Lavastorm Analytics (mobile)
Climax LA (Xbox)
Digital Eclipse (GBA)
|Publisher(s)||Buena Vista Interactive|
Walt Disney Internet Group (mobile/Steam)
Mac OS X
Game Boy Advance
Tron 2.0 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Monolith Productions. The Microsoft Windows version of the game was released by Buena Vista Interactive on August 26, 2003. The Mac OS X version was released by MacPlay on April 21, 2004. The game is based on Tron, a 1982 science-fiction film.
Jason Cottle voices the player character Jethro "Jet" Bradley, the son of ENCOM programmer Alan Bradley (voiced by Bruce Boxleitner, who reprises his role from the original film). Cindy Morgan, who also starred in Tron, voices the artificial intelligence "Ma3a". Rebecca Romijn provides the voice of Mercury. The game features a new "light cycle" design by Syd Mead, and provides explanations for the Tron arcade game (which makes an appearance in this game) and Kevin Flynn's experiences inside the ENCOM mainframe as shown in the original film.
The plot of Tron 2.0 centers around Alan's son Jethro "Jet" Bradley. Since the events of Tron, ENCOM has been taken over by a company called FCon (Future Control Industries). During a phone conversation between Jet and his father, Alan is kidnapped. Ma3a, an artificial intelligence designed by Alan, digitizes Jet into Alan's computer. She informs Jet that she needs him to aid her against J.D. Thorne, an executive from FCon who attempted to digitize himself into the computer as well, but became corrupted during the process and turned into a virus spreading throughout the system.
Upon arriving, Jet is captured by Kernel, the system's security program, and is accused of being the source of the corruption. However, Kernel spares Jet on the recommendation of Mercury, a program also tasked to help Ma3a, and sends Jet to the light cycle arena. After winning several matches, Jet escapes the arena with Mercury's help. After the two reunite with Ma3a, the server is reformatted due to its rampant corruption, which results in Mercury's demise. Jet escapes to the original ENCOM grid with Ma3a and accesses an archive with the help of an antiquated program, I-No, to retrieve the source code for "Tron Legacy", an update to the original TRON that Alan wrote to protect Ma3a. Jet and Ma3a then access the Internet and find a compiler, which they use to begin compiling the Tron Legacy source code. During the process, Thorne attacks them and appears to kill Ma3a, while Jet receives a communication from Guest, the User who had assigned Mercury to help him. Accessing a video uplink, Jet sees his father trapped inside a storage closet, who holds up a sign telling him to not compile the Legacy program. However, the compile finishes before Jet can abort it, and Legacy activates, revealing that its sole function is to kill all rogue Users in the digital world. Jet escapes in a light cycle, and FCon inadvertently saves him by capturing Ma3a with a Seeker search program.
Having recovered the correction algorithms necessary to digitize a human, Alan is sent to Thorne's corrupted server and assists Kernel and his ICPs (Intrusion Countermeasure Programs). Meanwhile, Jet finds Thorne at the heart of the server and confronts Kernel in a duel that ends in Kernel's destruction before he can kill Thorne. Thorne, in a moment of lucidity, begs Jet for forgiveness and tells him how to enter FCon's server before he dissipates.
Alan and Jet break into FCon's server, which the corporation is planning to use to distribute Datawraiths - digitized human hackers - across the worldwide information network for purposes of corporate and international espionage. After Alan and Jet crash the server, the CEO of FCon (which the game implies could be Ed Dillinger, the ENCOM senior executive from the original film) orders Baza, Popoff, and Crowne into the system themselves. Alan, wanting to verify the purity of the correction algorithms, removes them from Ma3a to inspect them. As a result, when the three FCon employees are digitized, they become a monstrous amalgam that chases Jet into the digitizing beam. Jet battles the monster amalgam and ejects the employees out of the beam, releasing their code from the corruption one by one. Severing the CEO's control, Alan and Jet extract and save the Tron Legacy code as the ENCOM servers crash. The game ends with Alan planning to reassemble the digitized FCon team and bring them back to the real world.
The game, like the film, is set "inside" a computer. Areas within the game feature glowing neon-colored highlights similar to the original film's aesthetic, with colors denoting the type and general ambiance of the system - for example, part of the story takes place in the flaming red environment of a firewall, while a PDA is colored plain white. Levels contain such features as energy bridges and gates, floating boxes and tiles, teleport spots, and deep chasms. Jet can take damage (or even die) by falling from too great a height, and can also be crushed by falling objects and moving platforms.
Like the film, Tron 2.0 uses many computing conventions to explain in-game events, characters, weapons, and other phenomena. For example, players battle viruses while fleeing a system format, and wield a sniper rifle known as the LOL, additionally amplifying its damage with a skill called Megahurtz. Programs in the systems bear various names based on their functions, including names based on their creators (like Brian.exe), system tools (e.g. servwatch.exe), parodies of popular software (e.g. reelplyr.exe and netscope.exe), and viruses and malware scripts (HA-HA-HA-0X0->???, Durandal and (Ra*mpa^ncy) - the latter two being references to Marathon). Datawraiths, which are in essence digitized humans, feature email addresses such as AndyG@fcon.net and GeoffK@fcon.net.
