Tron Evolution Hands-on
- Posted October 19th, 2010 at 11:14 EDT by Steven Williamson
We’ve all been there. You watch a movie, enjoy it and so take a gamble and buy the video game, expecting it to capture some of that cinematic magic. Nine times out of ten it doesn’t because, in order to cash in on dreamers like us, it’s been rushed to market faster than you can utter the words “Da Vinci Code.” Isn't it just soul sucking when that happens?
The cynical among you may already have Tron Evolution down as one such game that has the potential to disappoint. However, there’s evidence to suggest that by bringing the two entertainment mediums of movies and video games even closer together than ever before, and creating a unique game world that is worthy of the Tron name, Disney may well have created a movie tie-in experience that we can finally smile about. Here's how...
Tron Evolution, the video game, is set to be released prior to Tron Legacy, the action movie, which will arrive a few weeks later. Tron Evolution is a prequel to the movie and therefore a totally separate entity, but its storyline leads up to the events in the film. The idea is that the two are completely separate but will complement each other while also building on the existing Tron lore and universe.
The movie will also reference moments from the videogame. So, if you play the game first you might see something in the movie that you actually did during the game, or something within the storyline that refers to an objective that you carried out in the game. On paper it sounds like a great idea, but it’s also a bit of gamble. It's going to be interesting to see how the two story lines compare and contrast and which one actually comes out on top.
While Disney may have actually created something totally unique with Tron Evolution in regards to how it impacts on the movie, which admittedly is quite exciting, it’s the gameplay that will ultimately come to be judged. And so far we’re suitably impressed, though not totally bowled over and ready to sing Tron Evolution’s praises just yet. The silky-smooth Prince of Persia style free-running, fluid third person combat and fast-paced vehicle-based gameplay, is entertaining, but isn’t particularly innovative.
What makes some of the old concepts, such as free-running (Prince of Persia) or the progressive combat system (any one of a thousand third person shooters,) more appealing is that the whole game is set against the neon-lit, sci-fi backdrops that capture the vibe of the original movie with great style. This new setting, coupled with a striking color palette makes a nice change from the generic locations we typically find in action games, and as a result it feels and looks quite exciting, certainly different to anything we’ve played before.
Combat revolves around the use of upgradeable discs, your main weapon, and you can choose to opt from three different combat stances: Sprint, Standard and Defence. Each stance has its own strength and weakness, for instance you’ll forfeit power in your attacking moves in favor of being able to run more quickly. Special Power moves can be accessed by filling up the energy meters, which you do by free-running and killing enemies.
You can chain together combos and earn XP in the process, which enables you to obtain better disc upgrades. In practice, it’s a fairly simple combat scheme to master thanks to the easy to pick up control scheme, which involves smashing face buttons and using the d-pad to switch in between different disc types. But it also has some depth to it as you mix a range of light and heavy attacking moves with defensive tactics, while utilizing your special powers at every opportunity.
The need to switch between different stances depends on the situation in hand, so it pays to learn the differences between each stance. You are also actively encouraged to keep on the move and use you free-running skills to gain XP and fill up that meter. Gameplay flows tremendously well and it's enjoyable racking up combos and then darting out the way, jumping onto and ledge and then wall running to safety within the blink of an eye. This isn't anything that we haven't ... (continued on next page) ----