The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
When it debuted in 1982, Disney’s Tron offered an incredible
glimpse of the potential power of computer-generated animation. Decades
later, a sequel is hitting theaters – alongside the inevitable video
game companion. Set between the events of the first movie and its
sequel, Tron: Legacy, Tron: Evolution makes it clear that some gaps don’t need to be filled.
take on the role of Anon, a digital everyman purposefully devoid of
personality or other distinguishing characteristics. He’s a virtual
emissary of sorts for Kevin Flynn, Jeff Bridges’ character from the
films. Evolution assumes that players have recently seen Tron,
offering little in the way of a plot summary or expository dialog. If
you don’t know your ISOs from your Basics, prepare to be completely
dumbfounded by the story, such that it is.
As a beta version of
the Grid System Monitor, Anon can upgrade his abilities and wield a
variety of different discs in combat. These include bomb attacks, which
cause splash damage and can break open weakened structures; stasis
fields, which temporarily freeze enemies; and corruption discs, which
cause debilitating damage. There are a handful of different enemy types,
each vulnerable to different attacks.
On its surface, combat,
like everything else in Tron: Evolution, sounds satisfactory at the
least. Unfortunately, the execution is bungled up to the point where
it’s barely functional, let alone fun. Targeting is erratic,
particularly when facing groups of enemies – a frequent event – and
camera issues compound the problem. It’s especially bad when you
backflip close to a wall and the camera freaks out trying to determine
where Anon went.
In addition to backflipping, Anon has to traverse
the game’s world using other acrobatic means. Wall-runs and mantle
jumps are commonplace, and navigating those sections is one of the more
frustrating experiences I’ve had in years. Anon is a touchy fella, prone
to rolling off of ledges and falling into oblivion. I’m all for games
with agile characters who can create exhilarating, fast-paced moments.
Tron: Evolution leans too much on the acrobatic sections, particularly
since Anon moves like a drunken missile.
Aside from the awful
on-foot sections, sometimes Anon finds himself at the helm of a light
cycle or light tank. Where the core game is frustrating and twitchy, the
vehicular segments are dull and boring. The light cycle segments give
players an excuse to rip down a straightaway and dodge obstacles – never
mind those iconic arena battles from the first movie. The tank portions
are plodding exercises in creeping ahead and shooting at the occasional
enemy. Both of these diversions last way too long, though they’re a
nice change of pace from de-rezzing blindly off ledges.
Tron: Evolution’s multiplayer is a high point, mostly because it’s the only part of the game that actually feels like Tron.
Up to 10 players can battle in arenas, which make good use of the
game’s weapons and vehicles. Players can summon their light cycles at
will with the press of a button, and it’s cool to jump into the air as a
person and land as a vehicle (a situation that never happens in the
campaign). Unlike the campaign, the light cycles function as they did in
the movie, leaving semisolid bands of color that damage anything that
Tron: Evolution will probably have a handful of
defenders, but I can’t reasonably suggest that anyone play it. It’s a
shoddy experience that ultimately isn’t much fun. Tron superfans would
do better simply watching the movie again and calling it a day.
Email the author Jeff Cork, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.