I'm not the type to get sentimental, but during my childhood, I must've watched Tron at least 20 times. Its mesmerizing visual effects, and entertaining, epic quest-style story were very compelling to my young mind. Entertaining the prospect of playing the video game was hard enough, as there was so much built up in my mind about how the Tron universe worked, its look, feel, sound, and if they managed to screw up one of my childhood favorites, I didn't plan on being amicable about it. While I was relieved to see that there was so much that they did right, I'm dismayed that so much of this game went wrong. It's hard to categorize it, so expect this to read more like a checklist of the good, the bad, and the ugly, with a little bit of order thrown in.
Far and away, the visuals in Tron 2.0 are gorgeous. I've heard some people argue that for such a simplistic, black lit setting, Tron 2.0 could've been done with yesterday's technology. I'll say that they're outright wrong, as the scope of some of these visual effects should convince anyone that they deserve a good, high-end graphics engine. While they do not dominate the game, some of the level designs in this title show off the amazing capabilities that the Lithtech engine possesses.
Second, this game features excellent character design. With the ability to load and upgrade various pieces of software that you gain throughout the game, you can redesign your character on the fly. The better the upgrade, the smaller the amount of memory it consumes.
By far, Tron 2.0's greatest weakness is it's lack of good sound design. Watch Tron the movie, and you'll hear ambient noise that is unique to the computer generated universe, noise that isn't replicated in the game. Just as with playing a Star Wars title, ambient noise should've been one of the higher priorities, as it just isn't convincing when I don't hear the beeps and bleats that I remember from the movie.
Tron 2.0 is also filled with boring, stale, static environments. You don't get to see a great deal of movement or activity going on, and with tight camera angles in narrow canyon-like levels, you don't get to see the wide, strange scope of terrain that Tron engenders.
Now, I'm not one to flinch at the sight of a tough game, however, Tron 2.0 is extraordinarily difficult. While it isn't impossible it does require saving every few seconds, for fear of getting my ass so badly kicked that I couldn't hope to continue.
Once you get far enough through the game, you may also be disappointed by the storyline, which practically duplicates any number of other games, including offering up four boss battles, as if FPS games even needed such a thing anymore.
Finishing out my review is a brief nod to the multiplayer portions of Tron 2.0. Just as in the single player campaign, you may find the design of Light Cycle combat to be aggravating in the extreme. Hard to control, and not easy to learn, it wasn't something that I'd like to repeat, and given how long I've been waiting to play a new Light Cycle game, that says a lot. Combat is intriguing and with the disc arena offering tournament style combat, this can be fun. Now, if theyd only made a tank and jai-alai mini-game, like from the film'
When it comes down to it, I'd play this again if only for the fact that it was Tron, but aside from that (and in some cases, not even) it's on the low, low end of my FPS scale, right there alongside Undying and sitting on top of Daikatana. Lot's o' fluff, no polish.