It may not be the definitive 'Tron' experience, but it's cat-nip for Tron fans.
The story does nothing short of improving the already expansive if not a little confusing web of Tron. If you don't know, the story of Tron Legacy focuses on Kevin Flynn's one and only son entering the world of Tron to save his pops. Well, Tron: Evolution takes place shortly before that. In fact, the events of Evolution set the conditions for Legacy to take place properly. You play as the System Monitor, deemed "Anon", tasked with protecting the system at all costs. As the System Monitor you are somewhat of a super-hero, endowed with the powers necessary. When a nasty virus randomly infiltrates the Grid, your mission becomes clear. Little do you know, there is more than just a typical outbreak in the works. The devil is in the details. If you loved Tron: Legacy, as well as the original, you should be able to point out where the plot points fit together. The System Monitor is an interesting and unsung hero whose story should be witnessed.
It's hard to ignore the obvious similarities between this game and other games like Prince of Persia. Instead of rewinding to before you failed, you get frequent checkpoints. You scale walls, and bounce between structures like Flubber on a cat. Your path is mostly linear, although you will be given a choice sometimes. You fight with the titular weapon: your disc. You receive four variations of your weapon throughout the game, and believe me when I say that you will need to get to know them well. The game will test your mettle with the discs. In the later stages of the game, you will have the opportunity to build up your abilities, for both off and online play. While the majority of the upgrades are for Online Multiplayer, there are still some that can make a big difference for you. Also worth mentioning is the game's very cinematic approach to fighting. It feeds you slow motion kills and juicy tid bits to keep things fresh. Evolution tries hard at its job, but it will get slightly repetitive at times. Nonetheless, the story should keep you going, especially during the middle sequence of the game. You will be hacking and slashing through many enemies.
The graphics are fantastic, with the exception of the cutscenes. The lighting is smooth and dramatic, and the colors reflect the computerized world well. It's amazing to look into the dark glass of the System Monitor's helmet and see what he's seeing in the reflection. That's a special feeling when you see these things, and it really shows that the developers were trying their best. You can't just render these things with Paint and Photoshop. Not to mention, the Tron world's appearance is a bit barebones, so its a task to make things interesting.
The multiplayer is great, especially since you can fight against bots. The light cycles are a blast too, except the bots don't use them. It's a bit sad that you can't go about derezzing everybody without human players, but there is a remedy to that (it's called friends). For a game that appears to be an obvious movie cash-in, it sure doesn't play like one. They even released a collectors edition for this game. You gotta give it a chance.
When all is said and done, Tron: Evolution DOES hold a candle to the titans of gaming today. Tron fans deserve more though, and Evolution sadly is not the definitive Tron experience. The Gods of Gaming will keep teasing us though. Tron: Evolution has a solid and fun single player campaign, a story that fits nicely into the Tron mythology that will tug on your heart strings a little, and a multiplayer that aspires to the frequently spammed multiplayer giants of today. Just watch your back, those discs are deadlier than you think. Don't get derezzed!