“The Grid. A digital frontier. I tried to picture clusters of information as they traveled through the computer. Ships, motorcycles. With the circuits like freeways. I kept dreaming of a world I thought I’d never see. And then, one day… I got in.”
And thus starts the movie “Tron Legacy” As you know the movie follows the events of Sam Flynn, teaming up with his father Kevin Flynn to save the digital world that Kevin created. The movie, of course, more than makes clear that one of Kevin’s creations, Clu, revolted and essentially began another cascade that made the universe that Kevin created much more dangerous then the original Tron.
Tron Evolution, created by Disney Interactive, Propaganda games and Powered by Unreal Technology, fills us in on the story that happens between the events of Kevin’s discovery of the unexplained ISO programs that appear within the world he creates, and his disappearance from the human world after being trapped within the game.
Now as I said in my review of Tron Legacy, I’m a long time Tron fan myself, watching it when I was five multiple times! So when I found out that I could actually play a game that was Tron though and through, I was excited. I went and rented it as soon as I found out there was a game!
Tron Evolution is as visually stunning as Tron Legacy was. In fact you can tell that Disney Interactive and the other programmers really put a lot of effort into making the game pleasing to the eye, which is not a bad thing. In fact if i looked at Evolution with just an artists eye then I would say they did a perfect job.
I have a problem though. I cant look at a game with solely an artists eye. When I play a game I want to actually PLAY the game! Where Tron Evolution is visually a beautifully made game, actual game-play leaves much to be desired!
First of all the tutorials. Every game has them, but when I’m looking at a tutorial I want to look at it quickly as I’m playing the game. Every time you unlock a new combo the game stops in mid stream and shows you what the combo is, a video if you so desire to see what the move does (because, you know that makes sense since you wont actually see the effect of the combo when you use it…right?) This caused unnecessary pauses in the game and made the beginning plot development take, and I kid you not, hours instead of maybe a half hour.
The worst part of this experience as far as tutorials are concerned? If you go into your menu area, they provided a list of all the moves you could preform, what series of buttons you could press and so on. And why did I have to spend hours learning the four or five beginning combos again?
The story advancement is very choppy, and slow moving. in the two hours I was trying to learn the basic combos so I could finally be out of tutorial mode, the story really didn’t move forward much if at all. In the time that I played the game, I followed Quorra, saw a speech and battled an attack of infected programs, and got to the point of Clu asking Flynn if he was still supposed to create the perfect system, which is part of the movie itself. Story advancement is most definitely fail! In fact I didn’t even make it to part where I can play in the iconic disk/light-cycle games this story moved so slow.
The controls themselves were something I had another problem with. The moves in battle are visually impressive, but I found that in many cases they are difficult to pull off, in many cases forcing me to resort to button mashing and using the basic moves that took me two hours to learn.
To make matters worse, the creators of Evolution seemed to see fit not to make the objective either hard to get to, or not very clear what the objective is in the first place, further slowing game-play and plot advancement.
Just transversing the play area is a lesson in the patience of Job as they have you pressing multiple button sequences just to get from one ledge to another. I must have “derezzed” a dozen times per ledge trying to get deeper into the games storyline.
So bad was the game-play design for Tron: Evolution, that it became hardly worth continuing playing to see how events unfolded to bring us to Tron Legacy. If you want to know the back story badly enough you can certainly try and make it through everything in the game…but its going to take you a while to do. I
Traditionally video games based on movies never work, are never well done and rushed out for eye candy before the feature film its based on hits theaters, Tron Evolution is most certainly not an exception to the rule.
To Its credit, Olivia Wilde and Jeff Bridges do provide character voices to Quorra and Kevin Flynn, and the soundtrack music written by Daft Punk make it in as well. But star power sadly does not make the game any more enjoyable.