Tron 2.0 is all about computers, perhaps to a greater extent than Climax intended. Unlike most Xbox FPSs that feel like they've been tailored especially for the console, or at least heavily optimised for it, this game plays like a PC game. It's no coincidence. It came out a year ago on PC and despite a tenacious smattering of Live features, hasn't been significantly updated.
Abundant load screens are the most obvious culprits. Most levels are short but loading times often still break the 20-second mark. Frustratingly, the level also reloads after each death, just when you want to jump straight back into the action and get revenge on the virus who de-rezzed you.
Our other major 'glitch' in the system is the targeting. It'd feel more at home on a mouse and keyboard than the Xbox pad. When throwing your lethal disc, the margin for error is tiny, thanks in part to the minuscule crosshair. You need the kind of accuracy only a mouse can provide. It doesn't help that the disc is the only weapon worth using. Most of the others cause a severe drain on your energy and the burden of backtracking to recharge nodes is bigger than the perks of wielding them.
Although the combat is far from inspiring, we are very impressed by the ability to transform into a light cycle. This really shines in multiplayer, where you can both run around on foot or instantly rez up some wheels and mow through the opposition. Alternatively, it's possible to set the game to light cycles only, transforming Tron 2.0 into an extremely fun throwback of the 1977 Atari game Surround. The object here is to force your enemies to crash into your light trail. Racing around the immense, tiled arenas is fast, colourful and plays better than ever in 3D. Ironically, this retro-skewed game mode is the most fun part of the entire experience. It's equally surprising that the graphics are so appealing, even though they're based on a film about 20-year-old technology. We guess it's a testament to the vision of the movie that the settings and characters still seem fresh and interesting today. Cool graphical effects including light-bloom also helps.
We also particularly like the upgrade feature which works in a similar way to Deus Ex: Invisible War's biomods. Downloading new abilities and choosing which ones to upgrade means that two players could end up with vastly different characters at the end of the game. It's a shame the upgrade interface is so fiddly.
Tron 2.0 offers plenty to shout about in multiplayer, particularly complete support for Xbox Live 3.0 features including voice messaging. Overall, the multiplayer game modes are far more engaging than the story mode, whose biggest failing is a lack of variety. One for Xbox Live maniacs only.
Tron 2.0 was probably a better PC game than in this Xbox version. Good to see such a comprehensive multiplayer side.