Tron: Evolution Multiplayer Hands-On

We derez the opposition in the multiplayer modes of Tron: Legacy's tie-in game.

Few movies lend themselves to multiplayer modes as well as Tron. When it was time for Tron: Evolution's development team to devise a multiplayer concept, there was presumably a short meeting that began and ended with writing "light discs" and "light cycles" on the whiteboard. And, so we find the multiplayer in this tie-in game: four modes across four maps, with two focused on arena combat with light discs and two focused on cutting up other cyclists with the glowing trails of your light cycle. It's a modest multiplayer offering, though the gamemakers promise two more maps will be available for free download at launch.

A bicycle built for pew pew.

The tie-in game, a third-person action adventure, will be a prequel to the movie Tron: Legacy coming out in December, which is itself a sequel to the 1982 sci-fi flick. Tron: Evolution links the plot of the original movie to the sequel as you--in the single-player mode--take on the role of a monitor program written by Flynn to resolve a conflict in the Tron universe. We're told to expect a story that sheds a little light on how the newly liberated electronic world at the end of the 1982 film became the digital dystopia glimpsed in this year's trailers.

Within multiplayer, there's the de rigueur persistent character progression, with levels to attain and upgrades to unlock, but that progress is also brought back into the single-player campaign. The developer, Vancouver-based Propaganda games, reckons unifying the single-player and multiplayer avatar will persuade more Tron: Evolution buyers--more likely to be casual gamers who enjoyed the film than Modern Warfare aficionados--to sample the online experience. Gaining levels in multiplayer can increase an avatar's health reserve or damage resistance, for instance, or grant access to more powerful types of light disc weapons.

The game supports up to 10-person online multiplayer. The four modes comprise Disintegration, a deathmatch mode; Team Disintegration; Power Monger, a domination-style mode in which teams capture energy nodes; and Bit Runner, in which teams fight to capture and hold an elusive single "bit." We played the first two modes across the Hard Disk and Heat Sink maps, which were both smaller, enclosed spaces with walls and platforms for clambering on, rendered in the familiar neon Tron style. These maps don't allow light cycles, focusing instead on hand-to-hand and light-disc gladiatorial combat.

A hurled light disc isn't as deadly as the movie would have you believe. It took a few direct (heavily aim-assisted) hits, coupled with impressively gymnastic (if repetitively animated) leaping attacks to drain an opponent's health. There are some subtleties to the combat system that reward chaining attacks, dodging, and parrying, but in practice--at least for low-level newcomers--it amounts to a leaping, disc-hurling free-for-all rather than artful duelling. Being derezzed--killed, that is--puts you on a short respawn timer before sending you back into the fray.

The other two maps, Defrag and Circuit Board, are larger "outdoor" maps designed for light cycle action. The cycles can be steered conventionally or turned through instant right angles; it's the latter you'll use to dodge through the path of opponents, creating a barrier with your light trail. These aren't instantly lethal but do create obstructions and cause damage to enemy riders. There are three light cycle types, with marginally varied handling: one based on the 1982 movie, one from the new film, and one original design. In addition to light cycles, you can take control of a map's tank vehicle if you're the first to reach it--these are slow and powerful though not indestructible.

New Tron bomb.

Of the modes Bit Runner and Power Monger, Bit Runner most encouraged racing and outmanoeuvring the opposing team's light cyclists. It also seemed most likely to replicate the high-speed games of chicken promised by the film. Power Monger, on the other hand, requires you to dismount and capture bases (energy nodes) on foot. It's the most strategic of the four modes as well; to win points, teams have to gain and control energy nodes that are linked by the circuitry of the map.

As a movie and now a movie franchise, Tron should spawn games more naturally than most--being about and inside games. In December, alongside Tron: Legacy's cinematic release, we'll know for sure whether we're getting a by-the-numbers spin-off or something worthwhile in the shape of Tron: Evolution.

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42 comments
infinityqs
infinityqs

This is awesome!!!!!! Short but fun and better than that uneven fps game called TRON 2.0. I have one question though: Does this support Windows Live???

jupiter2151
jupiter2151

The first Tron 2.0 was a good game, first person shooter...this game is just another third person shooter trying to make a buck at the same time the movie is coming out. The movie looks great, but after playing PC games for the past 15 years. This game will be a major disappointment...

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Movie/Game......mmmmm, we've been here many times before, will this be any different? lets see.

RedHawk4
RedHawk4

Let's hope the "repetititve" animations don't make it into the final product...

advanracer
advanracer

Now I really get to Drive the Light Cycle...compared to the Arcade Version.

AkhilAnilkumar
AkhilAnilkumar

I just hope that this rocks....visuals look slick....

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

I hope they do as well with this one as Buena Vista Games did with Tron 2.0.

Gammit10
Gammit10

@Hurvl Tron 2.0 was fantastic

UnitedGamerz
UnitedGamerz

ASUMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Wizallah
Wizallah

Harry Flynn is the son of Kevin Flynn in the new film.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"It's a modest multiplayer offering", hell, all I care about is the single player. I actually played a demo of Tron 2.0, but I can't recommend that game based on the demo. I also think that the movie will probably be better than the game, but that doesn't mean the game has to be bad, since it's not a direct conversion of the film.

