Shiny's The Matrix: Path of Neo is set to erupt across PC, Xbox and PS2 and - spot the big clue in the title - allows players to closely mirror the transformation of Thomas Anderson into first Neo and then the One, with key moments from the movie trilogy lovingly recreated, allowing you to re-write Matrix history and triumph where even Keanu failed.
Fighting. Check. Slow motion. Check. There be guns, lots of guns, martial arts, melee combat and all your favourite characters including Morpheus, Niobe and of course the delectable Trinity with a character/combat development system for Neo featuring to boot. Plus, there's Director's Cuts of the original movie trilogy footage in place and stuff from The Animatrix to round off the package.
Here's what Shiny's Dave Perry has to say about the game... And a few other things...
How do you feel about Enter the Matrix now and how it was received by the press at the time?
Dave Perry: I'm feeling pretty good. It was Number #1 all over the world. My team worked hard on it, met tough deadlines and delivered games on consoles we had never worked on before. Would we change anything? Absolutely, and you will see many changes as a result of that in our new game The Path of Neo.
What did you learn from Enter the Matrix which had fed into Path of Neo?
Dave Perry: Firstly that people wanted to be Neo! PLEASE!!! You can stop writing to me now!!! The Neo game will be here soon!!! After the last game, we realized we had far too few people making the game, so instead of one programmer doing destruction and audio, we now have an entire audio team and entire destruction team. Now we have some really noisy, incredibly destructive environments!
Tell us a little about how Path of Neo will play out and the major moves forward?
Dave Perry: The twist to the Path of Neo is that while you are indeed Neo, you don't have to get captured or lose a fight when Keanu Reeves did in the movie. A great thing about working with the [movie] directors is that they happily added a lot of new content. I would guess that 50% of Path of Neo is all new content... New places, new characters, new situations. One level even has five new Animatrix style episodes in it! Another major feature is the new fighting system, it allows you to blend together multiple fighting systems (like guns, swords, sticks, poles, acrobatics, special powers, bullet time etc.) It's most like David Jaffe's game "God of War" which had a great system for unlocking combos. So far, the people that play it seem to really like this system. It's definitely taking care of the more hardcore gamers this time, it's also got a compete RPG system allowing you to upgrade your Neo the way you want.
Is Shiny considering any other film properties to bring to games?
Dave Perry: Yes, all the time. But right now, to be honest I do prefer working with the directors instead of just buying a logo. I tried that in the past with The Terminator and that was no fun at all. The directors helped out on Disney's Aladdin (back in the old days) and with Enter the Matrix. Both those projects were much more interesting, and both broke new ground because of their involvement.
Have you considered the likes of Yuen Wo Ping to work alongside your game designers to create interesting scenarios that maximize the gaming medium, while offering a cinematic experience far less generic than others have provided previously?
Dave Perry: Indeed, I agree with you, Master Wo was indeed an amazing guy to work with. I saw him in action on the set for Matrix: Reloaded, and he makes a profound visual difference to any fighting moves he gets involved in. So yes he would be a killer partner for videogames.