STAFF REVIEW of Tron 2.0: Killer App (Xbox)

Monday, December 13, 2004.
by Stacy Code

Tron 2.0:  Killer App Box art In 1982 Steven Lisberger created Tron, a movie which featured the first use of computer animation in a feature film and boasted state of the art animation techniques and visual effects. The film received mixed reactions at the box office from an audience that didnt know quite what to make of Tron. Since the film dealt with life inside computer systems and video games, from the subjective point of view of the programs living within them, it might have been too much of a stretch for most non-technical folks to grasp an abstract rendering of an abstract concept. Still, the movie was gorgeous, and the disc battles and lightcycle races kicked a-ss like nothing else on the movie screen that summer gamer geeks and computer hobbyists rejoiced.

The look and feel of Tron was to visually strip things down reduce the environments, settings, and objects to basic shapes defined spaces with glowing borders. Stripped down to basic essentials, the environments of Tron were crude, cold, and electronic, the only warmth from glowing electronic circuitry. So when Monolith and Climax studios decided to set a first-person video game in the setting of Tron, leveraging their software technology and the rendering horsepower of the Xbox against the project, what we end up with is a game experience that looks and feels exactly like the movie.

At heart a first-person-shooter, Tron 2.0: Killer App is considered the true sequel to the film, hence the title. With a storyline that resumes the narrative of the film set in today just as the film was, we meet the films hero twenty-two years along in his career still working in laser technology and computers, he now has a son, Jet, who ends up being digitized into the computer system in an echo of the movies storyline. Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan return to contribute voicework for the game, and are joined by Rebecca Romjin-Stamos. The writing and plot are well-done, following through with the movie nicely and featuring a lot of humor that will be a lot more accessible to gamers today who will be more familiar with computers and technology than moviegoers two decades ago (the game has the best guard chatter Ive heard since Thief listening to two guards bitching about how they hate system reformats and always lose their upgrades had me laughing out loud.) Environments in the game are designed to reflect their real-world significance - PDAs are cramped and claustrophobic, hubs and ports are busy areas with traffic, game arenas are bright and visually splashy, and system hardware and motherboard chipsets are mechanical and utilitarian. Climax has done an incredible job in translating Tron 2.0 from its PC roots the game was originally cursed with choppy framerates from its ambitious visual style (lots and lots of light blooms and large, spacious levels were two big culprits) but the Xbox version runs buttery-smooth and looks absolutely fantastic. Higher resolution HD modes arent supported beyond 480, sadly, but if this is the only compromise necessary to make the game look as good as it does, its a small point to quibble. The sound effects are well done and have the harsh, buzzy electronic feel of the soundwork in the original film footsteps ring with an electronic sounding echo, spoken voices are always masked, and weapon sound effects are brash and larger-than-life, as they should be from inside a game. The music reflects the film perfectly the original themes show up from time to time, and dynamic cues jack things up an extra notch during combat the clean, synthesizer-driven score is also supplemented with metal tracks from Breaking Benjamin, bringing the mood more in line with 2004.

The single-player experience is expansive, with many extremely large environments broken down into smaller sublevels with their own objectives, much like Halo (though Tron 2.0 still has us watching a load screen between levels, the load times are speedy enough as not to derail the experience) and is worth the price of admission just for the single-player game. Multiplayer in this game is the big bonus, with full Live support, and a decent variety of gametypes which echo mainstays like Capture the Flag and Deathmatch splitscreen isnt supported, though system-link is and although its no Halo-killer I can easily see this becoming a favorite round-in-between-rounds at LAN parties. The sheer novelty of playing in lightcycle competitions that are rendered even more impressively than the movie itself will be good for a few nights on Live.

