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Tron: Evolution Preview

The movie Tron was made back in 1982, and it about those new-fangled electronic thinking machines; “Com-pu-tors” they were called. This was the primitive past when a typical computer was the size of room, didn’t have a mouse, and only a handful of people had ever used one.  They were big, mysterious, frightening machines and- as far as the average person knew- it was perfectly plausible that a computer with 1 meg of ram could become sentient, then zap you with a ray gun and pull you inside the terrifying world of its digital brain!

It all sounds quaint to us here in the distant future of 2010, but at the time it was ground-breaking science fiction (A direct ancestor of The Matrix) and cool enough to spawn a franchise which still stands to this day.  Older gamers and geeks are filled with nostalgia for the franchise, and Disney is hoping to bring that to a new generation with a sequel film Tron: Legacy which opens in theatres on December 17th.  The new movie will be about the son of the main character from first Tron film.  The tie-in videogame Tron: Evolution comes out on December 7th and will bridge the gap between the two films while giving players a chance to race Light Cycles on a next-gen platform.  

Tron: Evolution will be set inside the film’s computerized world and Players will control an anthropomorphic program named Anon (For Anonymous). The new Legacy film will have references to events from the game, and the game will feature characters and actors from the movie, serving as a prequel.  Because the game comes out well ahead of the film, hard-core Tron fans will have the chance to unravel all of the game’s mysteries and still be able to catch the movie on opening day.

Action will consist of parkour-style platforming as you explore the digital world, and combat will be a combination of acrobatic martial-arts and Tron’s signature Identity Disk battles.  Players will also have access to vehicles like the iconic Light Cycles that were seen in the films, and appeared in many of the Tron video game adaptations.  There will also be a multiplayer component in which players can battle with Identity Disks, or in Light Cycles.
For younger reader not familiar with these terms, Identity Disks were much like high-tech boomerangs; a plot element of the film (And several of the Tron games) was a form of combat similar to jai-alai.  The Light Cycles are motorcycles that leave a wall of destructive energy in their wake as they travel and were used in both the film and games for races in which players tried to trap opponents in a maze, using both reflexes and strategy.
The game is developed by Propaganda Games, Disney Interactive Studios’ action and role-playing game studio.  They also handled the 2008 instalment of the Turok franchise and were developing Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned which was canceled days ago.  Hopefully that means resources are freed up to fine-tune Tron: Evolution over the next two months.

Tron: Evolution comes out December 7th for PC, XBox 360, and PS3, and there are separate Tron games for Wii, iphone, DS and PSP.  A collector’s edition with a model Light Cycle will be available for XBox and Playstation, but not PC as of this writing.


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