So, Tron then. A film about a man who makes computer games who enters the mainframe where he plays computer games. Screaming for a game spin-off? Sure it was.
Cue 1982’s ‘Tron: Solar Sailor’ (Sailing? The sun? In the mainframe?) as well as some decent if pedestrian efforts in the form of Arcade numbers like Discs of Tron.
So with the 2010 super-sequel Tron Legacy out next month, the door is wide-open for a 3rd generation console generation triumph, with lightcycles, Tron discs, and Olivia Wilde in a catsuit.
All three are included, we’re glad to say – and what’s more, the lightcycles can turn… like actual bikes. You know, curving around corners, rather than 90 degree jolts, making the occasional racing sections we’ve seen much more of a delight than if you kept de-rezzing every other second.
When we first played brief sections of the game at this year’s E3, what we were most impressed with was the stunning look of it all. It’s just as you’d expect from the increasingly exciting movie trailers we’ve been seeing, all dark, gloomy distances and bright, crisp blue lines in the dystopian electronic universe we know and love.
The story takes place in the years between the original Tron and the upcoming Legacy, filling in the plot gaps between the two and giving more of a sense of depth for the whole story – something we have no doubt will have die-hard Tron aficionados running to Game to find out more about after the film’s release.
As mentioned, Olivia Wilde’s on board, and so is Bruce Boxleitner as good ol’ Tron – though Jeff Bridges is definitely not – but other than that, we can’t reveal much more, character or plot-wise, if only because we wouldn’t want to spoil it for you, but also because Disney just ain’t telling. Believe us, we tried.
You play “Anon” (short for, of course, “Anonymous”), a program written by Flynn to investigate a conspiracy in Tron world – one that leads to tellow-coloured virus programmes infecting the mainframe, ones that you need to beat the pixels out of. Of course.
The gameplay centres around a Prince Of Persia-like parkour set-up as you leap around the mainframe, jumping from “building” to “building” to get to your next encounter with the virus.
These encounters are just as slick and fluid as the parkour sections, allowing use of the Tron Disc as you sling it about rooms, smashing up other programmes, backflipping off walls, leaping over desks, roundhouse-ing enemies in the face. The disc is also upgradeable, so you can turn it into Bomb Disc or a Heavy Disc to obliterate your foes with extra electronic oomph.
It’s a slick, exciting game that’ll hopefully break the curse of the movie tie-in curse, acting as a kind of Clone Wars between-the-movies number to explain how things got so dark in the mainframe. Plus, you can play multiplayer deathmatches online, as well as capture the flag games and the like, and any upgrades you achieve online can be brought back into your story mode game too. That’s right: neat.