Thing is, if you don't much like The Matrix films, you probably won't get a kick out of the game. I was gonna get the Xbox version but ended up with a PS2 copy, nonetheless, it's still a very good game, or from what I can gather from playing for a few hours or so. The first level sees you attempting to retrieve a package from... the Post Office. As exciting as it sounds, it's actually a great little level and you really get the chance to get to grips with all the moves. Combat is simple, one button for punch, one for kick, both together for a throw. Press any button with a combination of any direction, and you'll get a different style of punch/kick etc. To be honest, sometimes it feels like pot luck which move you pull off, but it looks very, very cool.
And then there's the Focus button. Oh yes. Hold down L1 and the action slows down, just like bullet-time - run alongside a wall and you'll run up and cartwheel off. Run and push the action button and you'll do an acrobatic cartwheel. More importantly, combine the Focus with an offensive move, and the action swings to the side and you act out a badass martial arts move, complete with swooshing noises. Man it's fun. If you perform a Focus attack on an enemy near a wall or table etc. your character sticks one foot on the surface and leaps into the air, smashing your opponent hard where it hurts. This feels brilliant, right up there with classic gaming moments.
But it's not without flaws. The graphics, at least on the PS2 version, are ropey at best. They're functional, they do the job and they're faithful to the Matrix world (ie. fairly drab and workaday) but they're not brilliant by any means. Likewise the camera, it will occasionally go walkabout in the middle of a multiple-enemy fight, but then almost every game has camera troubles and with something as advanced as this, it was kind of expected. The controls are, on the whole, fine, although I miss having the right stick to strafe, instead I have to settle for the shoulder buttons. The fire button also feels wrong on R1.
But after 5 minutes, you'll forgive the odd flaky polygon and camera shake because this IS the Matrix, it's got MATRIX stamped all over it. From the opening loading screens to the way the characters move and fight, everything screams quality. The music in particular is excellent, and helps build up the awesome atmosphere that envelops the game from the word go. The first level sets the scene very well, with a cool escape plot making you escape from a familiar looking lobby from many mental armed guards. Damn man, it's so cool. If you like your Matrix stuff, I reckon you'll feel right at home here.
So, first impressions - not brilliant, but certainly great fun, and has the potential in later levels to be awesome. The bullet-time is superb, the music stirring and the storyline straight out of the Matrix universe. I reckon I'm onto a winner here.
So I hear.
Shall go and see Matrix on wednesday, and probably again at the weekend too. If it's crap, I'll cry for a week.
> What up Si? Nice to see you back again.
Hello Mr Gray! Hmmm things are going okay thanks, just got a bit of promotion at work, which is nice! What about you and the rest of the gang? How is SR towers? By the way, good work on the E3 news over the last week, reading it reminded me of last year - arrghhh so much news, so little time :-)
So what you think to the Matrix Reloaded then? See it a couple of times, and can't say as it really floated by boat, first one was cool, this one just seemed like an avalanche of ideas (too many in fact) thrown into the Matrix universe. Well, maybe not that simple, but you get what I am saying - maybe!
Hey are you guys (SR) doing something with Espotting, like more than just ad campaigns. Someone has just walked past me, saw the SR page i was looking at, and said something interesting. Although not sure if he was joking!
Cool. Going for a ciggy.
Oh and pass on my condolences to Mr Don! Better luck with the FA cup tomorrow ;-)