The Matrix franchise is one of controversial movies that were either largely appreciated by loving fans or criticized by those who didn't like how the story evolved. However, Matrix also came in the form of three separate games that should be remembered for a plethora of reasons.
They all mattered in some way to fans of the Matrix universe, and hopefully more will come some day after the new Matrix movie. The first game to be made was Enter The Matrix, which released in 2003 alongside The Matrix Reloaded movie, revealing new plot details. Then, followed The Matrix: Path of Neo, a game from Shiny Entertainment, released in 2005. The last installment of the series was The Matrix Online, which, despite launching a few months prior to The Matrix: Path of Neo, endured for four years, being an MMO.
Enter The Matrix's story is a peculiar one, and it stems from the direct involvement of the Wachowski sisters. In fact, they pitched the game to Shiny Entertainment way before the first Matrix was released, but Shiny declined, believing the movie would be yet another hacking fiasco. But then, the movie revealed to be a huge hit, and when the Wachowskis asked Shiny once again to make a game on their next movie, it immediately agreed.
The game, however, was set to launch alongside The Matrix Reloaded, and the production schedule was extremely narrow. This shows because the game is not very polished and it was criticized quite harshly when it came out due to bugs, laggy inputs, subpar graphics, and the lack of Neo as the main character. Despite its weak points, the game still sold over 3 million copies worldwide, and it had several innovative elements. For example, it featured a hacking module to unlock other stuff, and it required players to actually navigate to a DOS and prompt real commands into the game.
The game still managed to fill the gaps of the corresponding movie, though, and it gave players the chance to control either Niobe or Ghost throughout the storyline. While their skills seem equal to Neo's in the game, they both remain secondary characters in the movie that never show such a degree of power.
The Matrix: Path of Neo is a game that does exactly what it says on the tin, allowing players to play as Neo and live through the major events of the whole trilogy from his point of view. Nevertheless, this game from Shiny Entertainment changes the story a bit, and it doesn't show some scenes from the movies. It also includes new events that never were in the films, happening in between the story arcs for Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions.
Much like its predecessor, Shiny Entertainment and the Wachowski sisters collaborated on this game as well. The game begins with players playing as Thomas Anderson, deprived of the powers Neo acquires in the movies. These powers are gained gradually, and the game even includes iconic scenes from the movies as its cutscenes.
The changes from the movies are many, and among them, the one that stands out the most is the ending. In the movie trilogy, the story ends with Neo sacrificing his own life when fighting Smith, so as to save Zion and the Matrix. However, The Matrix: Path of Neo makes a point of letting players dominate the fight against Smith, and it even shows a cutscene with the Wachowskis stating how Neo shouldn't sacrifice his life in the game.
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