MifaOnline
MifaOnline

Kevin Flynn is the owner of the arcade who beat the master computer in the first Tron movie. He is usually reffered to as Flynn though. Not sure about Harry.

victort25
victort25

@ blasterchief You are right. I cannot see a record of Harry Flynn on Google but GameSpot is not the only gaming site the mention him. Either it is a mistake or he is a new character in the movie or game which wouldn't make sense.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

The game kinda sounds weak, Tron 2.0 was one of those that could have been interesting but it was a bit too hard for it's own good and battle in that got repetitive after awhile. I think the upcoming Tron: Legacy will be awesome, the game however I don't think will do much......

NND1
NND1

I first saw tron when I was about 8.. I am very excited about the Movie and the Game!!!!1111

blasterchief
blasterchief

Who the hell is Harry Flynn? Please GameSpot, do your research. The main character of Tron's name is Kevin Flynn, and his son is named Sam.

AndresEBR
AndresEBR

the first time I knew about Tron was when i played Kingdom Herts II... and i liked that world a lot!!!, it was one o my favourites, later by making some research i knew that the original movie was from the age of the caverns haha... 1982? really? I wasn't even in my mother plans on that year haha...i mean, the original movie came out six years before my birth, I really don't like old things so i didn't bother to watch the movie but I really like to check the new movie, i'm very excited about it, and hopefully disney will give us a good game too...

ANUBISZER0
ANUBISZER0

I liked Tron when I was a little kid, hopefully the next chapter isn't a Tron-Bomb.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

I don't know very much about tron other then their was a ton of games and everything. Being almost twenty five years old and not knowing anything about a franchise kinda makes me sad... Oh well the movie looks pretty good and most likely after I see it I'll probably pick this game up so hopefully I won't be too disappointed. : )

DennisWZH
DennisWZH

i actually forgot about this.

Frimmel
Frimmel

There were a couple of Tron arcade games Tron and Discs of Tron, three games for the Intellivision Tron: Deadly Discs, Tron: Maze-a-Tron and Tron:Solar Sailer. Also an Adventures of Tron for the Atari 2600 and the previously mentioned Tron 2.0.

I'm interested in this but I don't think I'll pre-order. Movie games don't have good track records (there are exceptions the Wolverine tie-in was fun) so I generally proceed with caution until I can play a demo or read some reviews.

advanracer
advanracer

yeah, thought I was the only one cmndr_zapata hehe for once im actually "afraid" of posting..LMAo!! Too much Censorship/Banning in this site. Ironically enough..we're the ones buying, gaming and stating our own opinions. Back to the game..check out the original Tron, play the arcade, then..post your take on it. Personally..this going to be good.

tokicsek
tokicsek

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

nunchuckgun
nunchuckgun

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Team2Beat
Team2Beat

Could be an interesting game.

Rickystickyman
Rickystickyman

@palmakoy no tron was movie in the 80's about a guy who got stuck in a computer (original for the time) and they played arcade classic games in the movie. After the movie tron they made some arcade games. Hope that clears things up :D

Rickystickyman
Rickystickyman

@Gunface1011 yeah I think it might get a 7 or 7.5. I honestly don't expect any higher than that though. It's graphics are shiny, and seem to have the same feel as the movie, but for a tron game you kind of need to have graphics better than the average game. Sort of like making an avatar game with bad graphics, for a tron game you need good graphics.

Prime99
Prime99

Its looking good so far. Im gonna Pre-Order.

Axel450
Axel450

This game looks pretty good....for a movie. Most movie games bombed their companies into losing thousands upon thousands of dollars. In example: Astro Boy, Harry Potter 4-6, and X-Men Origins

xSyKrysusx
xSyKrysusx

@ChiefFreeman You obviously know nothing about the whole Tron culture.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

its a movie licensed game, so it will sadly fail. It looks very generic and the graphics bland and uninspired.

wolverinet86r
wolverinet86r

@palmakoy Hopefully a good director will make a Halo movie, I just pray they don't use Uwe Boll!!!

Ethelwulfx
Ethelwulfx

Tron was a movie. Then they made TRON 2.0 which was a game.

WALLIX
WALLIX

@palmakoy Tron was a movie first. But since the subject matter was basically about games/computers it translates to, "Real" video games rather seamlessly. Tron was never about an awesome story. It was one of the few movies that was just simply a feast for the eyes with an interesting subject matter. I think Tron Legacy should be a slam-dunk game and movie as it really doesn't have to do much beyond it's pedigree of, "Lasers n' 'splosions". Being a collector of the original Tron memorabilia, I hope new Tron fans don't take this new franchise too seriously as it's not meant to be. It's just supposed to be fun.

palmakoy
palmakoy

@Rickystickyman Strictly speaking Tron was originally a game, atleast i think, it is i am 99.9% sure....the point is this game is going to be awsome...well because it was originally a game.WHEN ARE THEY GONNA MAKE A HALO MOVIE FOR GODS SAKES.

Gunface1011
Gunface1011

@ Rickystickyman I know right? I hope it turns out good, at least a 7 and I'm getting it haha.

Rickystickyman
Rickystickyman

First. Oh and this game does look kind of interesting. Most movies that make a game stink, but this one may not be so bad.