A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that TRON: Evolution is a game based on the movie TRON: Legacy. It earned its "Teen" rating primarily for its fantasy violence. This includes hand-to-hand combat, acrobatic attacks, throwing discs, shooting tanks, and racing in light cycles (with the intent to crash the opponent). While enemies resemble humans, the game clearly has a sci-fi premise, where you're a security program inside of a computer, attempting to stop a virus. Plus, there is no blood or gore in TRON: Evolution. If kids opt to play online, they can chat with strangers in an unmoderated manner. Parents might want to use the parental controls of their console to prohibit this option.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Set in the period between the iconic '82 film TRON and its new sequel TRON: Legacy, Disney Interactive's TRON: EVOLUTION features the same fast-paced action as found in the sci-fi movies it's based on – including light cycle races, disc-based duals, and acrobatic battles against enemies across the Grid. You play as Anon, a computer security program out to stop a villainous virus called Abraxas from taking over the cyberworld. Complemented by impressive CG effects, this cinematic third-person tale includes both a single-player campaign and support for multiplayer matches over the Internet for up to 10 simultaneous gamers. Voiceovers are provided by Olivia Wilde as Quorra and Bruce Boxleitner as Tron; a few tracks from the film, composed by Daft Punk, are also in the game.
Is it any good?
As a video game, TRON: Evolution is so-so. While some of the action is exciting, such as tank battles and some of the platforming elements, a lot of it is shallow, repetitive, and without tight controls. The combat, for example, is based primarily on tossing discs at enemies (which you can upgrade) but feels like an incomplete game mechanic for its too basic (and thus un-gratifying) execution. The light cycle races also feel lackluster as you don't get a good sense of speed, and it's over shortly before it begins. At least there are multiplayer modes to engage in, including the fun Bit Runner, where you'll earn points for the length of time your team carries the "bit," captured from a fallen player or from the center of the battle arena. In short, while not horrible, this isn't one of Disney's finest games of the year. Note: the Nintendo Wii game, TRON: Evolution Battle Grids, is a different game altogether.
Online interaction: TRON: Evolution can be played online against up to 9 other human opponents, in a number of different game modes. Some game modes take place on foot, others in vehicles; some are player against player while others are team against team. Gamers can chat via headset microphone, if desired, which can lead to hearing bad language.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether video games that tie in with a Hollywood movie released at the same time is a good idea or not.
On one hand, it lets fans of the franchise step into the fantasy world and feel like they're part of the adventure. On the flipside, however, what are Disney's motives for launching the well-timed game with its theatrical counterpart (or in this game, serving as a prequel)? Is this clever timing or shameless marketing?