The Matrix is getting very meta. The fourth film in the series, The Matrix Resurrections, is set to debut later this month, resurrecting (get it?) the stylish cyber-dystopian tale of false lives. And based on a leak that appeared today on Reddit, we'll also at some point be getting "an Unreal Engine 5 experience" called The Matrix Awakens.
Is it a full-blown game? Very unlikely. The image, which looks a bit like a Matrix bomb exploding over a large city (or, less ominously perhaps, a Matrix sun climbing over the horizon, warming the good people of the city with its life-giving Matrix rays), was found on the PlayStation Network backend. There are no other details, "only that it exists for the PS5."
The "experience" descriptor makes me think it might be something more akin to the recent Kid A Mnesia exhibition by Radiohead and Epic (you know, the company that makes the Unreal Engine). A deep dive into the nooks and crannies of the Matrix, perhaps, coupled with a walking tour of the real city of Zion and the machine world above as well.
But it's the possible existence of a game-like tie-in to The Matrix Resurrections, rather than specifics about its nature, that I find especially interesting. The Wachowskis embraced videogames as the future of The Matrix in a 2005 interview with IGN, in which they said that gamers would "inherit the storyline" following the conclusion of the film trilogy. The Matrix Online failed to catch fire and closed in 2009 after less than five years of operation, but the confluence between the real world and online life—gaming in particular—has never been stronger than it is right now, and neither have the threats it poses.
Remember, Facebook didn't even exist when The Matrix Revolutions was released.
#Meta pic.twitter.com/xzX9mMLUtFOctober 29, 2021
I've reached out to Epic for comment on the leak and, unsurprisingly, have received no response. But my guess is that if the leak is legit, we'll be hearing more soon: The Matrix Resurrections hits theaters and HBO Max on December 22, and The Game Awards, Geoff Keighley's annual extravaganza of trailers and trophies—a perfect platform for a big Matrix reveal—takes place on December 9.