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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Disney Interactive Studios
Developed By: Propaganda Games
Genre: Action Adventure
Players: 1 (2-10 online)
Rated: T for Teen (Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes)
Release Date: December 7, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

December 26, 2010 - It has been twenty eight years since TRON made its debut in movie theatres and as a videogame. While the world clamored for another successful venture into the digital world, it wasn't until 2010 that the dream became a reality. With TRON: Legacy making its debut in theatres this Friday (December 17th) we take a closer look at the true sequel to the first TRON movie; TRON: Evolution, and how it sets up the experience to be showcase this Friday.

TRON: Evolution foretells the events that set the basis for the movie TRON: Legacy. You are placed in the shoes of Anon, a digital everyman that lacks any type of personality or individuality. He's looked upon as a digital bodyguard for Kevin Flynn, who is portrayed [Flynn] by Jeff Bridges in the movies. Flynn and TRON are attacked by a virus; however Anon intervene to keep Flynn from being wiped out. Upon chasing the virus off, a piece of his disc is broken off, which you acquire before you pursue the assailant. For those who have not watched the movie prior to playing the game or don't have a photographic memory of the first movie will be left wondering what's going on. There is no entertaining story setting everything up. Not knowing your ISOs from your Basics, will result in you not knowing what's going on beyond the combat sequences.

Anon is unlike the average member of the Grid System Monitor team. As a beta version, he has the ability to upgrade his abilities, which result in a more effective agent to combat the evil. Along the way you will be able to increase your health, acquire more powerful special attacks and collect four different disc types. While each disc type is effective on a certain type of enemy, the bomb disc proves very useful in delivering explosive attacks upon your foes. These update are essential to you progressing through the game with relative ease; unless you are playing on an easier difficulty setting.

Since we are talking about weapons and upgrades, let's touch upon the combat system. Early on, you get a small taste of what you can expect from TRON: Evolution and it's relatively functional. It's not until you start upgrading and acquiring new abilities that you realize that the combat system is broken. The more enemies you combat on screen makes it hard for targeting a specific enemy. While you do have attacks for dealing with multiple foes, those can only be used so many times before you're relegated to your basic attacks. Another issue that affects the combat is the in-game camera. Using the right analog stick to control the camera is fine; however it’s a bit too sensitive at times, resulting in you contacting adjusting the camera during a fight. While you can certainly make do with the limitations surrounding the combat system, it's something that should of been addressed while the game was in development.

The world of TRON: Evolution isn't limited to running from one battle to the next. In between battles and cutscenes there will be moments where the action diversifies via taking the controls of a particular vehicle. You will have the opportunity to take the controls of your very own Light Cycle to do vehicular combat with your foes. These moments are indeed fast and intense, often causing you to die several times before you figure them out. For those expecting these segments to play out similar to that of the original TRON game on your Apple IIC computers, think again. Gone is the top down view in favor for a more traditional third-person view. During these moments you are escaping or fleeing the scene of the crime, and you simply trying to stay alive until you reach your next destination. There are also moments where you will be behind other vehicles like a tank. These more specific vehicles are utilized for missions where a lonely soldier on the ground simply won’t cut the mustard.

From a visual perspective, TRON: Evolution is a nice looking game. Character models and worlds are nicely detailed, and the overall atmosphere of the game is very befitting of the TRON name. I will admit that not all things are rosy in the world of TRON: Evolution as for the life of me, developer Propaganda Games wasn’t about to fulfill the likeness of a few characters portrayed in the game. Flynn is on point and so is Tron, however for reason unknown to me, they could get Olivia Wilde’s character of Quorra right at all. Her face looks like someone hit her very hard. Not trying to be mean, as it may just be how the light hits her face. In regards to the environments, it’s understandable that the grid isn’t the most beautiful and awe-inspiring place to be, however the game representation of it is downright boring. Beyond the action you are participating in on-screen, you really have to reason to look around at your surroundings…except for those far and few grand moments. When you first step into the world of TRON, everything looks nice; however after awhile see lots and lots of blue neon lights, the game just seems to lose some of its mojo.

The game also includes stereoscopic 3D support for those who went out and purchased the “future of gaming.” While the use of 3D does add another layer of depth to the experience, it’s more of a hindrance to the game than an improvement. The first thing you notice is the framerate takes a hit, making everything feel sluggish. The second thing you notice is that since you are now experiencing the game in “eye-dropping” 3D, everything should be in 3D; however that’s not the case. While the game itself can be played in 3D, the cutscenes are not. You make find yourself taking your glasses off during these moments just to see the scene the way the developer intended.

A noticeable omission from the game, though rectified by the multiplayer component is Light Cycle battles. While you were indeed able to use your bike in the game, it was relegated to escaping missions. Within the multiplayer of TRON: Evolution, you are allowed to go head up with friends, families and total strangers to see who the best on the Grid is. You are able to participate in some deathmatch-style Grid Games, which can definitely be insane when you have 10 players playing together. There is also a team-based mode, which mimics a scene from the movie TRON: Legacy is definitely a blast to play. On the smaller multiplayer maps, gone are the Light Cycles in favor of some good old fashion-futuristic hand-to-disc combat.

TRON: Evolution truly only bares the name of TRON due to its multiplayer counterpart. While the single-player experience is indeed set within the world of the Grid, nothing about screams TRON! The platforming and combat is very repetitive, often enough reminding you of another franchise; Prince of Persia. I’ll admit there are indeed moments here and there within the single-player experience that are enjoyable, the greatest fun to be had comes via the Light Cycles in the multiplayer modes. Those die-hard fans and the ones wanting the complete experience of TRON will pick this game up… and the book, that way they know everything that transpire between the first movie and Legacy. For those just looking for the next great experience, I’m sorry to say but this isn’t it.


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