Quibbles in the game are few the aforementioned lack of higher-resolution modes, the absence of splitscreen multiplayer are just the raisins in the butter tart, so to speak, and the single-player experience suffers from a very awkward interface for loading equipment, weapons, and powerups that might have you scratching your head. The lack of a sticky cursor or reticule in targeting, now a mainstay in most FPSs, makes targeting distant enemies difficult, and with the large, expansive size of the arenas within the game, sometimes you will find yourself under fire from an enemy who is represented by four or five glowing pixels on the screen, attacking you from a quarter-mile away. (Thankfully, the game does feature a sniper-rifle equivalent.) These are minor gripes, though, for what is otherwise a shooter which genuinely does stand out from the crowd with distinction not an easy accomplishment for a genre which is flooded with clones and has-beens. Tron 2.0: Killer App is a dollar well spent, and does with style what video games are supposed to do takes you to a place youve never been before, and lets you be something youve never been.

Overall: 9.6 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 10.0 / 10
Sound: 9.4 / 10


Latest News

Project CARS delayed until March 2015

Project CARS delayed until March 2015If you’ve been waiting for a more technical, simulation alternative to Forza Horizon 2 to play on Xbox One this year, it looks like it will be limited to Forza Motorsport 5 for the time being.

See News Archives

Top Community Gamerscores

1. Variation-XBA - 100,386
2. Symmetrics Love - 58,007
3. Enamelized420-XBA - 49,125
4. Silent-XBA - 41,592
5. thAshAdyOne - 39,451
6. oryanphine - 37,816
7. Roujin-XBA - 36,683
8. Kamshaft-XBA - 35,329
9. GameGodX3 - 10,460
10. BigJosh359 - 10,255
11. LiLJoe608 - 4,235
12. pierrevincy - 3,030
13. Sam-XBA - 2,160
14. tsrdawg - 35
15. shrew king - 0

Community Forum Activity

Everything just feels lost
Post by XxIcedaddyxX
1 Replies, 119 Views

Xbox Playdates Canada - Destiny Xbox One Playdate tonight 8pm EST
Post by Kiesey78
0 Replies, 169 Views

What are you thankful for?
Post by Symmetrics Love
1 Replies, 188 Views

D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die
Post by thAshAdyOne
0 Replies, 205 Views

Swedish Xbox 360 Console Launch Faceplate
Post by Snuzz
0 Replies, 330 Views

What's your Destiny
Post by Enamelized420-XBA
4 Replies, 532 Views

Tuesday September 23rd Gears of War 3 playdate 8-11 Pm Est.
Post by Kiesey78
0 Replies, 516 Views

Netflix has expanded to 6 new countries today.
Post by AndrewJack
0 Replies, 496 Views

Destiny for xbox one playdate tonight
Post by Kiesey78
0 Replies, 543 Views

Xbox Playdates Canada
Post by Kiesey78
4 Replies, 779 Views

Finally MKV playback on Xbox One!
Post by Kamshaft-XBA
5 Replies, 1056 Views

Nouvelle Manette Officielle Xbox 360 "Arctic camouflage"
Post by oryanphine
0 Replies, 851 Views

Destiny Beta
Post by thAshAdyOne
3 Replies, 1016 Views

Xbox One edition spciale Halo masterchief collection et Forza horizon 2 a gagner
Post by oryanphine
3 Replies, 1326 Views is 14 years old this week!
Post by Kamshaft-XBA
12 Replies, 1640 Views

Site Statistics

Registered Members: 58,389
Forum Posts: 739,082
Xbox One Titles: 92
Xbox 360 Titles: 1,077
Xbox 360 Kinect Titles: 95
Xbox 360 Arcade Titles: 583
Xbox Titles: 847
Staff Reviews: 1,304
Member Reviews: 10,339
News Articles: 12,456
Screenshots: 27,219
Xbox 360 Achievements: 45,112
Xbox 360 Faceplates: 2,016
Cheat Codes: 1,706
© 2000-2014 - All rights reserved. All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
Xbox is a registered trademark of Microsoft. is not affiliated with Microsoft.

Made in Canada
Site Design by Cameron Graphics