Tron 2.0: Killer App Hands-On Impressions
Monolith's film-inspired FPS is coming to the Xbox, with some new additions courtesy of Climax.
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Last year's Tron 2.0 for the PC delivered to fans of the original Tron film a sorely needed update (in game form) to the iconic early '80s digital universe that made the movie so unique. The game provided a cohesive storyline and single-player campaign that actually added new depth to the world, rather than merely re-creating a bare-bones game version of the movie. Now Buena Vista and developer Climax are working to bring the game to the Xbox under a new title, Tron 2.0: Killer App. From what we saw of a work-in-progress version, the conversion looks to be going quite well.
The plot and main campaign of Tron 2.0 will remain unchanged on the Xbox. Rather than fixing something that wasn't broken, Climax is working to tighten up the experience to make it as console-friendly as possible. You'll take control of Jet Bradley, son of programmer Alan Bradley, as he goes back inside the colorful digital world that defined the film. Your primary goals as Jet are to both thwart the machinations of various malicious entities--real and virtual--and save his father's AI construct, Ma3a.
We went hands-on with the game for a few minutes and found it to be easy to get into, since it uses the Halo-style controls that console FPS aficionados are well acquainted with by now. All of the weapons, enemies, and levels from the PC version will be included, and the Xbox game, thankfully, retains the bright neon look of the original film (and PC game). In other words, things look as good here as they did in the PC version, which had a striking visual style to it. Even in its pre-alpha state, the game was running at a pretty smooth frame rate, so performance doesn't seem to be an issue here. Killer App will even feature a few little upgrades over the PC original, such as new enemy death animations and other similar window dressings.
Climax is also working overtime to give the Xbox version of Tron 2.0 extensive multiplayer options. Though in-depth details are still forthcoming, the game will feature a bevy of multiplayer modes, including deathmatch and team deathmatch. Light cycle races, which were available via LAN in the PC version but were shoehorned into the game's Internet mode by industrious gamers, will be available by default for online play. Killer App will also feature around 10 all-new multiplayer maps, not to mention four new weapons that will only be available for use in the online mode (though the exact specs for these new weapons are still being finalized).
Tron 2.0: Killer App's development seems to be progressing smoothly, and since the game isn't coming out until later in the year, Climax should have plenty of time to both polish the single-player experience for the Xbox and beef up the game's multiplayer modes. We'll bring you more details on the game, including new multiplayer details and media, in the coming weeks.