Friday, February 21, 2003

Enter the Maddening Torrent of Lies

Normally, I'm all hot and bothered when it comes to any Matrix goodies, but I've been lamenting this next one for some time.

Enter the Matrix is the videogame that we never got with the first Matrix movie, because Warner Bros. didn't have any faith in the movie, and expected it to flop. Besides proving beyond a doubt that Warner Bros. doesn't know anything about making movies, it means that we get an extra-large dose of Matrix-related merchandise this time around. So, besides Animatrix, there's this video game that's supposed to use some of the new characters we'll see in Reloaded.

The only problem with it is that the Wachowski Bros. asked Shiny to do it. Yes, these are the guys who once brought you the wonderful game Earthworm Jim. They're also the egomaniac bastards who have lied about every single game they've come out with since.

In MDK, Dave Perry (the head egomaniac, no really, go look at his bio. It's on the site. On the front god-damned page that takes almost a minute to load on a T1 line, and forces itself into full-screen mode) claimed months before the release date that you could "go anywhere you wanted to" in the game, and "take out your enemies in a variety of fashions. For instance, you can take the guy out from a sniper shot, or you can work your way up through the building and kill him up close." Well, as it turns out, you could go anywhere you wanted, so long as it was within the ten foot wide path that they laid out for you to run down, and yes, you could take out the guy with a shot from the sniper rifle, or you could take a different guy out by going through a building and taking him out up close. But the point was that you had zero leeway in how you played the game. You either played it by their script, or you were doing something else other than sitting at your computer playing their game, because there was one way to get things done in that game, and that was their way. It was no GTA3, that's for damn sure.

Then, in Messiah, they touted a graphics engine that would put everything else out at the time to shame. They didn't. I recalled them giving examples of how to solve problems, such as "at one point, you have to possess a guy and have him walk through the fire, so he dies and you don't." Basically, he just described the only way to get through the fire. It's not like there was an alternate route. That was it. He wasn't expressing your options in game; he was giving you a sneak-peek at the hint guide for solving his terribly linear game.

So, you can imagine my chagrin when the Wachowski Bros. selected Shiny over Hideo Kajima (the man who created the Metal Gear franchise). Here's an excerpt from the press-release marketing copy over at Amazon:

Players will see, only after playing the game, that their actions in the game can actually have an effect on the movie The Matrix Reloaded

The problem lies in the wording: "...their actions can actually have an effect on the movie..."

This implies that it's possible that my actions might also not effect the movie, or that they can. When in reality, they will do neither. We now know from Shiny's track record that the game will play like a god-damned train on rails, and we will have zero options as to the final outcome of the game. There will be no alternate endings. There will be no options or decisions to make in the game. Every once in awhile we'll be given the option to throw a punch versus a kick, but I highly doubt that anything I do will effect a movie that's presently almost finished and sitting in the can.

Yes, I'm going to pre-order it, because the Wachowski Bros. worked on it, but I don't have a lot of faith in Dave Perry's "vision" as a game creator anymore.

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