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No. of Recommendations: 17
I've started the game and was thinking of writing a review but ... well, let me write a mini-review just for you. This is not the X-box version but the PC version, though. Skip the first paragraph about installing it if you want.

The install was ugly and long. There are 4 CDs filled with lots of small files (smaller files copy slower than larger ones) and the static screens just don't hold you attention while waiting for the chance to insert the next disc. I played Snood on my Palm while waiting and also cleaned my apartment a bit. After the install finished, it said my DirectX was fine and didn't need no be updated. That was a lie. Trying to load the game generated DLL errors. After some fiddling I decided to install the DirectX off the CD, upgrading my system to version 9, and the game started without errors after a reboot.

The movies are a bit too compressed and have large compression artifacts. Not too bad for a game, I just expected more with this game. Also, the direction and acting are forced and somewhat silly. Fine for a game, though, just awful for a movie. What I really mean to say, do not get this game if you expect to see more of the Matrix movie. The game movies are cheap knock-offs of the theatrical release and it shows.

The game itself is like Max Payne if Max Payne sucked. I played as the asian dude and he runs really fast everywhere; no walking for him! The levels have thus far consisted of running along a set path through a maze of offices or warehouses or rooftops and beating up on cops that materialize sometimes out of thin air. If the game thinks you are stuck, because you are exploring a level for instance, it will give you pop-up hints about what to do next. There is no thinking involved in this game at all.

There is also no skill in the game. Fighting so far has worked best by me going into "focus" mode (like Max Payne's bullet-time) and hitting the punch and/or kick buttons repeatedly. The asian avatar will do nifty combos and maybe even throw someone but I really haven't bothered to find out how to do specific combos because it hasn't mattered. On a few occasions, the camera angle completely obscured both my character and the guy I was beating up but by hitting the punch and kick buttons at random I won the fight against multiple opponents easily. If you have a gun, it works the same way except you can do that neat roundhouse kick.

Say you fight some guys and end up injured or out of "focus". Oh no! the game might become challenging. Never fear, just stand around for a half a minute and your life and focus automatically re-generate. Don't even get me started on the level where I was shooting while the black girl (the other character you can play as, she gets different missions or something) drove into walls. I shot up some cars but it didn't seem to matter. The level ended and I went on with the game.

I'm finally stuck in the game. Not for any real reason, just because I cannot select a grenade from my inventory to throw the %^&$#%*! thing. I've followed the rules but it doesn't work. Nothing seems to let me throw the stupid grenade. I figure it will be fixed in a patch. I don't know if I care.

Finally, the graphics and sound. I really don't care too much about those aspects of a game but this game manages to fail even there. The textures don't always mesh well, with some textures flashing and reversing at random. Lowering the resolution helped by making the mistakes less obvious. The sound and music is more repetitive than I would like and it made no use of directional sound; no need for EAX or headphones or a 5.1 surround sound system.

This might be a great console game though. No install problems, the movies will look fine at TV resolution, no thinking or skill required, lots of pointless cut-scenes, the low-resolution graphics might be more acceptable, and the useless sound will work fine from a mono or stereo television. The game was addictive in its simplicity because it drives you from one level to the next so you just keep playing on. I wanted to see what was next and there were no frustrating points (until the grenade thing).

I found it better than Unreal 2, which I quickly grew to hate, but worse than Splinter Cell, which I kind of liked.

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