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TRON 2.0: Killer App

Score: 98%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Buena Vista
Developer: Climax Group
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 4 / 2 - 16 (System Link) / On-line Multiplayer
Genre: Adventure/ First Person Shooter/ Themed

Graphics & Sound:

Whether the developers had to go to great lengths to replicate the cinematic feel or the original “TRON” movie simply made it easy to duplicate, the effect is amazing. The fantasy world of TRON is loyally reproduced in all its glory. The voice modulation is dead on and the sound effects just feel right. The special effects of the weapons and ambient environmental effects feel just about perfect.

Even those who only know TRON casually are likely to know of TRON Cycles. This is a game much like a multi-layer version of Snake (a game that’s readily available on many cell phones these days). The original arcade version of TRON had TRON Cycles in it, but the view was from above, much like the cell phone game mentioned above. TRON 2.0: Killer App injects the game with a heavy dose of modern graphics power and provides an experience that’s much closer to playing the movie than playing the original game. The only downside to the light cycles in TRON 2.0: Killer App would be that the camera is hard to control and set up just like you want it, unless you’re prepared to actively control the camera as well as driving your cycle. This is actually fairly true to the movie, as the cyclists were always looking left, right, and over their shoulders; but it makes it all a bit difficult to control.


The main part of TRON 2.0 is a first-person adventure with some heavy first-person “shooting” in places, along with a nice mix of puzzle solving as well. I found that the gameplay was varied enough to hold my interest and stayed true to the TRON look and feel while updating the environment with a lot of technology references that occurred since the filming of the original “TRON” movie.

You’ll get to play with the familiar TRON goodies, such as your Disc Primitive (a la TRON Discs) and the ever familiar light cycles, but you’ll also find upgraded versions of the light cycles with increased speed. There’s even a Recognizer or two if you keep your eyes open.


TRON 2.0: Killer App has a challenging but reasonable learning curve. It stays in that middle ground, in between boring and frustrating. It provides a strange mix of game elements, from those of a first person shooter, to those of a 3D adventure and, at times, 3D Platformer (think Mario 64), with RPG-ish puzzle solving and vehicular combat/racing elements (TRON Cycles). While this makes a reviewer's job a bit more difficult (try to categorize THAT!?), it does offer a nice variation in gameplay. However, to excel at TRON 2.0, you’ll need to do at least pretty well at all of these gaming elements.

One aspect that may not be for everyone is the “memory management” aspect of the game. As you adventure around, you can collect subroutines and build points that can be used to upgrade your character. However, to realize the effects of these upgrades, you have to choose which ones you want to “install” and manage the locations they’re installed in, as you have limited amount of memory in which to install the subroutines. Additionally, you can get subroutines that are unknown and have to be identified, as well as subroutines that are infected with viruses, requiring you to disinfect them so they are useful. “Tweaker” type players may enjoy this micro management sort of gameplay, but many more mainstream gamers may be turned off by it.

Game Mechanics:

TRON 2.0: Killer App is almost as polished mechanically as it is beautiful and loyal to the license. There are some things here and there that could have possibly been better, such as the camera in the light cycles game, but all in all, TRON 2.0 is highly enjoyable.

If you are unsure whether you’ll like the game after reading this review, you may want to rent it first. The “memory management” aspect is not for everyone. However, if you’re a fan of TRON, you should go out and pick TRON 2.0: Killer App immediately!

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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