A slight case of style over substance, methinks. To any hot-blooded young man the chance to play as a rebel in the matrix, doing funky kung fu and dodging bullets, is simply irresistible, and this game recreates it well. You can’t play as Neo or Morpheus, except in two player mode, but you do get to fight Trinity, who is surprisingly easy to beat. You choose from either Morpheus’ ex, Niobe, or her Zen sidekick Ghost. Guess who I played as? Rather than recreating the film, it provides a separate and complimentary storyline with additional scenes filmed. All very well and good, but divorced from the story line, and without Keanu, the whole thing just ends up looking a bit naff and Babylon 5. Also, some bits are shoe horned in a bit, like having to save the key master, then him just getting captured again so he can be rescued by the proper crew. Still, it gives the game an automatic headstart over most out there.
And it really does need it, because after the initial ‘I am so cool, look at the way I just kicked that guy in the head! Bow down to my power!’ you start to realise how little you’re actually controlling the wee man on the screen. It really is a case of press this button and you’ll do a fantastically impressive move. Likewise, some moments are only fun because they’re Matrix-y. Running away from a legion of Agent Smiths is about the coolest thing ever, until you realise it’s just a case of going through it memorising which doors work and which don’t. Some sections are easy enough to get through first time without even trying and other parts are difficult merely because it’s not clear what you’re supposed to do. In one section I kept on dying merely because I was using the wrong control method. Plus, despite my cynical generation Y detachment, I did feel slightly uncomfortable playing an entire level where all you have to do is kill policemen.
Despite all this, it’s a good meaty game. It does have quite a few fun bits, you get a variety of gameplay, and there’s a lot in there. And, kicking people in slow motion is always good fun.