Before Serial Experiments: Lain, The Matrix Trilogy and massively multiplayer online games, the 80s gave birth to a movie called, TRON. TRON told the story of a young game developer, named Flynn, who hacks into the computer system of his former employer to prove that his designs are being stolen. Unfortunately, the system is guarded by a devious piece of software known as the Master Control Program (MCP). Aside from controlling the inner-workings of its host system, the MCP also has control over certain hardware defenses outside the system. One such defense is a digitization laser that literally translates human DNA into a computer system. Thus, Flynn awakens inside a digital world full of sentient programs bent on his doom, save one, a mighty program called, TRON. TRON was designed by a man named, Alan, Flynn’s long time friend and colleague. With TRON at his side, Flynn works to defeat the MCP and uncover its true purpose. So ends my Reader’s Digest wrap-up of TRON.
Flash forward 20 years and enter the world of TRON 2.0; a game developed by Monolith and on its way to OS X courtesy of the folks at MacPlay. On the PC side of life, many consider TRON 2.0 to be one of the finest first-person shooters to hit the streets in some time. So, read on as I digitize us into the world of TRON 2.0.
Digitization Made RealIn TRON 2.0, players will take on the role of Jet Bradly, Alan Bradly’s son. Continuing from the movie, Alan is developing digitization technology for his own company. However, all is not well, as Future Control Industries (fCon) is in the process of buying out Alan’s life’s work. fCon secretly hopes to use Alan’s digitization process to create an army of hackers known as, DataWraiths, to bring down the world’s computer systems from the inside. It is after Alan mysteriously vanishes that Jet steps in to save his father. Thus, the stage is set for Jet to risk life and limb in a fully digital world.
Along the way, Jet meets Mercury, a sexy game bot who agrees to aid him on his journey. Mercury is a champion light cycle racer on what is known as the "game grid". As the game progresses, players will actually get to engage in deadly mini-games on the game grid. It’s also interesting to note that Mercury is voiced by the equally sexy (to some) Rebecca Romijn-Stamos.
TRON 2.0 uses an interesting weapons system that is made up of “primitive” weapons that may be transformed into more advanced weapons via a type of software patch. For instance, the ROD in its primitive (PROD) form is simply a pair of cattle prod style weapons that short circuit programs by touch. The longer the touch, the more a program is damaged. Of course, one doesn’t always prefer to be face to face with their would be killer, thus the PROD may be changed into the LOL, which’s a deadly sniper rife. Jet also has at his disposal the famous TRON Disc. In its primitive form, the Disc may be hurled at enemies, killing some in just a few hits. The Disc can also be used in Cluster form, which’s basically a Disc that detonates in mid-air, damaging foes with its deadly shards. The one catch is that since Jet is a software program, he has a limited amount of memory; therefore the number of advanced weapons he can carry has a cap. Players will have to upgrade and downgrade weapons as the situation warrants.