Jet can also find and read e-mail messages in certain systems, which partly reveal the game's background story, but also provide insight into the relationships between Alan, Jet, and Ma3a.
The single-player campaign takes place entirely inside the computer's world, though some cutscenes take place inside the ENCOM research laboratory. Levels are entirely linear, providing no choices to the player of how to proceed or what to say when interacting with other characters. The goal of each level is generally to complete tasks and find keys ("permission bits") that allow access to the next level.
Jet begins with a disc weapon similar to the ones featured prominently in the movie, but obtains additional weapons throughout the game that resemble real-life weapons like a shotgun, a submachine gun, a sniper rifle, and hand grenades. Each weapon aside from the disc uses energy as ammunition, which Jet can collect at various points in the game.
Jet's abilities are customizable, as his in-computer program earns "build counter" upgrades - when earning a level, Jet 0.0.0 becomes Jet 0.0.1, and so on. He acquires new abilities, and also the aforementioned weapons, in the form of "subroutines" held in "archive bins" scattered around the levels, and he has a limited number of memory slots in which to "install" these subroutines onto his person. Subroutines start out as alpha-grade software, but can be upgraded to beta and gold statuses, which both take up less space in memory and become more effective. The layout of Jet's memory slots changes from level to level, with immovable "base code" taking up various slots and limiting the number and size of the abilities Jet can equip. When attacked by viruses, subroutines can become fragmented or infected and cannot be used until Jet repairs them. If Jet encounters a program unknown to him, he can import one of its unique abilities to his own system.
As he moves through the levels, Jet must engage many lower-tier enemies. Although none are particularly powerful, they usually appear in gangs, making them more of a threat. Among the regular levels, there are some with boss enemies.
Interspersed with the first-person-shooter levels are several light cycle races. As seen in the movie, these races are actually arena duels in which each light cycle attempts to destroy its opponents by driving them into its jetwall. The arenas contain 'improvements' (such as speed zones that affect the cycles' speed), more complex layouts with walls and other artifacts (instead of the "empty box" as seen in the movie), and power-ups that can be collected during races. In addition to Tron's regular light cycle, Jet can also gain access to the super light cycle that sports a more modern design and offers more speed. Tron 2.0 initially required the player to win the light cycle races in order to advance the campaign. Consumer feedback revealed that many felt the computer-controlled light cyclers were impossibly precise in their controls (turning at speeds a human could not, or boxing themselves in,for example), forcing players to wait for the enemy light cycles to destroy themselves. As a result, the vendor released a patch eliminating this rule.
The additional light cycle mode contains no campaign; instead, the player is presented with a choice of several light cycle arenas.
Tron 2.0 offers some multiplayer scenarios, both in campaign mode and in light cycle mode. Internet and LAN play are available, although the vendor does not recommend that the light cycle mode be used over the Internet due to its generally high lag.
|PC Gamer (US)||91%|
|The Cincinnati Enquirer|||
The Cincinnati Enquirer gave the PC version four-and-a-half stars out of five and said, "Whether or not you're a fan of the movie, TRON 2.0 oozes with style and substance. Developer Monolith Productions deserves credit for creating one of the finest and most unique PC games of the year to date." Maxim gave the same console version a score of eight out of ten and called it "a must for those out there who still like their CGI old school." However, The Times gave the Xbox version three stars out of five, saying that "The controls take some time to master, and there's a surfeit of useless jargon seemingly designed to prevent you getting to grips with the gameplay. Nor is this a game for the short-sighted, since the on-screen captions that supposedly offer guidance are minute and virtually illegible."
Despite the good reviews, the PC version underperformed in sales and BVG eventually dropped support for the game two years after it was released. Despite the lack of support from BVG, additional levels and multiplayer maps have been developed by fans of the game, including an expansion game and modification.
Computer Games Magazine named Tron 2.0 the fourth-best computer game of 2003, and presented it with awards for "Best Sound Effects" and "Best Art Direction", the latter of which it shared with Uru: Ages Beyond Myst. The editors called Tron 2.0 "easily one of the year's best looking games, and a textbook example of how graphics rely just as much on art design as they do technology." The editors of Computer Gaming World nominated Tron 2.0 for their 2003 "Shooter of the Year" and overall "Game of the Year" awards, which ultimately went to Call of Duty and Knights of the Old Republic, respectively. It was also nominee for PC Gamer US's 2003 "Best Action Game" award, although it lost again to Call of Duty. The editors declared it "a movie license done right".
In addition to the Mac, the game was ported to mobile phones in two versions: the first, called Tron 2.0: Light Cycles, which was released on November 21, 2003; and the second, called Tron 2.0: Discs of Tron, which was released on May 12, 2004. The same game was later ported to the Xbox with significant changes to the single and, especially, the multiplayer modes. The Xbox version is titled Tron 2.0: Killer App. Changes to the single player mode include optional jumping sequences, and overall console-tailored controls. The real changes were made to the multiplayer modes. Added is up to sixteen player multiplayer disc arena, light cycles, or overRide modes for system link or Xbox Live. The new overRide mode allows for first person mayhem with the ability to ride light cycles at any time. There is also a version of Tron 2.0: Killer App for the Game Boy Advance that has a different story and gameplay elements from its Xbox counterpart. A version of the game was planned for the Gizmondo, but was canceled during development.
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