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It’s Time for a New Matrix Video Game

The technology — and techniques — now exist to make it truly possible

The city featured in The Matrix Awakens, an Unreal Engine 5 demo. Source: Epic Games.

Enter the Matrix

Back in the early 2000s, The Matrix sequels launched in tandem with a range of complementary media, which included The Animatrix (a collection of loosely-related short films based in The Matrix universe), three games (Enter the Matrix, The Matrix Online, and The Matrix: Path of Neo), and a range of comic books. While this deluge of content provided sustenance for hungry fans, I’d argue that much of it is unnecessary to appreciate the trilogy (although The Second Renaissance — a pair of shorts from The Animatrix — are probably required viewing to more thoroughly understand the broader story, especially some key aspects of The Matrix Resurrections).

The Game Within the Movie Within the Set Within the Movie Within the Matrix

If you haven’t yet seen The Matrix Resurrections, I won’t spoil it for you here. But I do want to call upon one specific scene, which has already been featured in trailers.

The Matrix Resurrections. Source: Warner Bros.
The Matrix Awakens. Source: Epic Games.

Behind the Mirror

The Matrix Awakens demonstrates that it’s feasible — really for the first time — to operate a Matrix within your PS5, Xbox Series, or PC. Yes, we’ve seen big open worlds before and several of them have been mighty impressive. But we’ve never seen a simulation of this realism and this magnitude, with the ability to fold the space between macro and micro perspectives within an instant.

It’s time to jack in on next-gen consoles. Source: The Matrix Resurrections via Warner Bros.

Jack in and Escape

In a recent interview with The Verge, Keanu Reeves said it’s “ridiculous” that there isn’t a new Matrix game in the works. I tend to agree. In my lifetime, The Matrix franchise has shifted from contemporary cultural phenomenon to bonafide sci-fi classic. And — maybe I’m stretching here — but even the controversial second and third films seem to be enjoying the respect and curiosity they have always deserved (I’ve never understood loving the first movie but not the sequels — in my mind, that’s like licking off the icing and throwing away the cake). The Matrix Resurrections left me initially confused about whether or not I liked its radically different focus. But I can feel it growing on me in the days since I saw it. Like all great art, it begs for multiple viewings, conversations, and exploration. You might have fallen in love with it straight away, but for me it’s ageing like wine: it grows richer with each sip.



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