Friday, November 22, 2013

The Matrix Retrospectived: Enter The Matrix (2003)

In addition to The Animatrix, The Matrix sequels had a video game tie in as well.  And no, this wasn't some generic LJN type thing, this was the real deal.  This had the actors from the movie in a plot with scenes written and directed by the Wachowskis.  It was a pretty big deal.  The story didn't follow Neo, Morpheus, Trinity and the gang though.  It followed the exploits of Niobe and Ghost aboard the Logos.  When playing for the first time after seeing The Matrix Reloaded, one can go "Ohhhh, so THAT'S where Jada Pinkett-Smith's scenes went!"  She was a big casting announcement for this movie back in 2002 and when you see the film you're left kinda like "That was it?" with her.  But come the video game, she gets far more meat to chew on.

The game starts before Reloaded and ends a little bit after it.  This links up where Final Flight Of The Osiris leaves off.  Niobe and her crew member Ghost go after the package left for them from the Osiris, which is in turn the purpose of the big "secret meeting" at the beginning of Reloaded.  In addition to this, they also save Axel, giving us more screen time of Saw and Insidious alum Leigh Whannel, instead of him just shown injured and dying in the film.  A lot of this game is taking place on the side and away from our main characters.  We are given more on Zion and an effort to build more Commander Lock and Niobe's relationship.  And while I buy it more because of this from his side, she is still leaving me with nothing to buy into her involvement.
I don't find everything all nice and dandy with these cutscenes however.  It's super cool that they are from the actual shoot of the movie and done by the Wachowskis, but a lot of the times they prove of lesser nobility.  Yes I'm aware its a game.  However, there is some really weak and at times atrociously bad dialogue.  The acting is also a couple notches down.  Some of the people we didn't get to hear talk in the film might've been better left that way.  There is also a lot of repetitive dialogue, action bits and themes from the movie.  We get stuff like more Persephone begging for a kiss and Seraph talking about learning about someone through fighting.  There's also a super video game-y part where two of the Merovingian's goons (who are TERRIBLE actors) nab the Keymaker's key for Neo and take off with it.  Its pretty damn embarrassing and some that's only there to add a level to the game.
Gloria Foster passed before being able to shoot Revolutions and also didn't shoot any of the video game sequences.  So the new Oracle is introduced here and her appearance explained.  So, if you were every bugged by that, it's here.  Also getting some face time is Roy Jones Jr.  He's been granted some more dialogue and a fight sequence.

All in all, the scenes, depth and extensions here are all superfluous and just kinda expanded universe/easter egg type material.  It all amounts to jack and shit, to be blunt.  I'm not saying its not neat, i think a majority of it is because I'm a Matrix fan, but I also can see that is totally unnecessary and quite inferior to everything else regarding The Matrix.  I give them props for the effort, but the execution could have been better and meant a little more.  Some of this could have gone into to the film and not been held back for an inferior piece that not everyone is going to venture to.
I remember the gameplay being a blast.  I'm a fighting game button mashing fiend and this was right up my alley.  The coolest thing was that they worked in bullet time.  That was an awesome feature to use and abuse and pretty much the only thing this game had to offer from a gameplay perspective.  I really can't recall much more than that.  And as a gamer my years are well behind me.  I wanted to include this because I think it is an important part of the series as it did have the series creators heavily involved.  I recommend playing it AFTER seeing The Matrix Reloaded however as some of the stuff here could weaken things in the movie.  Its especially important to see something done GOOD first before seeing the inferior counterpart.  I understand the game was release first, but it goes on during the movie and goes past its story too.  That's spoiler territory for me.  No thanks.  So yeah, wait til after you see the movie.  If this game is still around and people are interested in playin it lol.  You CAN however find the cut scenes online with ease if you're perusing YouTube.  There's like an hour of them (yeah, pretty cool).  Anywho, that's Enter The Matrix.

Next Time: number 9...number 9...number 9...number 9

No comments:

Post a Comment