Did you Enter the Matrix in 2003?
If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably seen The Matrix Trilogy, but have you seen the secret footage embedded in the 2003 video game, Enter the Matrix?
Few people know that the Wachowskis shot about an entire hour’s worth of additional footage to add to this video game’s story line, an effort that was a first for its time. Enter The Matrix tells a tale that runs parallel to The Matrix Reloaded. Are you ready for some Deja Vu?
The crew of the Logos
The story begins with the crew of the Logos (Niobe, Ghost, and their smart-mouthed operator, Sparks) as they race to acquire a message left in the Matrix by the crew of the Osiris (see “The Final Flight of the Osiris” segment of The Animatrix). Once the Logos’ crew manage to get their hands on the package, they relay back to Zion a frightening message of a giant machine army digging towards the final human city. As a result, Niobe’s crew will have to assist Neo, Morpheus and Trinity while the rest of the Zion fleet mobilizes outside the city to protect it from the imminent machine attack.
In the game, you play as either Ghost or Niobe, and the story will change in small ways based on which character you chose, and which decisions you make. Despite the legacy graphics, Anthony Wong and Jada Pinkett-Smith deliver excellent performances as voice actors, in addition to the live footage the game delivers in between moments of action.
What’s special about the extra footage in the video game?
As a big fan of The Matrix canon, I highly recommend you watch these extra scenes, as they provide a lot of extra details about the build-up to the battle of Zion, Niobe’s relationship with Commander Locke and Ghost’s relationship with Niobe. It’s incredibly rewarding to play through some of the exact same scenes we saw in the Matrix films, but to play through from a new perspective, with a narrative that weaves into the main storyline.
We get to revisit Persephone, for instance, and the Keymaker, as they interact in very important ways with Ghost or Niobe. We also get to revisit Agent Smith as he interacts with humans inside the Matrix, and we relive the fear that he and his fellow agents cause anyone who cross their path. We even get to see what choice words of advice the oracle gives for both Ghost and Niobe. Will Niobe eat the Oracle’s cookies, or have some of her candy? Does she even have a choice?
The noteworthy aspects of Enter The Matrix
I also really enjoyed Sparks’ character, as a much more interesting operator than Link was. While Link never questioned Morpheus and always did as he was told, keeping his fears and thoughts mostly to himself, Sparks constantly is eager to explain why captain Niobe’s decisions are dangerous, reckless, and will surely lead to his untimely demise.
The final thing I want to mention is the orchestral score. It’s just as good as the soundtracks in The Matrix and Reloaded, from Don Davis of course. While some tracks are the same, it occurs to me that the Original Soundtrack for the first and second Matrix movies probably did not include any additional soundtrack work Davis did for the videogame. As such, it’s almost worth it alone just to listen to the soundtrack. But if you want to save yourself some time, you can always simply watch it all on YouTube.
Why you might not have heard of the Enter The Matrix Video Game
For all its excellence, sadly, the game play for Enter the Matrix is what holds it back. It’s laggy, the controls are difficult to work with as are the angles, and ultimately it makes what would be otherwise a great game of sound and storytelling a slog that isn’t fun enough to keep up with unless you’re a die-hard matrix fan.
What are the chances for a Matrix 4 Video Game?
With the Matrix 4 release date getting close, we think Warner Brothers has a real opportunity here to release a new video game for Matrix 4 that is up to par with the times. It would have to fit in somewhere besides the dense, first-person action RPG genre (for obvious reasons), but can you imagine a Matrix video game with the mechanics of the Batman: Arkham Asylum series? By May 2021, we may be willing to take a break from Cyberpunk 2077 to play an 8-12 hour Matrix adventure! Maybe it will be worth the wait.
If you played Enter the Matrix, as I did, way back when, what did you think of it? If not, go watch the cutscenes. Are they a good complement to The Matrix: Reloaded? Let us know in the comments below.