There is nothing more iconic in the world of Tron than those neon light cycles and identity discs. So it's fitting that my first encounter with the upcoming Tron game involved both.
Tron Evolution: The Video Game is meant to bridge the gap between 1982's Tron and the upcoming movie Tron: Legacy.
While we don't yet know a lot about the story driving the game, I did get a chance to sample two types of gameplay. The first level in the game I was able to play put me in the seat of a neon blue light cycle, steering it along a glowing road from a third-person perspective.
The controls were a bit too sloppy for my liking, with the bike slipping back and forth on the road with minor nudges of the thumbstick, almost as if I was driving on ice. But the developer guiding me through the demo said they were aware of the issue and working to tweak the controls.
I also found a few bugs, once dropping through what appeared to be a solid chunk of road, but again, the developers said they were aware of the issues.
A few seconds after starting my way down the highway of Tron two orange light cycles jumped onto the road, flanking me. The bikes left solid orange walls behind them, which I had to avoid. Eventually I managed to get past them and hit a bit more open road, before tanks starting appearing, shelling the road around me.
As I avoided the splash damage of their shells, and jumped between jagged bits of road, I couldn't help but notice the sweeping digital vistas that glowed beyond the highway.
Next, I was given a chance to control one of the game's characters, free running through the city as I tried to catch the elusive Quorra, voiced by Olivia Wilde.
The free running was fairly straightforward, relying on a trigger pull to run and a button push to jump, vault objects and leap off of wall runs.
My demo wrapped up with a bit of combat, pitting me against the city guards, scouts and an orange virus that was threatening to take over the city.
In combat I relied entirely on my runs and jumps to avoid damage and took out enemies with my identity disc, either by throwing it or smashing it into enemies.
The melee and distance combat was fairly straight forward and button mashy, though there was a neat jumping attack that dealt out quite a bit of damage when it landed.
Another interesting twist, beyond the wild look of the game, is how you can recover health. The walls and floors of the rooms I was in had bits of flashing patterns, which could recharge my character if I had him run along them. It's a neat idea that adds to the feel and aesthetic of the game.
While we didn't get a chance to sample it, the developers did say that the game will feature an online element that will use the same character and save your progression, giving you a persistent character.
I am slightly worried since this game is due out for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 this holiday, but there's still time to work on those bugs, and Tron Evolution has the look of the Tron universe nailed.