I often enjoy playing games because they remind me about something in real life. Me and my two boys have recently become fascinated by Parkour (Free Running). It’s the sport where you attempt all sorts of jumps, slides and runs to move through an urban environment in a creative way.
Tron: Evolution fitted perfectly into this craze of ours. The game doesn’t set out to be a Parkour experience, but the way you move through the different levels ends up creating a very similar experience to watching those Free Running videos on You Tube.
But even better than that, here the boys aren’t just watching the action, but they are controlling it themselves. This has inspired them to even try out a few moves themselves in real life – with Health and Safety Dad on hand to make sure things don’t get too out of hand.
We’ve still got a long way to go in the game, but our first few hours with it have been really positive:
More than the jargon infested narrative, it’s the visuals that really convinced me I was playing in an electronic world of bits and bytes. Tron: Evolution succeeds because its cyber world has a real sense of place. The enemies move with the staccato gait of a computer program while your journey through the space is smooth and flowing – wall running, cat crawling, vaulting and gap jumping.
Although not first person, the combination of its restricted palette and the physical movement through the environment really reminded me of Mirror’s Edge. I’ve seen a variety of mods for that game to turn it from a first person to a third person platformer, but they needn’t have bothered as Tron fits the bill perfectly.
Having played this, it made me want to go back and show the kids Mirror’s Edge and Prince of Persia. They were a little too young for these when they first came out, but now can appreciate the flowing movement each of the games create.