Path of Neo leads to stores

Atari's latest game based on <i>The Matrix</i> movie trilogy ships for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation 2.

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The Matrix: Path of Neo
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When Enter the Matrix was released in 2003, it appeared to be a coup. The game arrived in stores as The Matrix Reloaded, the second in Larry and Andy Wachowski's sci-fi film trilogy, debuted in theaters. Designed with the brother-writer-directors' input, the game bridged the storyline between Reloaded and its sequel The Matrix Revolutions--and was seen by many as breaking new ground in movie-game syngergy.

Though Enter the Matrix would go on to sell more than 2.5 million copies, it was a critical failure. It helped widen an anti-Matrix backlash fueled by filmgoers' disappointment with Reloaded and Revolutions, which saw similarly mediocre reviews and financial success. Said backlash was also partly responsible for the fate of The Matrix Online, which was sold off by Warner Bros. Interactive due to a lack of interest. (Atari was not involved in the making of the game.)

Despite these events, Atari pressed on with development of a new Matrix game. Today, that game, The Matrix: The Path of Neo, shipped for the PC, Xbox, and PlayStation 2. Rated T for Teen, it retails for $49.99 across all platforms.

As with Enter the Matrix, Path of Neo is being developed by Shiny Entertainment under the auspices of the Wachowskis. However, instead of having a mostly original plot, it will let gamers play as the reluctant hero, Neo, through events spanning all three films in the series. Characters will have the voices and likenesses of the film's original stars, including Keanu Reeves (Neo), Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus), Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity), and Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith).

Path of Neo will also include original story elements created specifically for the game. Furthermore, it features reworked gameplay, including light role-playing elements and an intricate melee combat system incorporating many martial arts moves. As with Enter the Matrix, players will be able to use a "bullet time" feature to slow down the chaos of combat.

Come back soon for GameSpot's review of The Matrix: Path of Neo, or jack in to our previous coverage for more details.

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