Tron: Evolution’s Hard Electronica Holds Its Own With Daft Punk

Image: Propaganda Games / Disney / Kotaku
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Welcome to Morning Music, Kotaku’s ongoing hangout for folks who love video games and the cool-ass sounds they make. Today, we are entering the grid. It’s time to fight for the users. More Tron references! Enough of that, let’s listen to Tron: Evolution’s soundtrack.


I’m a big fan of Tron. Ask anyone around here. And while today Tron is mostly left out back with the other franchises Disney doesn’t care about, there was a time a decade ago when the mega-company was trying to bring Tron back. We got a new movie, a cartoon show, some comics, toys, and of course a game. That game was Tron: Evolution (playlist / longplay / VGMdb) Released in 2010 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC, Evolution was a prequel to 2010’s Tron: Legacy movie, and was developed by Propaganda Games, the same folks behind that Turok reboot and...nothing else. (A year after Tron shipped, Disney closed the studio.) Evolution was a fairly standard action-adventure game, but it did sport some cool Tron visuals and a slick soundtrack.

Tron: Evolution’s soundtrack was composed by Sascha Dikiciyan (also known as Sonic Mayhem), Cris Velasco, and Kevin Manthei. It aims to sound more like Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy score than the original Tron’s OST. That’s fine by me. Tron: Legacy’s soundtrack is a certified banger and “Derezzed” is one of Daft Punk’s best songs. Dikiciyan, Velasco, and Manthei create some real electronic hits, channeling the moodier and more techno feel of Legacy, but in their own unique way. Take, for example, the very first song. “Outlands (Opening).”

Disney / OriginalGameScores (YouTube)

It starts out as a big, cinematic tune, but snaps quickly into a more funky, wild electronic track. Yet it still retains that bigger, louder feel of Tron: Legacy. A lot of tracks here sound like they could have easily fit into the film, which is a huge compliment to the composers. Making music that can stand toe-to-toe (or Face to Face, if you prefer) with Daft Punk is impressive. Regardless of how the overall game or Tron revival turned out, if you worked on this soundtrack and are reading these words, be proud of what you did. It’s great. One of my all-time favorites from the game is “Light Cycle (Race to the Game Grid).” If you want something fast, crunchy, and exciting, here you go:

Disney / OriginalGameScores (YouTube)

I stopped typing for a few minutes and just started dancing. Listening to these songs again has got me in the mood for Tron. Sadly, playing Tron: Evolution today is tricky, with the game delisted from Steam and it not being backward compatible on modern consoles. (This is wrong. It is backward-compatible on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. Blame Microsoft’s weird search tools!) It’s a shame, really. Maybe if that long-in-development third film finally gets made, Disney will at least re-release this game on current platforms. If so, I hope the full soundtrack comes back too. It’s fantastic, and easily one of the best parts of Tron: Evolution.


And that’s it for today’s Morning Music! If you’re anything like me, you might be looking to rewatch Tron: Legacy. And if you’re anything like me, you might be sad to learn that, no, Disney still hasn’t released a 4K version of the film. As a Tron fan, I’m used to the disappointment. Any other Tron fans out there? Let me know what your favorite songs are from the franchise, and why it’s probably “Derezzed.”

Kotaku Weekend Editor | Zack Zwiezen is a writer living in Kansas. He has written for GameCritics, USgamer, Kill Screen & Entertainment Fuse.

DISCUSSION

playing Tron: Evolution today is tricky, with the game delisted from Steam and it not being backward compatible on modern consoles

I’m pretty sure that it’s backwards compatible on the Xbox consoles. In fact, I know I got it for free as a Games with Gold a few years back.