After reading/watching most of the reviews online for Tron: Evolution I have noticed they barely mention the multiplayer aspects of the game. The game by no means re-created the wheel with their online modes, but I find it to be a welcomed change from the overload of 1st person shooters online. As much fun as rolling into cover behind an abandoned Hummer on the war torn streets of Cuba with a loaded automatic rifle is, I fully enjoyed grabbing my light disc and going into The Grid.
By now you have probably already read a review or two that talks about how the game is a chapter in the TRON saga that takes place somewhere between the events of the 1982 TRON film and the 2010 release of Tron: Legacy. With parkour inspired mobility and combat, full 3D support on the PS3 as well as support for the Playstaion Move on light cycle levels. My review isn't going to tell you more of what has been documented, I want to shed more light on the game's multi player and it's persistent player progression system.
Out of the box the game features 4 multiplayer maps to play on featuring 4 different game modes. Well, 3 modes really, the deathmatch style Disintegration mode has solo and team versions. If you go online you can play with up to 10 other people in one match. Or, if your PSN friends list is low or you want to get some practice in, you can play any of the multiplayer modes with up to 9 AI opponents. Fans of TRON will be drawn to the light cycle modes first (and in my case, most often). Being able to hop on your light cycle on the Defrag and Circuit Board maps is heaps of fun. You can be engaged in combat with a rival team over control of a "power node" (flag) and if you are about to be derezzed you can wall run overhead, jump off the platform and make a getaway on your light cycle. The ability to jump on and off of your light cycle is a huge skill to master early on if you plan on playing the light cycle map. In the Bit Runner mode you, or your team, gain points for holding onto the "bit" and surviving on the Grid. Depending on how many players are in your match you can get surrounded quickly by light trails and being able to time your 90* turns and jumps off and on of your light cycle can keep you alive.
In addition to the 4 maps available on the game disc, Propaganda Games has also added 2 additional maps for free to players who bought the game. Just be sure you don't loose the little card the code is written on when you open the game. Both the Codestream Nexus and Users Plaza maps are vehicle only maps and offer more of the fun game play as the previous maps do.
The Heatsink & Hard Disc maps shipped on the disc play more like the single player campaign do. The parkour combat system and mobility features are used to navigate large maps. As opposed to "infected" AI programs coming out of closets in the level you face off against other users. This is a welcomed change from the repetition faced in combat during the story mode. A factor in your personal success in multiplayer arenas depends on how far you have come along in your characters persistent player progression. This "system upgrade" function allows you to improve almost every aspect of your character in the game. From the specific Mods you can add to your light disc to the system upgrades you can do to your light cycle, the longer you play the game they better your character becomes.
Again, they aren't recreating the wheel with this progression system, but the ability to use upgrades acquired in the single player game online in multiplayer and vice versa provides a new take on an old model. This can be a double edged sword though. If you log on now, many gamers have already maxed out their character and thus are near impossible to kill online. But with enough time spent online or progressing through the single player mode you can seek revenge against those players who derezzed you early on.
All in all the multiplayer for TRON: Evolution adds to the game immensely. If you play the single player campaign and feel the need for more time on your light cycle or if you want a change form the AI baddies you face then log into The Grid and join in on a 10 player match. Just be sure to avoid the programs sutherland604 & Kirk JR. They have been logged into The Grid for some time now and are hard to derezz.