Published on December 19th, 2010 | by Richard Motokovsky0
The environments are vibrant and are sure to look absolutely jaw-dropping on PC
Say what you want about Disney’s cutesy gaze into the world of computers from 1982, but TRON has a special place in the heart of many a gamer. The franchise is coming back, not only to the big screen but also the little monitor as well, and it was with a surprising amount of nostalgia that we checked out the game of the movie to discover that it really wasn’t the usual tie-in nonsense.
The plot is set two decades before the events of the movie in 1990, where we see a digitally regressed Jeff Bridges – known as Flynn in the movies – exploring a radically evolved version of ENCOM’s mainframe whose inhabitants have adopted an ever-greater affection for neon colors. Propaganda Games have successfully crafted their own mythology to slot together seamlessly with the film, with the emergence of ISOs who are a race who haven’t been created by users, but were born within the mainframe. This creates political tension between these free radicals and regular programs, which is heightened by the introduction of an all-powerful destructive virus named Abraxas. Thankfully, Flynn is at hand to help the struggling dystopia, and has created Anon, the player-character designed to neutralize the villain.
Disney were understandably very careful not to reveal too much about the plot, but we were pleasantly intrigued by the promise of such a turbulent world. Gone is the sterile environment of the original film. Now gamers of all ages have a setting they can really sink their teeth into, improved further by the involvement of most of the voice talent from the film and shared motion capture.
When it comes to gameplay, TRON: Evolution feels very much like a regular third-person action game, with the digital disc forming the backbone of any combat, utilizing three different levels of aggression, varying speed and the power of attacks. Levels also have a Parkour element too, enabling Anon to leave acrobatically all over the landscape. Progression seems fairly linear, but the introduction of an XP system and vehicles vary up gameplay constantly. The environments are vibrant and are sure to look absolutely jaw-dropping on PC.
Aside from crafting a strong adventure, Propaganda Games are also looking to conquer the multiplayer realm with Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture The Bit components. The action is set on smaller melee-centric maps which provide fast combat, or gigantic vehicular combat levels which allowed players to ‘rez’ in and out of the bikes at will, or capturing strategic points to allow tanks to spawn. Working together and killing foes feels suitably epic and, surprisingly, all XP comes under the same umbrella, so any rewards you earn can be brought over to the campaign.
So, for what many will callously dismiss as another movie tie-in, TRON: Evolution is full to the brim with interesting ideas and ambition. If Propaganda Games implement those ideas as smoothly as we hope they might, there’s no reason why it can’t offer a great experience.