TRON: Evolution Review (PS3/360/PC)

February 20, 2011

PC, PlayStation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360

TRON: Evolution is a third-person action adventure title for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.  It serves as a prequel to the recent film, TRON: Legacy, bridging the gap between the original TRON film and the sequel.

 

Story: 3/5

TRON: Evolution starts off with a video recording of Kevin Flynn, the creator of the TRON universe, discussing how he got “in” to “The Grid”.  He mentions how he discovered these ISOs which would lead to creating a perfect world due to their free-will nature.  CLU,a system administrator created by Kevin Flynn to ensure that the game world runs in order, has become jealous of the ISOs existence feeling they pose a threat.  Recently, the leader of the ISOs, Jalen, was murdered and Flynn suspects CLU might have been involved.  You play as Anon, a system monitor created by Kevin Flynn, who is sent to investigate the situation at hand.  You begin by meeting up with TRON to attend a conference that would unify both the programs and the ISOs.  However, things don’t go quite as planned as the conference gets interrupted by a corrupt ISO, Abraxas.  As the system monitor, you are tasked with bringing down Abraxas before he can corrupt the entire game world and prevent CLU’s rise to power.  The story is done well enough to enjoy throughout the experience, but it’s strictly for TRON fans.

Gameplay: 3/5

Imagine Mirror’s Edge and Prince of Persia combined and you’ll essentially get an idea of how TRON: Evolution plays.  Anon is a very acrobatic character to control whether he’s running on walls or vaulting over objects.  His combat relies strictly on his “Light Disc” which consists of four different types: Heavy, Bomb, Stasis and Corruption.  While they all have the same attacks, they each have unique special attacks.  The Heavy Disc is mainly good with dealing with enemies when there’s too many surrounding you.  The Bomb Disc will scatter cluster bombs to take care of enemies in the vicinity.  The Stasis Disc will cause the enemies to slow down to a crawl, giving up to upper hand in finishing them off.  And lastly the Corruption Disc will infect the enemy, draining their health until they explode.  However, certain enemies will require you to equip specific discs so that you can damage them.  The combat has it’s own complexity system but pulling off the moves is not a difficult task to do. The game spans through seven chapters.  The experience is short though, lasting the average gamer between 4-5 hours on the first playthrough.  Here’s the catch though, the game has replay value.  As you progress through the game, you will get XP which will then net you MB (megabytes are your skill points to use to upgrade Anon).  There are 50 versions for Anon to level up to, making him much more powerful evidently as you level up.  You can upgrade your health, energy (used for special attacks), siphon (how much health or energy you can restore when accessing siphon objects), damage your discs do as well as multiplayer perks.  A nice feature is that TRON: Evolution transfers your character version to the multiplayer and whatever XP you earn there will transfer back to your campaign mode.  There are some problems with TRON though.  The platforming is functional but wall running can feel a bit off at times.  Occasionally the game isn’t sure if you want to run up a wall and run along it, leading to some really cheap deaths since you can’t control him once the animation starts.  Checkpoints are abundant though, so it shouldn’t really frustrate the gamer too much.  There are a few times where you have to drive the “Light Tank” but driving it is a real chore.  Even when the control stick was being pushed forward, the tank would kind of sway left and right a little bit, which is just odd.  However, try driving and turning at the same time while trying to shoot down the other tanks…that’s a whole another story that lead to numerous unnecessary deaths (on hard and insane difficulty).  There are also a few sequences where you’ll drive the “Light Cycle”.  These fared much better than the tank sequences.  They’re fast-paced and control pretty well.  If you have the PS3 version, you can use the Playstation Move controller to drive the “Light Cycle”…and it stinks.  It’s a very under-developed and gimmicky idea of just holding the remote sideways as if you’re holding the handlebar of the bike and turning it to steer.   It’s a shame they only made the controller compatible with this sequence.  Imagine they made an exclusive mode for it where you can versus other people (offline or online) in Disc Wars?  Now that would have been a PERFECT implementation of the Move controller.  Also, the final action sequence of the game is absolutely absurd.  While it’s intense, it is for the wrong reason.  It’s a cheap “let’s throw infinite enemies at the player” scenario, but you need to defeat specific enemies to advance.  Problem is, there enemies are a bit hard to distinguish in the middle of the action causing a frustrating finale.  The multiplayer is a fun distraction/bonus, nothing groundbreaking but fun nonetheless.  You have your typical deathmatch, team deathmatch and capture the node variants.  Another nice touch with the multiplayer though is that for most of the maps, the game will spawn bots to take the place of anyone who is not playing in the match with you.  In some maps, you will be able to take control of the Light Tanks and Light Cycles (which are activated with a single button press) adding a little more life into the multiplayer.  However, these are the type of maps where bots cannot be played against so you’re going to need a few people to really get the most out of these maps.

Graphics: 4/5

Visually, TRON: Evolution looks great!  The characters and environments all have a very sleek and clean look to them.  Frame-rate was at a steady 30 FPS and never slowed down.  The animations are really well done as well, except for Anon’s “sprinting” animation…that just looks a little funny.  However, the rest of his animations are top-notch and sweet to watch.

Sound: 5/5

This was what stood out the most from this game.  The soundtrack is loaded with awesome techno tracks (plus two tracks from the TRON: Legacy from Daft Punk).  From the second you hear the main theme until the credits, this is one soundtrack to crank up the volume to.  The sound effects even sound great, giving it that cool tech vibe.  Voice acting wasn’t bad at all either.  Olivia Wilde (Quorra) and Bruce Boxleitner (TRON) reprise their roles as the characters they portrayed on the big screen.  Even though Jeff Bridges didn’t return to voice Kevin Flynn, Fred Tatasciore does a great job filling in for the role.

Overall: 15/20 = 7.5/10

TRON: Evolution is overall, a very good game.  Especially considering that a large selection of movie-based games are poorly made, this was really enjoyable despite the flaws mentioned.  TRON fans will really get the most out of the game, but newcomers shouldn’t avoid it either.  While the campaign is short, it’s very replayable and if going for Trophies/Achievements is your thing, this has a fun set to go for.

 

PROS:

+Outstanding soundtrack

+Game bridges the story gap between the original movie and sequel

+Great visuals

+Fun combat

+Replay value

 

CONS:

-Tank sections are a chore

-Cheap deaths due to “trial-and-error” gameplay

-Final action sequence is hard for the wrong reason

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About Glacier928

Marcello is the founder, creator and editor-in-chief of GamersXtreme. His dedication and passion shows as he keeps gamers informed with daily news articles and provides truthful, honest opinions on all gaming related news. Having experience with video game design, as well as over 20 years of gaming under his belt, Marcello has always had a massive interest in the gaming society. Originally, he created GamersXtreme in the style of a magazine back in middle school. Today, he has taken what was created as a basic premise and has evolved it into the site it is today.

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