Play it on a disposable profile. Why have an Achievement list for a game you'll never play cluttering up your gamertag?

User Rating: 1 | TRON: Evolution X360
I knew going into this that, being a movie tie-in, "Tron: Evolution" might be disappointing. However, being a fan of the original "Tron," and having not hated "Tron: Legacy" (trust me; that's saying a LOT -- I went into that movie ready to hate it, and looking for things to rip apart about it), I thought MAYBE I might be able to enjoy "Evolution."

WRONG.

Honestly? The only reason I marked it as "Waste of time" above is because Gamespot doesn't offer "Burn it! Burn it with fire!" as an option. Why did I not enjoy "Tron: Evolution?" Let's break it down...

Graphics: 6
While the graphics and character models look fantastic, despite what I've read elsewhere the animation is unconvincing. Especially the facial animations -- and ESPECIALLY when other characters are talking. The Kevin Flynn bit at the start of the game looks like it came from the PS2, and completely killed any suspension of disbelief I might have had. The main character, Anon, has a default pose that makes him look like he's auditioning for the next "Planet of the Apes" movie. If I was one of those other programs wandering around, and I saw someone standing there, posed like he thought he was a chimp, I'd be calling the Tronworld version of the men in white coats to come get him. That said, the backgrounds are on a par with "Tron: Legacy." In the movie, I thought the CGI sets looked a little TOO real, and not video-gamey enough. In the game, though, it works better that way; it helps to draw you into the world a little. It's just too bad that watching the animation of your character throws you right back out of it again.

Gameplay: 0.5
Before you start the game, you're asked what level you want to play at. Since I've mainly been playing FPS's for the last couple of years, I thought I should ease back into third-person platformers. I selected "Casual," which is described as "For Users new to 3rd Person Action Games." Apparently, "Evolution" needs a couple of diffulty levels lower than THAT, for those of us who are new or haven't played in awhile.

I've read elsewhere that the controls are really tight. If tight means "the slightest touch of the left thumbstick will send you careening off in all directions," then yes, the controls are tight. In addition to the too-sensitive movement controls, the camera wheels wildly around you, so that even something as simple as trying to run in a straight line becomes an exercise in futility. You tab the right thumstick to re-center the camera, press up on the left stick, and as soon as Anon starts walking forward, the camera starts weaving around like the camera AI has had one too many shots of tequila. Since the direction "up" takes you is relative to the direction the camera is facing, YOU wind up weaving around like you just left a frat party.

The difficulty curve of the moves you are expected to perform increases far too fast, as well. Before you even have a chance to try to get used to the movement and camera controls, you're expected to run along the side of a wall, jump across to another wall and run on that, then jump to a platform. After de-rezzing five times in less than a minute (at least the loading times are relatively short), I was ready to give up. But no, I'd only been playing around five minutes. That's not enough to give the game a fair chance. Maybe it lets up a little bit, to let you get used to the controls. Nope. After I got past that, I spent ten minutes trying to get out of a pit, because I didn't realize the first time I jumped over it, I was supposed to throw my disc at some kind of lock. Immediately after that, I spent five minutes in another pit, because I failed at running alongside a wall (right trigger), throwing my disc at another lock (X button) and jumping (A button), ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

That's when I decided I'd given this game a more than fair chance. Twenty minutes of play, and I'd been subjected to a PS2 FMV, lousy controls, and spent most of my "play" time just trying to get onto the playing field. When you spend nearly twenty minutes screaming at the TV, "This is supposed to be the EASY difficulty!" you know it's time to just give up.

Sound: 5
The voice actor for Flynn is good enough, in that at least half the time he's talking, you almost forget he's not Jeff Bridges. It's great having Bruce Boxleitner back as the voice of Tron. The music is almost unnoticeable, which is good -- it doesn't distract from trying to run up walls so you can jump out of the pits you've fallen in. Some of the sound effects are annoying, but only because you hear them over and over again, as you try to get out of those pits.

Story: ?
The opening PS2 FMV gives a short two- or three-sentence recap of the plot of "Legacy, and mentions an ISO who died (and it might have been murder). In the game proper, Tron mentions that an ISO is going to be made system administrator. Then you see Quorra trying to get in to see the soon-to-be administrator, and being turned away by the guards, at which time, Tron sends Anon to follow her. Beyond that, I have no idea what the story is supposed to be about.

And to be honest, by this point, I really don't care anymore.

Replay: 0
Seriously. I'm sick of trying to get through it ONCE. Maybe, in a few months from now, when I'm feeling really bored (and REALLY masochistic), I'll give this game another spin. Or maybe I'll just stick my hand in the blender; it might be more fun.

Conclusion:
If you liked the "Tron" movies, and haven't played this yet, rent it first. Play it on a throwaway profile. That way, when you return the rental, if you didn't like "Tron: Evolution" enough to buy it, you can delete the throwaway profile, and not have all those unachieved Achievements littering up your main gamertag. Me? I did the latter, and I'm wishing I'd done the former. Even marked down to approximately $30 US at Walmart, I'm still feeling that "Duke Nukem Forever" was a better value. Hell, I'm even feeling like the used copy of "Sneak King" I bought at the same time was a better value.

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