|System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC|
|Dev: Propaganda Games|
|Pub: Disney Interactive Studios|
|Release: December 7, 2010|
|Players: 1 (local) 2-6 (online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080i||Fantasy violence, Mild Suggestive Themes|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
My first impression of TRON: Evolution was that it was a very pretty game. From the first cutscene to the contrasting neon colors of TRON's inner worlds, I immediately thought that TRON: Evolution was one of the best-looking franchise-based games I had ever seen. The look of the TRON universe is something so unique that it begged to be recreated in a video game, and it is done in spectacular fashion. Even the character animations are done with the utmost attention to detail, and both Flynn and Quorra look remarkably like their on-screen counterparts.
Though I was initially impressed by the game's look, the experience went downhill pretty fast. Much like nearly every licensed game that came before it, TRON: Evolution comes with an all-too-short story mode and an unsatisfying multiplayer mode. While this is all par for the course for franchise games, it doesn't help TRON: Evolution move above the ranks of "generic movie tie-in game" which is quite a shame, considering the TRON movie series is all about how real and immersive a game world can be.
The story in the game bridges the gap between the first movie and TRON: Legacy. However, for all the little "in" jokes made for those who know and love the first movie, the story's plot really ties in more with Legacy than with the original, so if you haven't seen the first movie, you won't feel lost at all. You play as Anon, who is a new System Monitor tasked with getting rid of a new virus threat on the Grid. The game makes swift introductions of characters from the movie, inducing Flynn, Clu, and Quorra. The plot never expands on character histories (despite being a prequel), and if you haven't seen TRON: Legacy yet, you might be a little confused at first. Still, after a few hours of playing the game, you'll find yourself not caring too much, as the plot is about as shallow as a light cycle trail...five minutes after it has passed.
Combat mechanics in the game work well enough, but also suffer from being shallow. The game's main mechanic predictably revolves around using TRON's signature light disc and getting rid of undesirables from a distance. This means mashing the attack button whilst running in circles is your best attack strategy. While initially fun, this gets old fast, and the game takes on a level of simplicity that's almost comical.
TRON: Evolution does try, though. There is a melee element to the combat that comes in handy a few times, and a leveling system that gives you access to enhanced abilities and upgrades for your light disc. These upgrades are nice, and certainly provide an incentive to keep battling undesirables (instead of running away from them), but the difficulty curve seems to ramp up at the same pace as your unlocked abilities, which makes the game feel a bit stagnant. The game's battle system is by no means broken, but if you are looking for a combat system with any kind of depth to it, TRON: Evolution will disappoint.