An excellent FPS with RPG-like elements and a chance to play in the Tron universe. I like it.
Well, it has to be said that I was a fan of the Tron movie back in the day. Even when I was a little kid, I loved that movie. So now that I'm a full-grown geek and there is a game coming out based on the movie premise I am all about the idea. And I am happy to say that Tron 2.0 delivers. All of the environments and character models really do look like they come from the movie. I have never played a movie-inspired game before that captured the look and feel of it's property quite like this.
That brings us to the graphics, which are knock-you-out-of-your-chair good. Sure, the computerized Tron universe lends itself to cool graphics, but the latest Lithtech 3d here comes through with incredible translucencies and vivid glowing color displays. It's a sight to behold and will keep impressing throughout the play.
The games action is pretty heavy. You'll have to de-rez (kill) a whole lot of enemies before your through. The AI fights pretty well and keeps things challenging. If anything, they can be a little too good at times.
Your array of weapons is pretty varied, including your classic disc that featured so prominently in the movie and featuring other goodies such a weapon that are essentially a shotgun and another that is a sniper rifle, all Tron-style naturally. The animation of activating your sniper rifle is ice cold cool. You will likely rely primarily on your disc, though, and the various mods there-on.
The game also delivers deeper gameplay than most FPS's in that it has some RPG-type elements. Since you are now essentially a computer program, you are upgradable. As you continue through the game, you can upgrade your core assets such as weapons skill, energy (used to power weapons and abilities), health, etc. As well, you pick up a myriad of sub-routines, some of which use up energy, that you must choose between given your limited sub-routine space (which changed between levels depending on where you are supposed to be). Sub-routines include weapons, viral defenses, armor, increased abilties, and modifications to your disc's powers among other things. The sub-routines even come in three different levels - Alpha, Beta, and Gold - each becoming increasingly effective and taking up less space. Managing all of this is an essential part of the game and added greatly to my experience.
Another great feature of the game is the locations. You don't simply stay on one computer, but move around to a variety of different places, including a massive, crowded internet hub and a the confined space of a PDA. The locations are all very well done and lend themselves well to their themes.
One great part of the game is the light-cycle races. There is light-cycle racing at various points throughout the single-player game and there is also a separate set of races that you can run independently, with the ability to unlock new cycles. The action is fast, frantic, great-looking, and exactly what Tron fans have been wanting.
The storyline was decent enough. You play Jet Bradley, the son of Alan Bradley from the original movie. An evil corporation is attempting to take over Encom in order to gain the digitization technology for their own evil uses. It's your job to stop them. But the real treat for Tron fans will be the emails that one can collect throughout the game telling about things going on in Encom since the events of the Tron movie.
The AI could shoot the wings off a fly at a mile off seemingly. That could be a tad frustrating.
The storyline, while decent, could have been better. There were a couple of cringe-worthy moments, such as the mother-computer entity "Ma3a", the inclusion of which was a bit more cheese than I needed. Still, very minor.
There was at least one jumping puzzle which made me want to put my head through my computer monitor. Note to all game designers: Jumping puzzles in FPS games are horrid. Leave them out.
The Bottom Line
Tron 2.0 is the best thing to come out of the Tron license since the movie itself. If you like FPS action, it's a fine example of the genre. If you like Tron, it's a great chance to explore the universe. If you are a fan of both, well, this game is gonna be sweet.