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Tron Evolution Review (7/10) - -

Gameplay 7.5
Graphics 8.0
Sound 8.5
Value 7.0
Distributor: THQ
Review Date:
December 2010
Edwin Millheim


Tron Evolution
Disney Interactive Studios
Available on PC, PS3 & XBOX 360

Tron: Evolution, it is like Prince of Persia, but not. It is an ultra cool take on the world of Tron, with free running moves that are just insanely nail biting. With combat that can seem on the simple, side at times, Tron: Evolution from Disney Interactive Studios is a blast of a treatment to one of the best-known science fiction worlds ever.

Not to fear if you have not seen the new film Tron: Legacy, the game does not give anything away. If anything, it gives some back-story, as more a prequel of events that shapes the latest film.

Our Hero Kevin Flynn, is now in the computer world it seems for good… and some of his creations seem to be taking the whole perfect world thing a bit far. The new life forms called the Isos show up and there is distrustfulness from the existing programs. The virtual computer world is turned upside down by Abraxas, a very nasty virus. Never fear, players take control of the system monitor Anon. Fighting your way through the system, using your light disk, sometimes a cool ride on a light cycle or blasting the hell out of targets in a light tank. Although I feel the light cycle sequences could have been more plentiful.

As noted, though the free running take up a good chunk of the game. Jumping and wall runs are not the only tricks of getting around. Sometimes there is a sort of grapple hook effect that can be done with the light disk to get to tough to reach places. Some of the obstacles are real nail biters though and players will find themselves re-compiled after getting derezzed many times.

Some of these runs are real leaps of faith because there are times when you cannot see where to go until your already leaping out into nothingness. Trial and error abound until you know the sequence to use to get to your destination. There is assistance in the game to show the path, though this does not make the death (Derezz) defying manoeuvres any easier.

Dazzling sequence of wall-to-wall bounding in spaces of three or more and then leaping out into space and hoping you do not mix up the button sequence for using your grappling disk to get to safety are plentiful.

However, it is particularly that old gamer sense of accomplishment when you do pull off a particularly hard sequence that puts the smile on the face and gets you pushing onward to the next challenge. There are some areas in particular at the beginning that there is aid with letting the player know where to go. With the press of a button, little dots show up and even show when you are to leap and bound.
They are electronic breadcrumbs that appear to show you the way. Later levels these seem to go away, so have a sharp eye and learn the angles of the grid world or you are toast.

The game looks fantastic. Disney Interactive Studios have gone to lengths to be faithful to the grid world of Tron, including spectacular mind-blowing places never seen in the films or anywhere else. It is a love letter to the fans of the franchise.

That said, while combat in particular can turn into a mad button mashing frenzy, most of the combat is done using the trusty light disk. As the game progresses, players are rewarded points in the form of memory, like in computer memory. Using these points, you can upgrade the disks properties and ability effects. Such as more damage from the disk to a target, or more health for the character. Alternatively, the light disk can be enhanced further to explode, or sending a rippling shock wave at an enemy through the ground, having a heavy attack disk that deals more damage at the trade off, less speed in the attack and recovery is also available. Fighting an enemy is never overly challenging, if anything it’s having the player out numbered that can give the enemy some edge.

If your health is low, the player can run Anon over some areas of a wall and regain health. These light strips are plentiful through out the game. Even with things getting repetitive, there is just something about the battles in Tron: Evolution that keep me coming back for more.

It is not an all out button mashing mess. In the confusion of mashing buttons, and not taking time to think, it is a short trip to having to start over at the last checkpoint. To get along smoothly in the game a player does have to use some thinking. There are times in the game that require some precise timing and dodging some of the tougher enemies as they bunch up and gang on you. Just running along in the game and over using the run and jump buttons in unison will get a player starting over a section more often than not. Due mainly because mashing the run and jump button together at the wrong time can send a character bounding off a wall and into a fall and derezzing into a pixelated data stream.

The sounds are spectacularly immersive and the music appropriately sets the tone and feel of the game so well. Acclaimed duo Daft Punk, who created the music score for Walt Disney Pictures’ upcoming film “TRON: Legacy,” provided two of their tracks from the film for TRON: Evolution -- “Derezzed” and “The Grid” combine this with music from composers Sascha Dikiciyan, Cris Velasco and Kevin Manthei and you have one major headliner in the music department for this game.

Tron is a tough game to review; it looks spectacular. Yet, has some area that maybe could have added more diverseness in the game play….at the end of the day I can actually recommend this game. It is one of those game/movie tie ins that do not stink. Has some fun challenges and can be addictive, even with the minor frustrations. However, if it were a total walk in the park with no challenge at all, what fun would that be?

Tron: Legacy from Disney Interactive Studios is a surprising fun ride. Short in the single player experience, but can have a longer life with more diverseness added to the multiplayer free for alls and team matches that go on.

Have fun, play games.
Edwin Millheim
United States Editor, Impulse Gamer.


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