Before 1989, when the communist president Ceausescu ruled in Romania, to get a video was quite a thing. Maybe I was lucky with my aunt who managed to get one. Maybe not, because each time I visited her I wanted to see porno movies. I was about 10 years old back then so just imagine her face when I was begging her for such things. Because of this, she always tried to tempt me with other movies that circulated on pirated VHS tapes, as no one gave a damn about copyright in a communist country. One of these temptations was Tron. I still remember the storyline somehow but the only scene that is still there in my mind is the digitizing process. That movie really shocked me, the 10 year old kid who didn’t have a clue what a computer or a bit was. After seeing it like three times in a row, this situation didn’t last long and I still feel like God each time I’m in front of such a powerful baby. I even felt sorry during these years that such a movie, with such an original idea back then but pretty poor due to technological limitations and also actors and script, wasn’t followed by a sequel. When I heard they were developing a game I smiled, imagining myself playing it already.
When I got my hands on it and installed it I, the 26 year old now computer games freak, was shocked for the second time. I could never believe they would be capable of redesigning so well the whole universe and thus, recreating the original feeling the movie was inspiring you. I can even say it’s better than the movie and this is because they had access to the original sketches and even some undisclosed ones. It’s amazing to see how they created a transport ship with tables and chairs for the passengers, a disco with its own DJ or even a bright city (Internet City) which resembles a lot with Las Vegas. Only for these things and you should play it.
Well, I’m joking, the game has its good and bad parts. In the second category I would include the story. The action takes place after 20 years, when Alan Bradley, the main character in the movie, has discovered a new digitization technology, more advanced than the previous one. Because of it, an evil corporation called Future Control, whose purpose is of course world domination by seizing control from the inside using digitized hackers (data wraiths in the game), kidnaps Alan while he is engaged in a telephone conversation with his son, Jet. Frightened by the abruptly interrupted call, Jet runs in his father’s lab only to be digitized by Ma3a, an advanced AI which controlled these processes.
Initially, an unknown virus infects the lab servers, so your first mission is to discover what’s really happening there and protect Ma3a in the meantime but the servers have their own agents also. They are called ICP agents and their mission is to track down and destroy any trace of infection or unknown program. As you’ve probably already guessed, Jet belongs to the second category now, so after a brief and practical tutorial about interface and disc maneuvers, you’ll immediately start doing what you’ve been digitized for. I was saying the story is weak because it lacks consistency. In the beginning you don’t know what happened to your father and after a while you suddenly access a video camera showing your father and a message written by him telling you not to compile the Tron legacy code. What all this is about you’ll see for yourself when you’ll play the game. Unfortunately, you can see in these scenes a live and unharmed Alan. Where is he, how he got there, what happened in the period of time between Jet’s digitizing process and this moment remain unanswered questions. All you know is that you have to free your father. As we’re dealing with the story now I should mention the lack of humor. The dialogues are even serious and the processed voices destroy what could have been good voice-acting. Oh NOLF, where are you?