Tron: Evolution Handles Like Prince of Persia

Free-running and button-mashing defined the playable level of Tron: Evolution, the Xbox 360 companion to the upcoming Tron: Legacy, at Comic Con 2010.

The story wasn’t entirely clear, but Tron puts players in control of a beta security program-guy whose job it is to run around, smashing evil program-guys. The on-foot level (there was also a light cycle portion I didn’t get to try) starts with a bunch of Prince of Persia-style free-running, in which you go running around cyberspace, jumping and bouncing off walls.

Tron is light and airy, and flinging yourself through space felt good. The jumping and free-running mechanics are pretty solid: after vaulting off an object, running off a wall and jumping to another wall, I never felt like the game was doing the heavy lifting for me or like I was out of control.

But before long, regular free-running gave way to combat against “viruses.” The disappointing thing here is that, at least in the early stages, free-running and combat don’t mesh much. With two attack buttons, one for melee smacking and another for a ranged attack, combat was fast and flighty, but never elevated to combos or leaping off things to execute certain moves, the way it does other games that use these mechanics.

Actually, I felt a lot like combat circled around smacking the appropriate button repeatedly while facing in the direction the nearest opponent.

But it looked cool. Your character goes whizzing through the air, jumping and twirling while throwing his disc at enemies, or executing special moves at certain times with a third dedicated button. But all in all, the battle (and the free-running) were simplistic. I was granted one weapon change (I had the option of the standard disc weapon or a “bomb” disc), but neither was particularly different or forced me to change the way I played.

That said, the Xbox version of Tron is beautiful. The rest of the game could easily ramp up to be more challenging and innovative.

Psyched for Tron: Evolution? Check out our full walkthrough at this link.

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