Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Tron Evolution

Just before the world goes Tron crazy, we get a glimpse at Disney's game to coincide with the release. Taking place before the events of Tron Legacy, we delve into The Grid to see what all the fuss is about ...

I was apprehensive of this game for good reasons, the production company behind it had only really done Turok before this, which wasn't exactly inspiring confidence and Disney aren't known for their cutting edge computer games (Kingdom Hearts can suck my balls), so what to make of Tron Evolution?

Well let's set the scene, Flynn introduces us to the game by saying how the system he created has evolved, it's not just computer games now. Instead, it's expanded and there's not just basic programs bouncing around in there either - there's Iso's. These Iso's are entities that have formed on their own and serve no direct purpose and there's unrest in The Grid because of this. After an Iso has gone rogue and become a virus, Clu (who is Flynn's server manager and looks just like him) goes a bit mad and declares war on all Iso's - civil unrest ensues and the virus doesn't help either. So that's basically it.

What follows on from there I still don't know. You run into some people in the way and you have to get places but I'm never sure why and I'm afraid I lost interest not long after the start. This isn't just because of the story, it's for a number of reasons.

The first thing you'll notice is the graphics, it's very slick and the neon lights look great and you'll be immediately impressed. However, on closer inspection you realise it all looks rather the same and begins to hurt your eyes after a while. The close up's and anything that needs real texturing look terrible and the Tron universe is simple and quite barren which doesn't make for much of a sight.

The gameplay is also ridiculously behind-the-times. It plays like Prince of Persia where you hold a button to run up walls and basically do anything fancy, which means you're pressing that button for pretty much the whole game. You run up walls, jump about and do other parkour stuff that seems completely out of place and you'll spend about 80% of your time playing it, just moving from one platform to another. However, it's not as advanced as Uncharted or say, Enslaved, so you can fall off at any point, often don't know where you're supposed to be going or what you're supposed to be doing and will time and time again jump off wrong and end up dead. I must have died well over 200 - 300 times and some of the checkpoints are so stupidly placed that you'll find yourself having to kill a bunch of enemies just to make sure you get that one jump right again, and if you don't get the next one right? Back to kill those enemies again. I cannot tell you how frustrating it all is. The platform aspect of the game is tedious, backward, repetitive and a chore - it's no fun whatsoever.

So when you're not jumping about like a retard, what are you doing? Mostly fighting. Once again, this has been poorly conceived as you often don't know how hard an enemy is hitting and with their sodding flying discs you never know when you should be blocking or hitting. You don't feel any real metaphysical contact when you do hit (that should make sense to the gamers) so you just feel like you're swooshing about and hoping for the best. You have four different types of disc but there's no real grace to it, I often kept with the heavy disc and did an 'area attack' which saw me off pretty much everyone. You have to keep your energy levels up by running, much like a bag of crisps along a checkout counter, against an energy wall thing which gives you health. This often means that in crucial times, you'll often miss it or spend 20 seconds trying to get the run right meaning by then you're already dead and have to start it again. Also by using your 'special' discs, you use up power, so to up your power you hop over desks or little stumps in the ground - no joke. The whole thing is just bloody stupid.

So what about the cool stuff like the bikes? Well, like any good gamer knows, sometimes games have to sacrifice skill for spectacle. Take Call Of Duty's little bike or four wheel excursions, they are fast, furious, and take minimal skill to continue and would rather you enjoy it than have to do it again and again and again. Tron isn't like that. Instead, if you hit anything, or even touch the sides you lose a lot of health, which means instead of flooring it, you have to patiently and slowly make your way round bends and then suddenly know when to speed up at points to get over jumps. When other bikers engage you (there's only 3 I think in the entire game and they don't last longer than ten seconds each) then instead of trying to get them to crash into your light, you just have to outrace them. No 90 degree turns either. Disgraceful.

The tank sequences are also laughable and feel like a PS One game gone awry, it's simple shoot and move mechanics that are so lame it hurts. When you have to battle enemy ones without being in the comfort of your own tank, it takes a while to figure out how to kill them and if their turret so much as brushes you, you're dead. The 'game' sequence where you go up against other programs in gladiator type events is so short that if you blink you'll miss it and is stupidly easy. It feels like an afterthought. Apart from that, that's really it.

What annoys me the most is that because of the lights and the fact your character doesn't say anything it reminds me of Dead Space, which makes me even angrier for some reason, probably because the way it looks is it's only saving grace and it doesn't even stand up to a game released years ago. Overall, there have been worse games out there but this is shockingly bad. Apparently multiplayer mode is an important part, but I can't see it being much fun as the story campaign was infuriating. Don't touch this game, just leave it well alone and hope that one day someone can do Tron justice and, if you're planning to get this on PS Move then good luck because I wouldn't dare.

It's definitely taken a Tron for the worst, but looks pretty at times and, I guess it does have light cycles. It's either clearly been rushed for release or the producers are idiots.


Rating: 3/10


  1. Really like the new video stuff. I'm terrible at gaming but I love to dabble in it a bit. I'm the guy that would take 100 hours to complete your 1/2 hour game.

    The video stuff is a nice separation from the norm. It makes The Wild Bore different from every other movie,music, gaming blog. However, I will admit I'd be quite sad if you ditched your writing for a video review only site. (after all I enjoy stealing content from you!) Ha! Keep up the great work!

  2. Sounds to me like TRON 2.0 for the PC is the real TRON sequel... Now if only Disney would release the SDK for that game so that true TRON fans could upgrade it...

  3. ha! that was a bit more in the vein of Tron that this is. Also I'm not planning to give the writing up, just mixing it up a bit so use whatever you like ;) cheers man!
    Also because of the snow here I couldn't get to a screening of Tron Legacy this afternoon, I'm gutted

  4. Unfortunately, Disney have now announced today they have let go of Propaganda which hopefully means they'll stop making crap games.