The Matrix: Path of Neo is a video game for the PC, PlayStation 2 and Xbox, released in late 2005. The game was developed by Shiny Entertainment with creative input from the Wachowskis. Both parties previously worked with each other to develop the less well-received Enter the Matrix game.
Changes from the Film
"Path of Neo" follows many major events of the movie trilogy, but in the need for more expansive gameplay, new adventures that occur between the movies The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded were added on.
- The player begins the game in a dream sequence of Neo's first meeting with Morpheus where the player is given the in-game choice to take the Blue Pill or the Red Pill.
- If the Red Pill is taken, the player is taken to a dream version of the lobby where a series of enemies appear to challenge Neo, from a basic police guard, SWAT forces, an Agent, a Vampire Exile, and Agent Smith. If the player is able to beat Smith, they are allowed to choose the highest difficulty (The One) or the lower difficulties. Failure gives only the Easy and Medium skill options.
- If the Blue Pill is taken, however, Morpheus will express his disappointment as Neo awakens from the dream, presumably at the start of the film. The game then returns the player to the level select screen.
- When the Agents arrive at MetaCortex to detain Neo (Thomas A. Anderson), the player is given an option to escape the Agents using Morpheus' original plan told to the character in The Matrix: Get to a scaffold and to the top of the building. The original plan continues as Neo heads down the central fire stairway, including a brief meeting with Agent Smith, and through a warehouse where Trinity awaits on her motorcycle. The player unlocks a secret if they escape successfully as planned by Morpheus, but if they are caught by the Agents or the security force, the player is given the option to restart the level from a checkpoint or continue the game by "going into the custody of the Agents", forfeiting the bonus. However, if caught too early, such as in the office cubicles, the player will only get the ability to restart, and they will be unable to go into custody.
- Players get to view and participate in much of Neo's training in the Construct. The training concludes with Neo fighting Morpheus in the dojo simulation as well as a running test to maximize the player's use of the focus ability. The building jump is not included in the game.
- Neo is separated from the group in the Lafayette Hotel and must navigate through the hotel as the Agents periodically add or remove entrances and walls to obstruct his way back to the escaping group.
- Players enjoy both the "lobby scene" fight as well as an extended rooftop fight, where Neo must bring down an attack helicopter while fighting off Agent Jones who keeps respawning through enemy SWAT members. After Trinity appropriates the helicopter, the player gets full access to the Gatling gun and must fight off another chopper and many soldiers and Agents who attack from within and atop the building.
- After Neo's fight with Smith in the subway station, the player plays out an extended escape sequence from the Matrix. In this new sequence, Neo must go to a different train station to escape but is surrounded by soldiers and SWAT led by Smith, who jumps into a different body each time he is run over by a train. When Neo boards one of the passing trains, he ends up going into a glitched version of the airport. Here, Neo must board a subway train run by old and corrupted code, and go through an elaborate stop sequence to escape the corrupted train. After Neo gets off the train, the game once again parallels Neo's escape as depicted in the film.
- When Neo resurrects as the One, Agents Brown, Jones, and Smith provide an extended fight.
- The player is involved in a series of rescues of Potentials, fighting various enemies. Neo visits the backdoors of the Matrix as well as Club Hel during this time.
- Events involving Neo in The Animatrix are not recalled or recreated in this part of the game.
The Matrix Reloaded
- Neo's encounter with the upgraded Agents is extended (and less easy than how Neo makes it appear in The Matrix Reloaded). Neo also fights off a small group of SWAT forces before leaving.
- Neo must rescue the various hovercraft captains who are escaping to their exits after their group meeting.
- When Neo goes to visit the Oracle, an extended fight between Neo and Seraph takes place to the point of breaking the fourth wall when both of them fight in front of a theater screen showing the same fight.
- Neo's fight in the Chateau is replicated, but Neo has an extended adventure within the surrealistic mansion of the Merovingian (including a section with elements of M.C. Escher's famous Staircase painting), who tosses many monsters at him as well as several puzzles to escape his lair. The adventure there ends in what may be the toughest battle: A fight with the Witch, an Exile with similar powers to Neo as well as high damage resistance.
- Neo's flight to save Morpheus and the Keymaker at the 101 Freeway after the fight in the Chateau is not recreated in the part of the game.
- The mission to enter the Source with the Keymaker is extended, where Neo, Morpheus and the Keymaker are accosted by Smith clones as they make their way to the final exit over three areas: a different layout of the Source which is almost totally overrun by the Smiths, a large church, and a recreation of the U.S. Senate courtroom while an anti-video game hearing is currently in session (another sequence in which the fourth wall is broken).
The Matrix Revolutions
- Unlike in Enter the Matrix which featured a stage containing a flight in a real-world ship, Neo and Trinity's flight in the Logos to the Machine City are not reproduced in the game.
- Two sequences, the flight to save Trinity and Neo's adventure in the Mobil Service Station, are not recreated in the game.
- The confrontation between Neo and Bane is slightly different, with Neo grabbing the lightning rifle after Bane uses it to fire across before the fight in which Neo himself gets blinded and discovers the powers as the One.
- The game changes the central ending of the movie trilogy as shown in The Matrix Revolutions. Instead of the sacrificial death of Neo at the hands of Smith that saves Zion, the Matrix and the Machines, the player is empowered to dominate the final fight between Neo and Smith (as opposed to the film, where Smith overpowers Neo). Before the player makes the final blow, the game suddenly switches to a brief cutscene where the Wachowskis (residually self-imaged as Atari 2600 game sprites) congratulate the player and speak their mind on how the game should be ended without Neo sacrificing himself. The game culminates with Neo's fight with a gigantic construct of Smith built from the buildings of the Mega City: the MegaSmith. As Neo flies in the game and smashes into the gargantuan Smith-construct in scenes reminiscent of an episode of "Superman." The Smiths then overload and die and, in a scene from the movie, The Kid is shown celebrating Neo's victory, with "We are the Champions" playing in the background.
Critics noted that Path of Neo probably won't interest anyone that isn't already a fan of The Matrix, but enthusiasts of the franchise would enjoy the game. Complaints regarding the game's "compromised graphics" and reputation regarding glitches however are common .