As a young video-game fanatic, I was one of the first on my block to line up for “Tron” when it hit theaters in 1982. so I was one of the first to be dazzled by its then-state-of-the-art computer graphics — and disappointed with its story of corporate espionage.
The long-awaited sequel, “Tron: Legacy,” which opens Dec. 17, is just one part of Disney’s massive multimedia reboot of the franchise.
“Tron: Evolution” for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 takes place during the 1990s, halfway between the original film and “Legacy.” (The less ambitious versions for the Wii, DS and PlayStation Portable are set in the 1980s.) you control Anon, a security program who appears as a humanoid avatar; Anon’s job is to prevent a virus called Abraxas from destroying the cyberworld.
The action boils down to three elements. Least satisfying is the combat against Abraxas’ minions, who pop up and attack Anon at regular intervals. Your only weapon is a glowing disc, which you can fling or use in attacks. you earn more powerful discs as the game proceeds, but most of the fights devolve into simple button-mashing.
Then there’s the parkour-style exploration, which has you running up walls and leaping across chasms as you make your way across Tron’s virtual cities. the mechanics are reminiscent of the “Prince of Persia” series, although the environments aren’t as distinctive.
Finally, you get to race the iconic light cycles. the single-player campaign has just a few driving sequences, and they feel a bit undercooked. you barrel down a track, moving left and right, but you don’t get the speed rush you’d hope for.
It’s perhaps appropriate that the world of “Tron” — a virtual space presented in a video game — never feels real.