The Matrix was a very cool movie about guns and kung-fu inside a massive computer simulation where people can be pretty much whoever, and whatever, they want. It sounds like fertile territory for all kinds of equally good videogames, but for some reason that hasn’t really been the case. The Matrix Online MMO made it four years before being shuttered because of low subscriber numbers, and while Enter the Matrix is maybe better than we remember, it still wasn’t great: “Take away the Matrix setting, and you’re left with an action game that really does nothing new—and looks pretty average doing it,” we declared in a 55$ review from 2003 (via Metacritic).
Still, the influence of the films in videogames and beyond is clear—recall, for instance, when Gabe Newell said last year that “we’re way closer to The Matrix than people realize”—and very soon we’ll be returning to that realm for the first time (in theaters, at least) since The Matrix Revolutions in 2003. The fourth film in the series, The Matrix Resurrections, is slated to debut in December, and ahead of that Warner Bros has rolled out a teaser site for the film and the first official trailer, which will drop on September 9.
The site offers viewers a choice, as in the first film, between a red and a blue pill: Red revealing the truth in all its ugliness and horror, and blue enabling an escape back into the bliss of ignorance. It’s a term that has unfortunately been embraced by men’s rights activists and the alt-right, a corruption that The Matrix co-creator Lilly Wachowski addressed head-on in 2020. But that first encounter between Neo and Morpheus is where things really start to spin up, and it remains one of the film’s most iconic scenes.
Each pill on the teaser site plays a video clip, one promising a truth to be revealed, the other focused on the reality of the moment at hand. Both cleverly incorporate your local time to emphasize their point, and they also include randomized elements—so if, for instance, you want to catch a (very brief) glimpse of Neo’s older, more John Wick-looking face, you may need to run through multiple viewings. Fortunately, yes, you can view them both without penalty—this isn’t a “no turning back” situation.
My interest in the Matrix has waned over the years, but I am curious how the new take will compare to the original trilogy, and how the property overall will hold up 20 years down the road. And maybe, if it’s a hit, we’ll finally get the Matrix videogame we’ve been waiting for since before the turn of the millennium.
If you haven’t seen the famous red pill-blue pill scene from The Matrix, here you go: