I was excited to pick this up as a new entry in the Tron universe. Tron 2.0 was interesting, but deviated (in my mind) from the true Tron experience by turning it into a first-person shooter (the original Tron wasn’t about guns!).
So how does it fare? If you’re familiar with Mirror’s Edge and Prince of Persia for traversing your environment as well as God of War for combat, you’re in familiar territory. When I say God of War, I use it quite loosely as the combat in God of War is quite visceral and visually stunning whereas Tron utilizes more stilted movements and variations on a single weapon (the disc, whether it be the disc bomb, etc.); there are combos, to be sure, but not overly creative compared to God of War. The game is not ground-breaking, but instead draws upon familiar themes. You’ll feel at home. Other Tron-signature moments occur in the game in the form of the Light Cycle and the Tank. Both are very well-done and are “true” to the movie interpretations.
Some reviews that I have read online complain about the rather bland aesthetic as well as some game play elements (the tank is a “slow, lumbering” vehicle). If you’re not familiar with the movie, then you won’t appreciate that the game designer’s attempt in keeping in line with the actual Tron universe. If you’re looking for a phenomenal, game-changing ride then don’t look here. It is, as I’ve mentioned, a parkour-style game with a rather basic combat system that pays homage to the Tron geek in me more than it does to develop a game that is mind-blowing in and of itself. It’s a step above the traditional movie tie-in, in my opinion, although you may find others here who will disagree.
How is the story? So-so. It definitely does the movie justice by giving you a backstory behind Clu’s fall from grace (this isn’t a spoiler; Flynn’s program Clu has been mentioned in many articles) and your role as a System Monitor program (“Anon”) that attempts to help Flynn/Tron in bringing balance to Flynn’s computerized vision of data management, The Grid. Bruce Boxleitner actually provides voicework for Tron (a quite welcome nod) while Olivia Wilde, who plays Quorra in the movie, also lends her vocal talents here. Together with yourself, Anon, you attempt to unravel the source behind the latest viral attacks by the mysterious viral program, Abraxas.
The story is basic, the gameplay is basic…yet I can’t help but love it. The 9-year old in me who saw the original Tron back in 1982 appreciates this chance to go through a single-player story adventure on my own or duke it out with up to 9 others in multiplayer mode. Thanks, Propaganda, for working on this!
If I could, I would give this game a solid 4.4 stars. It doesn’t quite deserve a 4, but certainly not a 5. However, given that it currently averages 3 stars, I can’t bring myself to drag it down…and the Tron geek in me fully appreciates what’s been given to me. For a reduced price, I would definitely give it my whole-hearted recommendation for those willing to try something new…at full retail, however, I’d say wait for now; don’t disappoint yourself if you’re not fully committed to enjoying Tron in the first place.