So, after a bit of waiting, the first new review is ready! So to start, we are going to look at an 80’s classic that has been turned into a video game for today. Yep, that’s right, we are looking at Tron: Evolution, released for the PS3, Xbox 360, PSP, and PC. The story tells of a security program installed by Kevin Flynn called Anon, who is sent to dispatch the viruses that are taking over The Grid and killing off ISOs, or Isomorphic Algorithms, beings that are explained in detail in Tron Legacy. Anon is sent to find the murderer of Jalen, the leader of the ISOs. The murderer is theorized to be CLU, the Grid version of Flynn, created to keep the grid as perfect as possible.
The game is set somewhere in between the original Tron movie and the 2010 sequel Tron Legacy, and many of the designs in the game reflect that. From light bikes that are reminiscent of the one from the first movie to stylized suits and identity discs from Legacy, the game fits in perfectly between the two.
Now, in regards to level and control design itself, that is a whole other story. The controls can be awkward and are really just button-mashing combos like those found in a fighting game. Also, while the added parkour-esque running is a neat feature, the game does not handle it very well. There are dots that lead you to where you need to go, but they do not really help. In a particular section, I was stuck in a pit with no way out, and when I reset to the last checkpoint (right before the pit luckily), I saw that there was a ledge I had missed, as it blended in and the dots did not show it.
Along with the story mode, there is also an online multiplayer game, which is PvP style combat. Almost all the attacks in the walking mode are melee, no real guns, but you do have your identity disc you can throw at other players, which is a nice tip of the hat towards the movies, where disc wars determines which outlaws survive and are released. But combat drastically changes when you activate your light cycle. You can now race along like the movies, forming walls behind you, which can potentially kill other players. Also, along with the retro-throwback 90-degree turns like the original light bikes, you can do long sweeping turns or narrow sharp turns to go around obstacles easily.
When not in a match, you may customize your avatar’s loadout, much like Call of Duty, but instead of guns, you can get upgrades and more RAM, which allows more upgrades to be used on your character. From more damage from disc attacks to health regen, there are numerous perks to choose.
Unfortunately, the game is not worth the normally $35 price for a used copy, unless you can find a limited edition like I did. It not only includes the game, but free DLC (Sam Flynn, Kevin’s son and the protagonist from Legacy, skin and bonus maps) (if a new/unredeemed copy), a movie ticket voucher (now worthless unless you are a diehard Tron fan like I am), and a cool scale model light cycle, based on the ones from Legacy and the video game.
All in all, the game is okay, but not the greatest game produced. But it is a good attempt at a game based off not one, but two movies. To score it, I would give it a 6.75 out of 10, as it is a solid attempt at a movie game, but the controls and confusing mission helpers detract from the overall geek factor. But if you are a self-respecting nerd or Tron fan, try and find the limited edition of the game. The model and game are worth the money, but more so the model and case than the game itself. Also, before playing, watch at least the original Tron, so you have at least an average understanding of the story and the ideas presented in the game and in Legacy.
Tron Evolution for PS3, Xbox 360, PSP and PC
Pros: the first “true” Tron game in many moons
great soundtrack, with tracks by Daft Punk
adds depth to the timeline of the Tron universe
Cons: confusing objectives
lackluster online features
bad controls and camera seems to have a mind of it’s own sometimes
BONUS POINTS for the limited edition and its many bonuses.
Overall score: 6.75 out of 10
Tyler Moore (aka Shiroi Panda) is currently pursuing an education, while still enjoying the many joys of video games and life, the universe, and everything