Saturday, March 12, 2005


The Matrix Online Beta

Got a betatest key mailed to me tonight so I went ahead and downloaded the 5.5 gb or so of The Matrix Online Beta. Some short first impressions - the tutorial is fantastic. There's not yet a lot of options for creating characters but it does look pretty expandable and it's not really too bad it does offer some customization. The tutorial features excellent voice acting from people who played in the movies including Laurence Fishburne.

The game just kind of went way down on the "fun" scale though, after the tutorial was over. The "missions" I did were just kind of "eh" and the 3rd one I was assigned was actually broken. I haven't re-tried mission 3 yet but if it doesn't work again I am not sure how to progress from that point onward since I think it's a mandatory mission. And just randomly killing thugs isn't very exciting.

The combat is supposed to be kung-fu matrix-style but it just isn't very fluid. Animations appear kind of choppy and robotic. Jumping, in particular, looks pretty weird and doesn't "feel right." Gun fights were even more boring. I shoot you. Then i sit there and let you shoot me. Then I shoot you. Bleh. Feels too "turn-based" and that's really why it's not exciting enough. If they had used a real-time fighting engine like found in Tekken or Dead or Alive then it would have been much much cooler. Graphics are pretty decent as far as resolution and detail but the scenery is just pretty blandish.

Oh yah one other thing that irked me is that you have to use a credit card to sign up for the beta. I mean, WTF?

I'll probably play it some more before I decide if it's worth playing or not. If it could capture more feel of the movies like the tutorial does, it would be worth it.

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