It happened again. There was a not so subtle transition from film to game that took place under the watchful eye of Disney’s resurrection of “TRON” in “TRON: Legacy.” Plenty of mesmerizing rhythms care of Daft Punk and a visual flair that’s as unique today as it was thirty years ago. Unfortunately, there were just a few minor flaws holding the game version from actual decency, though it’s still worth a rental if you’re curious about how it plays. Bear one thing in mind: repetition is a bad thing, especially in gaming.
Let’s get one thing out of the way very quickly. “TRON: Evolution” is not a bad game. No matter what anyone tells you about video games created in the shadow of a film, this game is actually pretty decent by most standards. The big issue is that the title feels as though it could have been a lot more, a whole lot more. The scenery is pretty good looking, especially when you’re in one of the cycle set pieces that has you weaving down some trippy roads. The neon-bonanaza is fun and might even invigorate some memories of the previous film, but eventually your eyes get used to the candy and the flaws start to stick out.
The animations are a real downer as the slow down inherent in some of them can be a real deal breaker when everything just started to appear to be going smoothly. Running alongside a platform in preparation to leap the next looks good – so long as the character is in motion. There’s a bit of contrast in combat with the animations, which has a built in slow motion when you’re contorting your body in preparation to knock someone out. The combat is fun, if a bit button-mashy, and the combination of the light disk in conjunction with melee combat keeps things from getting too dull. The difficulty does that for you – don’t expect any real semblance of challenge here.
When it comes down to it, the single player is pretty much a repetitive parkour-fest with combat that a monkey’s pendulum could master. Thankfully, “TRON: Evolution” doesn’t end at single player and the multiplayer is where some of the aforementioned potential managed to dome through.
The iconic image of “TRON” and what will be “TRON: Evolution’s” are the light cycles. They’re the saving grace of the single player and the best reason to engage in the multiplayer. A few of the maps you can play on are small and the light cycles don’t fair too well, but on the wide-open variants everything turns into a hectic light-cycled based jamboree. There’s almost an unspoken general consensus that you need to try to cut off as many people as possible.
“TRON: Evolution” has some forgivable flaws on a striking good looking game. Save the repetition that bogs down much of the single player the game plays pretty well and is a lot of fun when you’re playing with the light cycles online. Hopefully a good dose of downloadable content will add to the best part of the game and make it more of a focus.