The Tron franchise has lain dormant for a long time, but has now been brought back to life in both a movie and a game. So with the long wait, can this franchise gain the fan support it once had, or is this simply going to receive an average reception?
Tron: Evolution takes place between the two films, and really helps to give an integral part to the Tron story line. Players play as Anon (short for anonymous), who is a security program created by Kevin Flynn, and was created to investigate the conspiracy within the world of Tron. Once inside you discover a virus named Abraxas, and you must try to eliminate it before it corrupts Tron even more. Interacting with characters both old and new, you will work your way through the world dispersing the virus, and in the process uncover an even bigger conspiracy that will rock Tron to its core.
Tron: Evolution is a third person action game, that incorporates tons of platforming with a pretty basic combat system. Going from area to area you will be running up walls, vaulting over gaps, and just using your environment as your playground. If you get frustrated easily though, then Tron: Evolution may not be your cup of tea. While the free running sections are incorporated well, it feels like something is just off. You will fall a lot, and we mean a lot, as the controls do not always perform as you wish. It is not horrible, but it really can not compete with other games that do the free running so much better.
The combat is also pretty rough as well. You will receive a multiple array of combat disks, with each offering a different function. From a bomb disk that will explode on contact, to a corruption disk that will turn enemies against each other, you also will have your basic combat disk which will become your main weapon. Combining both your basic weapon with the other disks will offer a bit of variety with each fight, but it is pretty easy just to mash on the buttons as you go through with very little effort. There are some enemies that will require a certain attack with a certain disk or move, but you will encounter these enemies too infrequently for it to actually make the combat more in-depth.
There are RPG elements in Tron: Evolution to help aid the very basic combat. You will gain levels as you play through both the singleplayer or multiplayer. You can then upgrade your weapons or your health through the disk stations, which are scattered throughout each level. This is one thing Tron: Evolution does very well, as this is seamlessly integrated between the two modes. You will keep the same character whether you are playing the singleplayer or multiplayer, so you can easily level your character up pretty high before you ever venture online. Of course, there are some downsides as you can upgrade your health, so going online without upgrading your health all the way will really put you at a disadvantage against some of the top players. Either way this was a nice feature to see and is something other games should keep in mind in the future.
Speaking of multiplayer, even though it is worked in very well with the singleplayer, it is a mess once online. Once you get into a match you will be faced with a button mashing mess of flying disks, all within an overly large areas, that will have you constantly separated from the main action. There is also a major lack of a community, so you will quite often end up with a group of players at a higher level than you. Tron: Evolution does offer a few different game modes, but none are very entertaining, and even though it does some things right, it can not make up for the lackluster combat.
What most Tron fans will probably be most excited about is the ability to use the Light Cycle in the game. Unfortunately, this is not a very fun aspect of the game at all. They are overly difficult to control at times, combat is non-existent once on them, even though you have the ability to hit enemies while driving. These sections often become more of a minor frustrating distraction while getting from point A to B. You will also get the chance to control a light tank, and thankfully this is done well, and is fun to do. Running through waves of enemies and other light tanks is quite satisfying, but sometimes these sections just seem too overly simplistic as you are usually overly powerful. It is nice to see that it was so well incorporated, but it would have been nice to see some more difficult enemies.
The visuals are done rather well, and are very loyal to the films. Unfortunately, this does not give you much to look at, as most of the environments are very basic in colors, and do not provide a lot of depth. The voice acting is done decently, but lack the original cast that played the characters in the film. It’s not that they sound bad, but it doesn’t sound right.
From its sometimes frustrating platforming, to its button mashing combat, Tron: Evolution has many shortcomings. Even with these issues, fans of the Tron universe will get some enjoyment out of this game, and all in all it is not a bad rental, but for those who are not interested in the franchise, its best to steer clear of the game.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
+ Tron fans will enjoy running through the Tron world
– Platforming can be frustrating at times
– Light cycle is very disappointing