Ragdoll Matrix Reloaded is the sequel to Ragdoll Matrix, both by R-Tsa Games. The premise of both games is the same: You control a ragdoll character, trying to dodge bullets and bombs. In Ragdoll Matrix Reloaded, they applied the obvious theme of the Agent Smith character from the Matrix movies. It fits well.
The controls in Ragdoll Matrix are keyboard-driven. The arrow keys move you around, lead by your head. You have the ability to defy gravity, too, although only in limited amounts. The green meter represents how much anti-gravity juice you have left. It recharges pretty quickly, almost to the point where you could constantly hover.
The ragdoll character feels very sluggish. I suppose this adds to the difficulty of the game, but at times I’d wish things could be a little snappier. Compare the movements the agent character in Ragdoll Matrix Reloaded to the more fluid and responsive movements of the figures in Ragdoll Masters (which was inspired by the first Ragdoll Matrix game, by the way). Tuning a physics system to feel responsive is certainly no easy task, but I get the sense that the folks at R-Tsa didn’t do much at all in this department. It shows.
There are a set of advanced controls in Ragdoll Matrix Reloaded: the ability to go stiff, control your entire body, and stick your legs and arms to the ceiling. Unfortunately, you need to unlock these by abilities by playing through the game on various difficulty modes and settings. The little I was able to unlock was hard to control and not very intuitive.
The goal of the game is to dodge bullets. At regular interviews, a handful of bullets come firing in from random positions on the screen. They always aim at you, so a good rule of thumb is to keep moving around the screen. The game has a very nice cinematic feel when events line up properly; bending over backwards to just barely dodge a bullet is a lot of fun.
On the harder levels, the bullets move faster, do more damage, and the game introduces bombs. Bombs bounce around and then explode, which in practice simply transform a section of the screen into a no-go zone.
Ragdoll Matrix Reloaded has a very neat asymmetrical same-computer two-player game mode. One player controls the Agent Smith character, as usual, but the other player moves the mouse cursor and gets to control the shots. They’re given a number of shots to fire at once, and get to click anywhere on screen to fire there. It’s much more interesting compared to the single-player mode, where the shots are always aimed directly at you.
There’s a proper networked multiplayer mode, too, although I wasn’t able to try it out.
Ragdoll Matrix Reloaded was created with Game Maker. Physics are handled by ODE via the GM_ODE bindings. It’s great to see physics games being produced by the game-development-for-everyone style middleware and packages.
While Ragdoll Matrix Reloaded probably won’t hook you to the point of playing every day for hours at a time, it’s certainly a fun distraction. As physics games go it’s worth checking out. And, it’s freeware. You don’t have a reason not to play!
- List of Physics Games
- Nimble Ninjas Face Ferocious Foes
- Interview: Matteo Guarnieri, Rag Doll Software
- Walaber Experiments with Ragdolls and Aerial Skiing
- Physics-Based Beatdowns, Ragdoll Masters