Martyrs and video games

Larry & Andy Wachowski say that although the concept of sacrifice in a movie wrt the main character is admirable, in a video game, that too a video game adaptation, it’s supposedly lame.

Well, message to you venrable film-makers and horrible game-makers, having a few thousand identical enemies suddenly pile up along with random automobiles and chunks of skyscrapers to form some gigantic “Smith-zilla” shall we say, is even LAMER!!

Talk about hardcore gaming. Just completed Path of Neo, in ONE DAY!! Infinite focus goes a long way. My reactions are so mixed I can’t make up my mind if I like the game at all or not.

Graphics are pretty adequate, around the same quality as Enter the Matrix for the character models [if a teeny weeny bit more high res]. The environment textures however are gorgeous. What the engine did wrong was to allow tweaking of the level of detail to only be governed by ONE slider in the options menu. So there’s no way to beautifully optimise the game such that it perfectly complements what your hardware can handle. Moreover, everything’s too shiny and reflective. Even matte surfaces like tweed coats and wooden floors in a warehouse.

The sound is actually good. From the vaguely discomforting title screen piece to the cool electronic pieces in some levels which I don’t think I heard in the movies’ soundtracks. But it’s all mostly electronic so the taste is acquired. Voice acting was actually very impressive for the most part. Although only Lawrence Fishburne reprised his role as Morpheus, the other voice actors did a great job, especially with Neo and Smith. Whoah.

I hate to say this, but I thought the gamepaly was downright horr….wait. Actually it wasn’t that abd. I actually had a lot of un playing the game. Although the movies redefined the intelligent action movie genre, no cerebral input is required to play the game. That’s good and bad. The whole concept was to create a game for brawling and showing off kung fu, and it’s successful in that aspect. The moves all look cool, are easy to pull off and very smoothly animated. Considering you have 2 attack buttons, one jump and one evade button, and one button to slow down time [focus], the number of moves and combos you can pull off is just amazing. In fact, I believe it’s very possible to get through the entire game without using guns at all [except once during your training].

Ah guns. Here’s the bad part. The controls are horrible. If you’re going to play this game on a PC without a gamepad, don’t bother. It’s too jerky and too slow. The only problem with any gamepad in this game is, the buttons are automatically assigned, so you can’t use the buttons you’re really comfortable with. And if keyboard controls in general sucked [cos there were way too many keys for fast & furious gameplay], then gun-toting in the game is generally a pain in the arse. A combination of an abysmal camera, inconvenient controls [one shoulder button to draw guns and keep them drawn, and one to fire with; even ETM did a better job with the weapons handling.

The biggest problem in the entire game is the camera. It’s awful. It always points in the direction where there are no enemies.
and if you actually take the time to rotate the camera, the enemies have moved on offscreen by then. Why the makers couldn’t just set it to follow faithfully behind Neo from a slight distance away I don’t know. Anything preset would’ve been better than a rotatable camera with a retarded mind of its own. As a result, gunfights tend to suffer the most, which is sad, cos one can see that Shiny has tried to integrate guns and melee as tightly as Devil May Cry.

Having said that, I must be fair and say when and if camera troubles are hindering you, one can actually enjoy Path of Neo and have loads of fun kicking Agents’ behinds.

Overall I enjoyed Path of Neo but I admit, I only bought it so I could boast I have the complete Matrix collection. This game’s bugs are LEGENDARY. If you asked me, I had more fun with ETM as a Matrix game, than Path Of Neo. But Path Of Neo clearly has more martial arts eye candy for the mainstream audiecne so I can see why this might be more popular than ETM.


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