My recent play-through of TRON: RUN/r has reignited the love of TRON in my mind and heart. It is funny how someone’s fandom can go dormant for a certain amount of years and just one crack in that dormancy unleashed the floodgates. I have had Tron: Evolution in my collection for quite sometime and just never had the desire to play it, now I can’t keep my hands off of it. Licensed games are generally garbage, they have been improving as of late and Tron: Evolution was one of those surprising better licensed games. The game doesn’t hold a candle to the Arkham series, but licensed games are definitely stepping in the right direction.
The story takes place before the events of Tron: Legacy and chronicles where the ISOs came from and how Clu’s rift from Flynn began. You play as Anon, a program that seems to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, constantly. Somehow this poor program has to fight off virus programs to save Flynn since Tron was MIA. He gets involved in the overall story when he witnesses Flynn and Tron being accosted as Tron attempts to get Flynn to safety outside The Grid. And he is drafted by Quorra in the quest to rid The Grid of the infected and hopefully save Tron and Flynn. Lots of weight on the shoulders of a non character right?
Surprisingly the graphics are quite good for a last generation game. Disney didn’t spare any expense getting the likeness of all the main characters into the game. They were even nice enough to pay those actors for their voice overs, which allows for an easy transition into the movie should you watch it after you play. The character models look great too. I can tell that Jeff Bridges is Jeff Bridges and that Olivia Wilde is Olivia Wilde; it is uncanny. To be honest, Jeff Bridges looks better in this game than he did as Young Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy. Disney spent all their money on the awesome cut scenes, and very little on the environment you will be battling and platforming on. I would get lost a lot jumping around because there was no marker of where I needed to go and because the platforming isn’t very well conceived. I don’t remember Tron and Flynn jumping around The Grid in any of the movies, why they included it in this game I’ll probably never know.
The combat controls are pretty easy to learn, and you have to learn them fast because waves of programs are trying to derezz you. The left stick controls Anon and the right stick controls the camera; R1 is the key to all the platforming and parkour, you have to hold it down to do all the special jumps and grabs. X is jump and you will be jamming on that a lot as you hold down R1; I hope you have strong hands. To fight, you throw your disc with square and to use your power disc you press triangle. Don’t be too liberal with those power disc throws; they take a bit of work to recharge and some enemies can only be killed with them. Circle is melee with the disc, but you won’t use that too often seeing as it is do weak, and X is jump which is extremely useful as you try to dodge your enemies discs.
I really enjoyed this title; everything about it surprised me in a good way. The combat was solid, but had varying difficulty; at one point I took on about 10 guys, and it wasn’t a problem. Then one guy took me about 10 tries; the difficulty curve gets very irritating. Thankfully, the developers were checkpoint happy; they would place one before a difficult platforming section and before some brutal fights. It is nice to have some good guy developers that do that; there’s nothing like beating a tough point only to have to do it over and over because developers like those deserve coal in their stocking.
Fans of the Tron movies should give this title a look. I’m sure it is a cheap used title by now. Not only do you get to play with new and old characters you get to look into the time between the movies and how Flynn is trapped within The Grid. People who don’t know jack about Tron could still enjoy the games combat and trying platform sections. Either way it is definitely worth a play-through.