With the release of Tron: Legacy, the sequel to the cult film Tron later this year, Propaganda Games has been developing a game to be released just before the film is due to come out. Set some time after the original, there is no way Tron: Legacy could explain all that’s happened without having a film that dragged on and on and that is where Disney’s Tron: Evolution fits in nicely. You are put in the role of Anon, a character without an identity, which the developers said would make sense once you progress in the story mode. When Console Monster was invited to London to test out Tron: Evolution, we were only shown a small glimpse of the single player mode so, unfortunately you will have to wait longer to find out exactly what that’s like. However, we did get to play the multiplayer mode for a good hour and that is what I’m going to focus on in this hands-on preview.
There I was sitting downstairs in the Soho Hotel, eating mini bacon butties, pieces of fruits and sipping on my tea, inside what can only be described as a room out of Alice in Wonderland with crazy wallpaper and strange lighting. We were briefed on the day ahead and after waiting for a short while we were called to a mini cinema where we were shown an extended 13 minute trailer of the new film and also guided through the beginning of the single player story mode by the developers. The film looked fantastic in all its 3D glory and the game, although not in 3D, was equally impressive. Once the presentation was over we headed over to a room with around 10 Xbox 360s all connected up and ready for some multiplayer madness.
Like most games that feature online play, Tron: Evolution allows a player to set up their own loadouts with their favourite weapons and equipment or in Tron’s case, your favourite disc and enhancements. Apart from your punches and kicks, the disc is your main weapon and can allow you to attack enemies from a distance. You can obtain discs that hit harder or go faster and also perform different special attacks which, paired with enhancements such as increased health or abilities that allow you to regenerate an ally’s health, means you will have a tough time finding someone with the exact loadout as yourself.
There are four different game modes: Disintegration, Team Disintegration, which are both Deathmatch modes, Bit Runner, which is Tron’s take on the classic Capture the Flag and Power Monger, which is essentially Domination and requires you to secure different areas on the map to score points. While trying to complete the different mode’s task, you are able to use a mixture of free running, capoeira style fighting and crazy disc throwing to dodge and kill your foes. I wasn’t quite sure what was going on at times as there doesn’t appear to be any form of targeting in the game but I was killing a lot of people and getting top of the score boards on quite a few occasions, so I must have been doing something right! I managed to obtain around rank seven in the hour or so I played the multiplayer mode and was told that there are fifty ranks in total, that allow you to unlock new discs and enhancements. The developers also mentioned that any levelling up you do in single player is transferred to your multiplayer character and vice versa.
The game presented well and kept up with all the craziness that was being displayed on screen with ten people chucking discs at each other and running people over with the classic Tron lightcycle. Oh, did I forget to mention the bikes? They are awesome! You can press the right bumper button at any time in a multiplayer map and whip out your lightcycle, which has different attacks depending on which disc you currently have equipped. The lightcycle leaves a trail of coloured light behind it which will disintegrate your enemies or yourself if you foolishly touch it. You can either control the bike freely with the left analog stick or use the d-pad to make sharp 90 degree turns in true Tron style. The lightcycles were easily the highlight for me and controlled really well once I got used the 90 degree turns.
Tron: Evolution is a fast paced action game that is a real joy to play and although I wasn’t sure who I was hitting at times, I really enjoyed the multiplayer mode and didn’t find myself getting annoyed at all. The game is out late next month so look out for Console Monster’s review of the full game in the near future.