Enter the Matrix
With E3 behind us now would be a good time to see what's under our noses rather than squinting off into the distance. I've been playing Enter the Matrix for the PC over the past few days and while it's been underwhelming for the most part it has had its bright spots.
Playing through the game gives you some interesting insights into movie with extended footage playing between missions. The video quality is good and we see some great characters (like the keymaker) before Neo does in the film. If nothing else, renting Enter the Matrix would be worth while for the extra movie content.
The game play took a good long time to grow on me. While the hand to hand fighting is enjoyable and the focus "bullet time" system works well enough there are a few things that hurt the experience. The first few levels are very open and very, very bland. We're talking three years ago empty. The gun-play is fun, especially when you're swinging out from behind a wall you're hugging to take some shots at the bad guys. Unfortunately, this is a console game which means that auto aiming is the order of the day.
The car chases have to be the worst I've ever encountered in any game. Playing as Ghost in one escape mission (you can be Niobe or Ghost) you're stuck being the passenger of the car and forced to watch as Niobe slams into polls for no apparent reason and then backs up about 30 yards only to go plowing into the poll again. Beating this level has more to do with luck than it does with any skill. Pathetic.
When you do get to drive you will find that the car handles like it's floating on air rather than grounded with real tires. Very touchy controls and the slightest hump or bump will send you flying into the air. If there is a cheat code to skip levels I wouldn't hesitate to use it.
Go out and rent Enter the Matrix for the cool combat and extra movie footage but don't expect too much from it. Things do improve later in the game with some much nicer level designs and graphics so don't give up if you do get it. There is enough goodness here that I will probably play through again with Niobe once I finish up the game with Ghost but only once I get some codes to skip the damn car chases!