mecha Smith. When you defeat Mecha Smith, the credits scroll to the tune of Queen's "We are the Champions" - THIS IS NOT A JOKE.
In the end, I enjoyed Path of Neo in the same way that I enjoyed Enter the Matrix - it wasn't a great game, but experiencing the aforementioned moments was worth it.
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