The Matrix online

User Rating: 8.8 | The Matrix Online PC
The Matrix is famous for its spectacular action sequences and its distinct sense of style. But it's also notorious for burying all that silver-screen excitement under a heavy-handed parable filled with overt biblical references and assorted philosophical agendas. Either way, the movies' premise--artificially intelligent machines have incarcerated humankind in a virtual prison resembling our everyday lives, whose rules can be bent and broken by will alone--makes for a compelling setting for a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Sure enough, the Matrix Online has a lot of original ideas that are clearly inspired by concepts from the movies it's based on. Granted, it's not that different from the many other games of its kind, since it's characterized by the same sort of time-consuming and generally repetitive gameplay that's conventional to the genre. It's also beset with glitches and an overall lack of polish, above and beyond what's par for the course in a style of gaming in which rough edges are to be expected. It's not that this is a game that only hardcore Matrix fans would enjoy (since they certainly might not), it's that it takes the same sort of person who can appreciate the entire movie trilogy in spite of its flaws to appreciate this game. It's got some very good qualities, but you'll need to wade through a lot of potential frustrations to enjoy them.

The Matrix Online takes place in the Matrix itself (a place also known as the Metro World) after the conclusion of The Matrix Revolutions, during a time of an uneasy truce between the machines and the humans. A third group called the exiles, comprising self-aware humanlike programs that have appropriated the Matrix as their home, further complicates matters. Amid all this, you play as a newly awakened "redpill"--a human freed from servitude to the machines and made conscious of the state of the real world and the nature of the Matrix. You'll initially begin your journey in the service of Zion, the last bastion of humankind on Earth, who'll help train you to survive and thrive in The Matrix. But, soon enough, you'll have the option of choosing to align yourself with any of the three organizations vying for priority in the Matrix.

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