Mundane-ness Of The Real

I just finished playing Enter The Matrix. Again [previously it was on Benedict’s PS2] and this time I finished it with both charcters. I also unlocked most of the hacking feature’s secrets. Speaking of the hacking feature, I thought I was stupid to not be able to access anything, when I realised that stupid “console” doesn’t allow you to change the prompt to other drives or folders. Well, how was I supposed to know that? That’s not very MS-DOS like was it? Can you imagine running a program on a certain RAM: drive when the prompt looks like: A:\>? It’s not very logical but that’s how it works in the Matrix. lol.

Anyway, the last time I played the game, I enjoyed myself immensely. I mean, especially the fighting levels. Nothing comes close to the exhilaration of kicking an Agent off a crashing plane! Or handing Seraph some of his own behind. lol. But [after] buying the PC version, I read the Gamespot reviews, and they were pretty shocking to me. I mean, c’mon, I know it doesn’t have the best textures or most innovative gameplay, but it was INTEGRAL to the Reloaded storyline, and besides how many games allow you to kick more…behinds better with fists than with guns. I still remember only learning the essentials of gunplay for the first time [and this was during the PS2 stint] at the 5th level [and there are only 7 [main] levels, each with many stages] cos I was having too much fun with hand-to-hand fighting. I know kung-fu. Woah!

Anyway, personally I’d give the game a decent 7.5. It’s short; only about 10hours [for BOTH characters] [but any longer, it’ have come across as padded]. The graphics weren’t exactly mind-blowing but it was more than adequate to have a coherent game. The engine did what it had to. And with the official patch, I experienced NONE of the slowdowns, or handling issues or crashes or even audio syncing problems. True enough, Max Payne implemented the Bullet-time feature more impressively than Enter The Matrix, but ETM’s version of slow-mo is consistent with the movies. It’s an act of concentration on the player’s part, not a benevolent gift by the programmer. The only impession I got consistetly during the gunplay was that of being an angry gun-god, showering lead onto disbelieving pagans. Especially so, when you swoop down from a higher place, in slow-mo, pre-emptively and all are dead before you land, and you’re collecting ammo even as they still slump into their final death positions. Ah. I am one with the Matrix.

Perhaps the biggest public gripe was that you couldn’t play as Neo. But Neo’s in the movie. How can you have a background crew story with the main character? We’ll leave that to Path Of Neo, [which I tried briefly on another friend’s PS2, and can safely say is too ambitious for a relatively minimal offering].

My only peeve was that I couldn’t manage to unlock the sword! Why?? Darn. The console just didn’t register that command. To a lesser extent was the fact that not all the special moves were listed, so the first time you see it done is a fluke, and unfortunately may also be the last time you see it. That said, I suppose it’s also cool in way, when you suddenly realise you’re actually capable of that, mid-battle, and it really turns the tide.

Regardless, my favourite part of the entire game was the part where there was no melee or gunplay, simply because there was no time. That’s right. The running-from-Smith levels were a real pain, and they were truly scary. The tension really mounts when there are at least 2 or 3 Smiths running after you, firing such low calibre handguns but dishing out maximum damage! And these Agents really do dodge bullets, so that’s pretty cool to see. I didn’t mind wasting Focus or ammo even though I knew the firepower wouldn’t do much ANY damage. During the well-placed chase scenes, [seriously, if you’re thinking of picking up this game, Niobe has more action-packed sequences IMHO], it’s really scary when you hear the civilian-morphing-to-Agent sound behind you, or worse still, in front of you! When you’re being chased by Smith, he’s everywhere. Every turn, there’s one. And when you see them running parallel to you on the next building, get hit by the two shotting at you from behind, and suddenly one more leaps from the other side onto your roof, you’ll wish focusing made you run faster. [Hmm that IS a bit strange, why can’t you run faster when you’re focusing?]

The only levels that failed to impress were the Niobe driving levels. Even as Ghost, you still get to have some fun blowing up cars or Sentinels, but as Niobe, the driving can be too hard or too easy depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you just want to meet the goal objectives, just drive without crashing. If you want to ensure minimal opposing forces are following you, good luck!

Overall, ETM rocked.

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Hell yeah!

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