Each of the three Matrix video games has its own unique appeal. The Matrix Online wasn’t the best MMO, but it championed diverse approaches to MMO narrative and used The Matrix’s digital nature to explain away game design flaws in a way that few other series could. My personal favorite is The Matrix.
Although it’s a very standard third-person PS2 action game, it’s immensely ambitious in how it weaves in and out of the Matrix sequels’ tale, using the movie sets and actors to shoot extra live-action sequences to add to the game’s believability. In many respects, it’s still my favorite movie tie-in game simply because of its scope, and it’s especially exciting to see Enter’s star, Niobe, return in the Resurrections teasers.
Path of Neo is also a lot of fun: Dumb. It’s another PS2-era action game, with all the flaws it entails, but it’s got a lot of energy and a really tongue-in-cheek finish. All three of them appeal to me. The two single-player games are, or at least were at the time, decent 7/10 stuff. The MMO is more difficult to evaluate, but I had a lot of fun with it.
When I consider how far video games have come in the last several decades, I can’t help but think about how ideal many of these improvements would be for more accurately representing The Matrix.
I’m not just talking about graphics, but Unreal’s stunning Matrix-themed UE5 tech demo demonstrates why that world is ripe to be portrayed in games again in terms of technology. But also in terms of game design, the Matrix universe’s conceits and mechanisms need to be explored by current game design.
Prior to the announcement of their new Wonder Woman game at The Game Awards, I joked on Twitter that The Matrix would be the ideal project for Monolith Productions, a subsidiary of Matrix brand owner Warner Bros.
Create a Matrix megacity open world with them and utilize the Middle-Earth ‘Nemesis’ system to monitor your red pill’s interactions with Agents, Exiles, and other Matrix forces.
Except I wasn’t joking: I honestly believe that studio and this franchise would be a great match. I’m glad they’re producing Wonder Woman; Diana, like Batman, deserves an excellent game; yet, I’ll always desire that Matrix game. I sincerely hope Resurrections is a success, even if it’s only to pave the way for a new Matrix game.