by Al Giovetti
By Al Giovetti
Summary * History * Company Line * Game Play * Plot * Graphics * Animation * Voice Actors * Music Score * Sound Effects * Utilities * Multi-player Features * Cheats, Hints, and Walkthrough * Journalists * References * Letters
Monolith, the developer of Tron 2.0, helped develop No one lives forever, No one lives forever 2, A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way, The Matrix, Shogo: Mobile ARmor Division, Hitman, Aliens vs. Predator, Sanity: Aiken's Artifact, Blood and Blood 2: The Chosen, Rage of Mages 1, Rage of Mages 2, Septerra Core, Gruntz, Get Medieval and Claw. Monolith was founded in October, 1994 in Kirkland, Washington, while the founders were still developers at Edmark. Monolith's work with Windows based gaming graphics lead to a collaborative effort with Microsoft Corporation to produce the LithTech Development System.
The original Tron film starred Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn a hacker who is abducted into the world of a computer, Where he becomes Clu, and is forced to participate in gladiatorial games where his only chance of escape is with the help of a heroic security program named Tron, played by Bruce Boxleitner. Tron was programmed by Alan Bradley who is also played by Bruce Boxleitner. Various humans who have access to the computer world, are duplicated by their anthropomorphic programs who look like their programmers. Cindy Morgan plays Lora in the real world and her program, named Yori in the computer world. Barnard Hughes plays Dr. Walter Gibbs in the real world and an access portal named Dumont within the computer. In addition to the Master Control Program (MCP), which was apparently assembled from programs written by many people, David Warner plays the antagonist Ed Dillinger in the real world and Sark within the computer. Sark is the MCP's assistant. David Warner also does the voice of the MCP for the film.
Why all this interest in a 1983 film? It is pretty simple actually. The Tron 20th anniversary editition DVD was recently released and the large numbers of DVDs sold surprised Disney who now wants to capitalize upon the phenomenon. Disney had no idea how many fans were out there. Disney is reportedly testing the popularity waters with the video game Tron 2.0 and will more seriously consider the already written Tron 2.0 script if the video game sells well.
In many ways the game play of Tron 2.0 is unfortunate. Unfortunate because I wanted to play this game very much. Unfortunate because it contains many elements that are just unnecessary.
You find yourself jumping from box to box. You need to look down as you jump so that you will not miss a box and fall straight to the floor. If you don't jump, you cannot progress to the next area.
You cannot climb in Tron 2.0. Third person shooters do allow climbing. Why don't first person shooters allow you to climb?
All this jumping and no climbing is very frustrating. You see a box you have to jump multiple times saving as you go to get to. You get frustrated because you realize if you were allowed to climb you could get to the box easier.
Some areas have moving platforms that you must time accurately and walk with the platform to another location in the level. You cannot just stand on the platform and have it move with you on it. The platform has the ability to slide out from under you if you do not time your movement precisely with the platform. All this while the platform is loosing parts of itself as you try moving along and guessing where to move next.
When you walk on a platform you can easily walk off the platform and fall to your death which in this world is your deresolution. Walking off of platforms accidentally causing your death and requiring you to reboot has been hated by gameplayers for almost 20 years. Ron Gilbert when he worked at Lucas Arts made jokes about falling off of paths on the side of mountains. These jokes entertained the game players because walking off of platforms to your death is universally hated by game players everywhere. If you like this kind of thing than Tron 2.0 is your game.
In one location Ma3a gives you the hint that you have to enable the interfaces in the correct sequence. Virtually no hints are given as to where or how this is to be accomplished. On a panel about 100 feet from the "hint" and Ma3a is a panel that is active. This panel is the sequencer. By activating the panel you can enable the interface bits one at a time. This is one of many panels and finding that the panel is active takes a lot of looking at panels part by part until you find the part that can be activated. Pixel hunts are almost as universally hated as platforms that you walk off of inadvertantly to your deresolution.
The plot is linear. You as a game player are driven along a gauntlet with few choices in which way to go and what to do. The dialog is all scripted and there are basically no hints given.
Syd Mead, the same guy that designed the hovercars from CyberRace, designed the original light cycles in Tron. Syd Mead was a designer for Blade Runner, Tron, 2010, and Star Trek The Motion Picture. Cyd is a orld famous futurist. (CyberRace was a forgettable hover car racing computer Game developed by a CyberDreams in 1993. CyberDreams was one of the flops that drove the company under.)
Syd Mead redesigned light cycles for Tron 2.0, making them sleaker and less clunky than the light cycles in the movie and the arcade game originally released in 1982.
Bruce Boxleitner reprises his role as Tron and Alan Bradley. Cindy Morgan lends her voice to Ma3a an artificial intelligence that helps Jet, the protagonist and son of Alan Bradley in the game. Cincy Morgan played Lora and Yori in the film. Rebecca Romjin-Stamos
Jeff Bridges, Tron and Kevin Flynn, has not signed on to do the game, but rumor has it that he is willing to consider doing the Tron 2.0 film sequel as long as it has the right script.
Music from original TRON composer, Wendy Carlos.
It is interesting that Scott Osborne of PC Gamer and Chuck Osborne of Gamspot do not agree on the game. Chuck feels the game is "a fairly conventional and uneven shooter" while Scott feels Tron 2.0 is "a wonderous surprise that actually transcends the license upon which it is based." Even more interesting is that when Scott talks of the original film "watching Tron wss like dying and going to cinematic heaven" and Chuck believes the original film was "cheesy" had a "sappy story" told with "clumsy tech lingo." Unfortunately Chuck hated the film so much he has many of his facts mixed up. fCon is not the subject of the hostile takeover as Chuck believes but the company expecting to take over ENCOM
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