The Matrix: Path of Neo Xbox Review

May 30, 2010 by Simon Wigham  
Filed under Retro Content, Retro Reviews, Xbox

Enter the Matrix was a moderately good game where you could do just about everything that you had witnessed in the movies, everything apart from play as Neo, which was a major flaw specifically for the fans of the trilogy, what with him being the lead character and all. Even worse was the fact that you didn’t even get to play as characters of great importance, instead taking the role of either Ghost or Niobe, who’d you be forgiven for being unfamiliar with as the two (especially Ghost) weren’t exactly significant personalities in the movies.

Thankfully The Matrix: Path of Neo has rectified this, finally allowing us to play as the messiah like Neo in all of the major action scenes from all three films, though thankfully you don’t have to participate in oodles of nonsensical jabbering that makes next to no sense to the average person. It’s just a pity you can’t play as Morpeous and Trinity too, we know, we’re never satisfied!

Be it the memorable lobby scene, the grand battle with hundreds of Agent Smiths or the gravity defying climatic battle with the dastardly Agent Smith, all of the major scenes are there to participate in. Some of these are perfect recreations of scenes in the movies, whilst others are less so. For instance the lobby section is decent fun, but for reasons we’ll delve in to later on in this review, it simply isn’t the highpoint of the game it so easily should have been. On the other hand the skirmish with masses of Smiths is fantastic, mindless fun if a little hampered by slowdown, which can at times really impede the timing of your attacks.

For such a mass market friendly game, the combat system is surprisingly deep, though if you so wish, mashing the buttons like some sort of madman can also work wonders but the more discerning gamer will probably explore the combat to its full potential, for instance upper cutting bad guys in to the heavens and whilst they’re still in the sky following up with a dizzying array of attacks that can include anything from simple punch’s and kicks to brutal ground slams, glorious!

The guns don’t manage to ever reach the satisfaction level of the melee combat as in truth the mechanics are flawed and this is the very reason why scenes such as the lobby scene are so disappointing. The game features an auto targeting system and this manages to be more of a hindrance than a help as the reticule has a tendency to remain on the corpses of enemies, requiring you-whilst living enemies fill you full of lead- to manually switch targets. Unless you’re some sort of gun nut or you really need some firepower for your current situation, it’s hard to see why anyone would bother with these when there’s a much more refined melee combat system on offer.

So a great fighting game then, although not a very strong shooting game, which is unfortunate as this could have been the perfect companion for fans of both of these genres. This aside, The Matrix: Path of Neo is recommended to fans of dedicated fighting games along with Matrix aficionados who want to play out their favourite scenes from the movies; mercifully this includes nothing else but intense action and doesn’t include ridiculous yawn inducing speeches. Though not without its fair share of problems, Path of Neo is still a marked improvement over the enjoyable, but flawed Enter the Matrix.

7/10

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