Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. 65
    By hiring a live events team of twenty or so digital actors and writers to plan events and step into the shoes of the familiar main characters they've been providing opportunities for player involvment in unique plot developments on a surprisingly regular basis, with interesting things happening every few days.
  2. Sadly, there is also much the game gets wrong; the bugs, the lack of variety in missions and environments, the flawed interlocked combat system - too much to simply look past and while fans may be more forgiving with these problems, others may find them too much to bear.
  3. It isn’t finished for a start: while the game functions, there are way too many bugs, and they often hinder your progress whilst running missions. It’s been a just over a month since MxO’s release and it appears that Monolith are still struggling to get it running smoothly. "There’s a glitch in the Matrix" indeed.
  4. It’s marred by a lethargic combat system, slow level grinding and general lack of polish. My hope is that they will improve it in future patches and expansions but I’m not holding my breath.
  5. Unfortunately the gameplay experience also feels fabricated. Glitches and slowdown expose this "matrix" for what it really is: a shoddy attempt at an MMORPG.
  6. It feels like The Matrix Online was released six months too early, with an avalanche of bugs and glitches (inaccessible revolving doors, crap camera, malfunctioning mission goals), compounded by poor presentation and somewhat repetitive gameplay and locales.
  7. A fairly standard MMORPG that may be too little too late. [Aug 2005, p.80]
  8. The big problem is the dark and sparsely populated environment. The feel is more akin to running through a Shadowrun RPG than the Matrix.
  9. Lacks both substance and style when compared to other online world games like "World of Warcraft" and "Everquest II." Even the fan factor won't keep you coming back.
  10. Even if the surface mistakes were removed, its problems are so fundamental to its design that it's hard to imagine it transcending into a serious competitor for the big boys.
  11. Not only is this an amazing game, as far as games and MMOG’s go, but it is also a unique storytelling experiment. One that has never been attempted before and one that I am extremely excited to be taking part in.
  12. As one of those perhaps misguided fans, I find myself returning to the game repeatedly, if only to see what happens next. [June 2005, p.134]
  13. I like the idea of affecting a story experienced by thousands. Problem is, not all of us can afford six hours a day to earn that right.
  14. 70
    Even if the missions are lousy and the combat sucks, there's undeniable appeal in bumping into a real-world actor playing Morpheus or the Architect.
  15. While the fighting engine is unique, and the city large and interesting, there isn't much to keep players glued to the game.
  16. The Matrix fans and MMORPG gamers looking for something without dwarves and elves should jack into The Matrix Online. However, like the movies there are disappointments.
  17. It's got some very good qualities, but you'll need to wade through a lot of potential frustrations to enjoy them.
  18. 70
    As it is now, MxO isn't too different from other MMORPGs, and in fact, it's much less immediately exciting and accessible than many of the more recent ones.
  19. The mission structure is a bit simplistic and the game still has some nasty bugs that take away a lot of the joy.
  20. Those who are sick of the fantasy settings that seem to be commonplace within the MMORPG world will find this as a breath of fresh air. While the setting may be different, there are enough similarities for MMORPG players to feel at home.
  21. 76
    Where The Matrix Online scores high is in the flexibility of the skill system and the overall adherence to the franchise. This undoubtedly feels like the Matrix.
  22. Simply put, only the most dedicated fan of the film franchise will glean any enjoyment from the most recent Warner-produced debacle, and experienced fans of MMO's will find nothing here to concern them.
  23. The Matrix Online feels like it might have been released a little prematurely. There are countless bugs cropping up here, there and everywhere, and lag is definitely an issue on occasions.
  24. The unique fighting system keeps things lively—martial arts and gun battles play out by aligning "moves" on an action bar—but whether or not there are enough Matrix fans out there to populate this huge, lush world remains to be seen.
  25. The overly cryptic and many-layered interface, particularly the combat and leveling systems might well appeal to the more hard-core gamers out there. However, this facet of the game is so very difficult to learn even the basics of, that it may drive away the casual gamer—quite a strange choice for a game that’s doubtless counting on broad fan appeal for its bread and butter.
  26. On the whole I would much rather spend my time in another world, an easier more exciting life, but we cannot always have what we want.
  27. Minor bugs aside, the game works, but lacks an inspired storyline and more content. It will frustrate the casual gamers and won't keep a dedicated MMO player hooked for very long. [May 2005, p.90]
  28. The Matrix Online has done a rare thing: it's taken a movie license and made me feel like a contributor, not a spectator... Captures the feel of The Matrix and delivers a sharp massively multiplayer game. [June 2005]
  29. Even if you loved The Matrix, the same may not hold true for this MMORPG. We're over it, and by the looks of it so are they.
  30. At first, The Matrix Online is like a dream come true: your own Matrix. But then the cold, cold flames of its boring concrete hell, known as a game world start to get to you. Authentic, constantly developing storyline and one the best combat systems in the genre just don’t save the game from being monotonous and simply not fun to play. It’s as soulless as the world it tries to emulate. [June 2005, p.76]
  31. There are some nice, although half-baked ideas, but overall the game is boring and mediocre, and has many design flaws. And it does not even look that good. [July 05]
  32. Has the market cornered on urban style in the massively multiplayer genre. [June 2005]
  33. If you’re into MMORPG’s, it’s likely that the flaws combined with issues such as server lag and uninspired level/quest designs will leave you cancelling the subscription after a few months; while those bored of The Matrix and have no interest in this genre, would be well advised to leave this one of the shelf.

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