Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
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The Matrix: Path Of Neo - PC
I will start by naming a glitch that happened before the game even began. In a recent press release, developers stated "Where Neo failed, you can succeed", but in the manual it states "Where Neo succeeded, you must succeed". - Silly mistakes like this are what makes up the game itself. Sure, its pretty poetic, but contradictions and unfulfilled promises happen all too often for this to be a PC worthy game.
The game is basically made up of the following: The movie's plot, random extra plots, removal of some actual plot, and then some plot that just makes no sense. They tried to make it a movie based game with something extra, but failed terribly.
The controls, for instance, could have been so much simpler. Its hard to describe how much of an urge you can get to set fire to the game, screaming "control that, demon-game!!". But customisation of controls will do nicely for the moment. They are truly complicated.
The graphics, well, I have to admit, are an occasional distraction from the poor storyline. Its a good thing the developers managed to create an engine that can simulate the 100's of Agent Smith copies, or this game would have no redeeming value whatsoever. Things like the movie cut-scenes clue you in to the occasionally confusing story, bringing you up to speed with the game (providing you've seen the movies).
The sad thing is, the Machowski Brothers approved a terribly flawed game in "Enter the Matrix", and here is pretty much the same thing, just different characters. It would be so much better if you could choose your own destiny around every corner, but no, the word "Path" means just that: a narrow road to your pre-determined destination. If you die? Restart from checkpoint. If you fail to save your woman? You don't get to go on a rampage of revenge, you just have to restart and try again.
I'm trying to find the good in this game, I really am. The only thing I could possibly think of that is remotely a redeeming feature is the re-enaction of the battle scenes from the movies, and the awesome moves you can perform (given adequate button-bashing). Other than that, there's not much.
Camera angles are another issue. Back in the days of Ps1, even then they had an option to control the camera in case it was in a bad position. But not with Path of Neo, no. Cameras get stuck in walls, not focused on the right enemy, and can cause some serious frustration. And, as I stated before, the battle sequences require a lot of button bashing, almost enough to make you want to buy a gamepad. You COULD buy a gamepad, if it supported one. But no, developers didn't think of that either, and when I plugged my gamepad in, the Game recognised the buttons as "Mouse Wheel", which didn't help much.
To conclude, if you are a die-hard Neo fan, then you may get some enjoyment from controlling Keanu's every move. But if you are NOT a Neo fan, then run. Fast.
Good battles, cool moves.
Clipping issues, camera issues, lots of bugs, tutorial levels can't be skipped (last for a long, long time.)
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